Specializing in hair transplantation, hair restoration and hair transplants with hair loss clinics in New Jersey (NJ) & New York (NY)

FROM THE DESK OF DR. JOHN SCHWINNING

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John P. Schwinning MD, FACS, PC, ABHRS Diplomat

A certified Diplomat of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, Dr. John Schwinning has been a pioneer in the field of hair transplants and is a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, and the European Society of Hair Restoration.

Peruse the articles in this section to see what Dr. John P Schwinning has been up to.


01/05/10 New Year's Resolutions and a Successful Hair Restoration



010510 Newyear Lg

With the new year comes resolutions, a time for looking back at the past and defining how you want to move forward; where you'd like your life to go, what you'd like to change, how you'd like to feel in the future and what steps to make to achieve that.

Without fail, most Americans will make it a point to feel better about themselves and their appearance and enjoy life more. When you feel better about yourself, you inevitably feel better about the world.

Hair loss can be a huge determinant on our self-image. In fact, for most people hair loss is more about dealing with how the loss affects how you see yourself. Hair restoration is in effect is as much about restoring your self-image as your hairline.

Choosing hair restoration surgery is a major decision for most people and will permanently change your appearance. So it's important to meet with the hair surgeon to discuss fully your concerns and expectations. Like any resolute action to make a change you need to determine what you want to accomplish and what is the best way to achieve that. Meeting with a hair restoration physician will help you determine the best course to take, whether that be hair restoration surgery/transplants, medication, or a combination.

There are many factors to consider and discuss with your chosen hair loss physician.

Age

Adrogenetic alopecia is typically progressive, meaning it will continue over time. As a result, it can be difficult to predict accurately how much hair a man in his 20's or 30's will lose, and it what pattern, over the course of the next 10-30 years. Planning for hair restoration in a young man must take account of the likelihood of future hair loss.

Hair Loss Pattern to Date and Family History

An important aspect of hair restoration is to estimate the amount of hair that will likely be available for transplantation and the area to be covered. It's also important to discuss family history of hair loss in male relatives. While it is by no means predictive of the kind of hair loss you will experience, it can provide insight and guidance into the type and extent of hair loss you can expect over a lifetime.

Hair Characteristics

There are 3 main considerations when determining your hair restoration surgery plan:

  • Hair caliber - or the diameter of the hair shaft. Coarse hair will provide a better result in a single session than finer hair and is one of the most important factors in considering the number of follicular units to transplant
  • Hair texture - whether your hair is curly, wavy, frizzy, or straight will affect the transplant results. Wavy or curly hair will cover more surface area than fine, straight hair.
  • Hair color contrast - the color of the hair compared to the skin tone color of the scalp. For example black hairs look thinner on fair skinned individuals, but thicker on someone with a darker complexion. The less contrast in hair color to skin, the thicker the hair transplant will appear.
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    10/27/09 The Art & Science of Hair Restoration


    One of the most critical aspects of hair transplant surgery is the design of the hairline, requiring both an understanding of the patient’s own natural hairline and artistry on the part of the surgeon. In hair transplantation surgery, the frontal hairline is perhaps the singularly most important feature on the entire head. It frames the face, becoming an integral part of a patient’s appearance. How technically skilled a surgeon is becomes secondary to his/her artistic ability in design.

    Creating a hairline that is natural to the individual patient is key to a successful outcome. Often hairline design is a compromise between the patient and the surgeon. This does not to say that the patient does not know what is best for him/her, or that the physician is the wiser, but that what looked right before you started losing your hair might look inappropriate twenty years from now. Take for example a young man in his early 20s who wants to recreate the hairline he vividly remembers when he was 18, not considering what he will look like at thirty, forty, or fifty. Conversely, a middle-aged man seeking hair restoration surgery may fear that a hairline that is not adequately receded at the temples may seem unsuitable for his age. Yet a hairline that is too receded only amplifies the balding area, focusing attention to the expanse of the forehead and frontal area as opposed to diminishing it.

    Hair restoration surgery is a personal choice to imp’rove one’s appearance and ultimately it is the undertaking of the surgeon to achieve results that the patient is happy with both now and in the future.

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    08/06/09 17th Annual ISHRS Meeting Summary


    A quick rundown of the most prominent issues at the 2009 international hair conference in Amsterdam.

    Laser Hair Combs

    One of the most popular topics at his year's hair conference was the use of laser combs to promote hair growth. Michael R. Hamblin, PhD, associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and principal investigator at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, spoke on "The Mechanism of Action of Low Level Light Therapy." Dr. Hamblin’s research interests are now broadly in the area of phototherapy for multiple diseases. One focus is the study of new photosensitizers for infections, cancer and heart disease. A second focus is low-level light therapy (LLLT) for wound healing, arthritis, traumatic brain injury and hair regrowth.

    According to his research there are quantitative benefits of laser hair treatments. After several clinical trials results show visual improvements in patients who use low level laser light.

    The best candidates are both men and women who are thinning but are not bald. Initial findings demonstrate the laser’s influence on thickening the hair shaft and extending the growth period. We carry two different brands in our office for purchase, recommending both Hairmax and x5Hair Laser. To make a purchase call 732.348.8035.

    [Frequently Asked Questions about HairMax LaserComb]

    Strip Method or FUE

    Both methods are possible at IHSG. While FUE is gaining in popularity, strip extraction still remains the leading procedure in hair restoration surgery. Each technique should be tailored to fit the individual’s needs. Coming in for a personal consultation is a must to discuss the pros and cons for each procedure particular to you.
    More information of Follicular Unit Extraction FUE »
    More information on Strip Extraction »

    Cloning

    Everyone is interested in cloning but unfortunately no major breakthroughs are seen for the near future. The best option for hair loss and balding is still transplants.

    Hair Transplants for Women:

    Hair transplants for women are on the rise. With good patient selection and conservative treatment more and more women are happy with their results. Also the combination of Rogaine® with the laser comb are showing some positive results.

    Megasessions

    The general trend is to do larger and larger sessions. I try to find the best way to make the patient happy but also keep him/her safe and comfortable. Megasessions of 2500 grafts or more are possible but the fine points must be discussed in consultation.

    I think I covered most of the popular topics presented at the meeting but if there is anything you want to cover in more detail call us or come in to our new office for a further discussion.

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    CHOOSING WISELY

    Deciding on hair restoration surgery can be daunting. With all the information available about varying hair loss solutions, not to mention the number of seemingly prolific hair loss clinics, it can be overwhelming. What to do and where to go is a decision that should be weighed carefully, my hope is to share some of my own personal experiences and knowledge and perhaps shed some light or at least help clear away some of the hair loss information clutter.

    I started losing my hair in my 30s and while everyone has a different way of coping I think the experience of hair loss is common, the realization that the passage of time has very definitive consequences mixed with a changing physical appearance can be, while not necessary overwhelming for everyone, definitely impactful.

    For me the decision was pretty clear, some call it vanity, but hair loss has a very definitive social connotation and it wasn't one that I felt fit me. Not to mention the fact that I had an interest in pursuing hair restoration surgery as a career; so it's not without a degree of bias I suppose that I decided to have the procedure, but I have never regretted it and have found it fulfilling both personally and to say the least physically.

    I know what it's like to experience the loss of one's hair and I also know the difference hair transplants can make in a person's life, no matter what their reasons for pursuing hair transplantation. The life altering experiences I have been privy to with my patients is one that I'm honored and feel privileged to be a part of. To hear a 19 year patient call me at the beginning of his college semester to thank me for how much a difference the procedure made; the elderly woman who smiles at her reflection; even the guy who says he doesn't see any difference only to be shocked at how bald he was in his before picture. These are the moments that I recall with a smile.

    Whatever path you choose for yourself, be it hair transplantation surgery or another hair loss alternative it's a decision that should be weighed carefully. Aside from results, short term vs long term costs can be a big factor and meeting with a doctor personally is invaluable, giving you an opportunity to ask questions and discuss your concerns. Get to know your surgeon, large clinics that rely on sales people have their pros and cons. For me, I like to meet with each patient. I like the personal nature of the job and I run a small office that focuses on the individual. We schedule one procedure a day, which means you have the full attention of both myself and staff.

    I hope to chat with you soon.

    Dr. John Schwinning