Hair transplants and famous bald people
Transplanting hair is a grafting procedure that takes 4 to 5 hours, with the patient under local anaesthesia. A strip of scalp is removed from the back of the head, then cut up into grafts of hair. Hundreds of tiny slits are made in bald areas, and the hair is transplanted one or two follicles at a time.
More than one procedure is usually necessary, and some patients have temporary swelling in the forehead or numbness in the scalp. It takes about 3 months for the transplanted hair to start growing again. Each procedure costs several thousand dollars.
There is an alternative to grafting. In a transplant procedure called “the flap” a flap of skin with hair is lifted from the scalp and rotated into the place of the bald spot and then stitched at the hairline. The flap is done in 4 or 5 surgical procedures over a period of a few weeks. Because it is never completely severed from the scalp, as is the case in grafting, the flap doesn’t lose its blood supply. As a result, the patient heals faster and the hair keeps growing.
The hair follicle
Your hair stops growing at a certain point. After a certain period of growth, hair becomes dormant. That means that it is attached to the hair follicle until replaced by new hair.
On most of the body, hair grows only a short time before being replaced. Hair on the head grows for between two and six years before being replaced. In the case of baldness, the dormant hair was not replaced with new hair.
Men loose about 40 hairs a day. Women loose about 70 hairs a day.
Famous bald people
Baldness is hereditary and even though the option of having hair is there, many famous persons never bother with transplants.
Famous bald people include: Patrick Stewart, Ben Kingsley, Phil Collins, Andre Agassi, Marvin Hagler, Graham Gooch, Michael Jordan, Montel Williams, Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, and many others – and not forgetting Homer Simpson.
If the list seems long it’s because male pattern baldness – resulting in partial or complete baldness – affects some 40% of western men.
One person who certainly did not like being bald was King Louis XV of France. It is told that in 1674, when visiting a school at Clermon, he heard that 9-year-old Irish scholar Francis Seldon had made a pun about the king’s bald head. Louis had the young Seldon thrown into solitary confinement in the Bastille. The parents were told that the child had disappeared. Francis spent 69 years in the hole for making fun of the king’s baldness.
“There’s one thing about baldness, it’s neat,” said American humorist Don Herold. After all, “God only made so many perfect heads; the rest He covered in hair.”