Another technology available at Sapphire and performed by Garsing is hair transplants using the latest medical technology.
Garsing uses two methods: hairstetics synthetic hair implantation method or a real hair transplant. “The implants use artificial fibres, which are anchored into the scalp by tiny little anchors. It’s suitable for a small portion of the market, more women than men,” says Garsing.
With transplants, Garsing takes healthy hair and puts it where it’s needed. “We’re like gardeners transplanting pot plants,” he says. “So it’s important the soil (blood vessels) provides adequate nourishment. A lot of people are under the impression that hair implants or transplants will look like 1950’s doll’s hair, but they look nothing like that. Done well, treatment gives a very natural-looking result.”
Optimum results with both techniques require mapping and planning. “We progressively lose hair until the age of 65 so we need to plan,” says Garsing. “I believe in doing a series of treatments because there are only so many finite donor hairs we can use and if we work too quickly or overharvest we risk shock loss. Shock loss looks terrible because the follicles begin miniaturising and it leads to irreparable damage.”
The effects of a hair transplant are permanent. “Good results, as well as shock loss, will be permanent which is why I do small areas at a time. We aim for 400 follicles which are 2.6 hairs per follicle or about 1,000 hairs – some people have more or less,” says Garsing.
Who’s A Good Candidate?
There are various reasons behind hair loss, which plays a role in how well the treatment will work. Male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia may respond well whereas women’s hair loss is more global and may not. “It depends,” says Garsing. “We can perform localised transplants if the hair loss isn’t due to disease such as alopecia areata. Alopecia just means hair loss but alopecia areata is a condition and if we transplant it, it’s just going to reject the hair. With androgenic hair loss, we can harvest from areas not sensitive to a hormone known as DHT so they will retain the same properties of the donor area.”
The Future Is Exciting
Garsing’s excited about what’s happening with hair transplant technology. The technique can be used for eyebrows and eyelashes, and once cancer patients are through chemotherapy treatment they may also be treatable. “We’re looking forward to when cloning comes in. Columbia University has just published the information that they’ve managed to clone follicular units so it’s only a matter of time. Rest assured I’ll be at the forefront of that,” he says.
Sapphire’s Surgical Suite
Garsing performs hair transplants on Saturdays only. “My colleague Dr Thomas Doo works with me,” says Garsing. “Tom and I are unique in that we’re the only Kiwi born and trained hair transplant doctors in New Zealand. I always wanted to be a surgeon and now because of the hair transplants I’ve added that to my bow. We’ve built a specialist surgical suite* for the treatments, and when it was first built I was stood there with a Cheshire grin on my face – my very own surgical suite.” *The fully equipped surgical suite is available for hire.