Efforts toward hair restoration have uncovered a lot of new ways to make it efficient and effective. Out of all the solutions available, the hair transplant surgery has long been considered the last resort and is the only solution that gives a permanent outcome for restoring loss of hair volume.
Advancements in technology paved the way for newer solutions. One of the most recent methods unveiled on the market is Regenera Activa.
If you are keen on expanding your options, let’s see how this new treatment fares when compared to hair restoration surgery.
Regenera Activa enters the market with the promise of being different from frustrating hair growth treatment packages. It is also a minimally invasive option for patients suffering from androgenetic alopecia or female pattern hair loss who prefer not to go down the surgical route.
Regenera Activa is a different way of collecting your own cells, processing it and administering the necessary components to help stimulate hair growth. It comes in three steps which takes approximately 60 minutes to finish. Instead of a wide incision or several micro-incisions in one session, only 3-4 punch grafts measuring 2-2.5mm are needed. The process takes on a more internal approach as the change happens on a cellular level.
The Right Candidate
It is the answer for those who are willing to improve their aesthetic condition. This treatment is suitable for healthy men and women who do not have diseases of the scalp or the skin. It is also suitable for patients with hair loss in stages of up to Norwood IV and Ludwig II.
The procedure starts with the doctor injecting a local anaesthetic on the nape area to prepare it for the extraction of a few micro grafts. This area is chosen because it is the least susceptible to androgenetic alopecia. Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, 4 skin samples with a diameter of 2-2.5 mm each are obtained.
The samples collected undergo mechanical processing using a special device. Important components of the hair follicle in the skin extracted are harvested and injected into the thinning areas of the scalp, signaling these areas with genetically weakened hair to regrow thicker and denser hair.
The samples collected undergo mechanical processing using a special device. Growth factors and cells from the bulge area of the hair follicle in the skin extracted are harvested and injected into the thinning areas of the scalp, signalling these areas with genetically weakened hair to regrow thicker and denser hair.
• Generally safe: It is less invasive compared to a hair transplant and it also doesn’t come with surgical incisions.
• Less scars: The wound created by the instrument is small which means any scarring will be less visible. However, do note that the scars created will be larger than those in FUE (twice the size). There is a serious risk of future donor depletion and scarring with this technique if done by an inexperienced doctor.
• Natural-looking results: It creates natural-looking results because there is no need to arrange hair follicles at certain angles or distribution.
This treatment is not advised in the following cases:
• Hair loss caused by other factors aside from androgenetic alopecia
• Hair loss that stems from cancer treatment
• Hair loss caused by psychological issues
• Active local or systemic dermatological diseases of the scalp
The effects may vary depending on the advancement of the disease in an individual and the body’s own regenerative capacity. The results are also influenced by your age and your genetic input.
Regenera Activa helps stabilise the progression of androgenetic alopecia and improves the vitality of affected hair. You can expect to see results after 1-2 months. Patients notice both increased volume and doctors see an increase in hair count and individual hair calibre. Since these are not permanent, you may have to come in once a year or every two years for a touch-up session.
Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair transplant is a treatment that has come a long way in terms of creating quality results. Similar to Regenera Activa, it also uses your own hair follicles to restore lost hair.
There are two main techniques used in surgical hair restoration: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). While these two achieve the same results, they differ significantly in terms of how the donor grafts are harvested.
Follicular Unit Transplantation
This is the traditional approach in hair transplant surgery which is also called the “strip method.” It is named as such because a linear incision is made at the back and/or the sides of the scalp, which is permanent hair-bearing skin, to remove a piece which contains donor hair grafts. Once removed, the doctor dissects it down to 1-4 hairs (follicular units) under magnification.
While this technique requires less shaving on the donor area, it involves stitches and a longer or wider scar (depending on the size of surgery), as a result, putting off some patients.
Follicular Unit Extraction
This is a newer and increasingly popular approach which directly removes follicular units from the head. It involves small punches made into the donor site to take out the hair grafts. There is no stitching required, hence recovery is faster. However, patients may be concerned with how they look immediately afterwards because this procedure requires a fully or partially shaved head.
Both techniques involve a lengthy time off from work to ‘hide and recover’ after the procedure, which may be a concern for working professionals.
At The Aesthetics and Hair Clinic, we offer the non-shaved FUE technique which allows patients to return to work as soon as 2 days after surgery with hardly any detectability that a surgical procedure was done.
The two techniques only differ in terms of surgically removing donor hair grafts. FUT is more invasive because of the linear incision created across the scalp. As mentioned, the piece of tissue removed is brought under a high-powered microscope to individually remove follicular units.
In an FUE technique, the doctor extracts the follicular units directly from the scalp. While this may cut back on the number of steps, it makes your grafts highly susceptible to damage. Transection, or the unintentional severing of the hair during the procedures, is highly likely especially among inexperienced doctors. This is why FUE takes more time to finish because extra care and time is needed. One advantage is it allows the doctor to “cherry pick” healthier/more hairs per graft unlike in FUT.
• Does not leave prolonged side effects: Hair transplant spares you from certain chemicals or medicines which may leave you with lasting side effects.
• Creates natural-looking results: This advantage comes with conditions because natural-looking results can only be achieved with a trained and experienced doctors.
• Long-lasting results: It will require just one to two sessions at the most. You don’t have to get more procedures in the coming years if you follow your doctor’s advice on further management to prevent genetic progression of non-transplanted hair.
• It is not advised if patient suffers from certain active skin diseases that affect the scalp such as scarring alopecia.
• The patient should not be in the active phase of alopecia areata.
• Any systemic conditions that may affect your safety during the procedure and its results (e.g. bleeding disorders, uncontrolled diabetes, poor wound healing, or the tendency to form keloid scars).
FUT and FUE are reliable approaches in surgical hair restoration. FUT takes more time to heal than FUE, but both will allow you to achieve the desired results when done by a trained and experienced hair transplant doctor.
It will also take some time before you can finally observe significant hair growth with a hair transplant technique. You can expect to see results after 1-2 months and maximum results within 12-18 months.
For more information, please read our latest blog >> The 12 Basic Questions To Ask Before Getting a Hair Transplant
Both procedures have their ownstrengths and they have been proven to create the desired results. It is unnecessary to compare them to see which is more desirable. Your choice should depend on your preference and suitability.
The Right Candidate
Regenera Activa is appropriate for patients who are at the early stages of hair loss. It is for those who are up to Norwood IV in males and Ludwig II in females with pre-existing hair follicles in the treatment area. Meanwhile, a hair transplant is something you can consider if your amount of hair loss is extensive, the area is bald, or there is a complete receding of the peaks as these will not respond to Regenera treatment.
In terms of donor scarring, FUT creates the largest scar in the hands of an inexperienced doctor but with the development of new closure technique can be very fine. FUE will be a good surgical alternative if you prefer more inconspicuous scars.
Although Regenera Activa is less invasive than FUE, the biopsy creates larger scars. However, these are easy to conceal since you only need 4 specimens.
In Singapore, a session of Regenera Activa is around $3,500-$4,000. Hair transplant can start at $6,000 for a one-time procedure and it can go upwards depending on the extent of the work that has to be done.
In line with this, you must also consider the cost of maintenance. A hair transplant doesn’t need succeeding procedures to maintain results. If ever a secondary procedure is needed, the only reason would be a botched treatment or if the doctor deems it necessary. In Regenera Activa, the procedure needs to be done once every 1-2 years.
Even with Regenera Activa, personal communication with the inventor doctor in Spain suggest continuation of ongoing hair loss medication and for optimal results rather than replacement with just Regenera.
The information provided here are just general facts. We encourage you to come in for a personal consultation so you can be assessed properly. This allows the doctor to advise you on these two treatments and how it relates to your situation. For concise information on these two treatments, please download our infographic here.
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Do you want to know which of these two would be the suitable option for your hair loss problem? Book a consultation with Dr. Tyng Tan today.
At Aesthetics Hair and Clinic, Dr. Tyng Tan will gladly answer any questions you have about cosmetic skin procedures.
If you would like to book a consultation to meet Dr Tan, our staff will be happy to make an appointment for you. Please don’t hesitate to call +65 6235 0010 for more details or make an enquiry by filling in the fields here.