Hair is known to be one’s crowning glory, but it can also cause a great deal of torment. When the unrelenting loss of over a hundred strands per day comes to play, baldness and tainted confidence eventually surface as a result.
“You may think they don’t need it, or insist that they look good the way they are, but you may not realize what a traumatic experience hair loss really is for the person suffering from it,” said Nathanaël Aknine, President of DHI France. “Men often prefer to suffer in silence because they fear that people won’t understand them and will belittle their suffering. They deal with self-esteem issues and wave off with a smile the constant jokes that friends and colleagues make about their receding hairline.”
The world leader in hair restoration has come a long way since it started back in 1970 and has defined the standards for hair restoration. Backed by its international team of medical experts, the DHI Medical Group is the reference in the diagnosis and treatment of alopecia and other scalp disorders. After years of exploring the different types of procedures and assessing them from all angles, the DHI Medical Group developed the FUE method alongside some of the biggest names in the field before launching the groundbreaking DHI (Direct Hair Implantation) technique in 2008, widely known as the Gold Standard of hair implantation technology. In January 2015, Aknine decided to bring the excellence of DHI to Manila.
“The DHI technique diminishes all disadvantages of previous hair restoration procedures,” Aknine said. “The concept of taking from the ‘eternal hairs’ found at the back and sides of the head—which are actually immune to the genetic factors that cause hair loss—and implanting them on the hair loss area is not new, but you would not believe some of the excruciating methods that were used back then and are used even up to this day by other hair restoration companies in order to achieve this.”
Different techniques of hair transplantation
For one, there is the old and barbaric technique called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), where a strip of your scalp from the back of your head is sliced and stitched, causing terrible pain and horrible scars. This method can be completed fairly quickly and for this reason, this obsolete procedure still represents 90 percent of the hair transplant procedures worldwide.
Years later, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) was developed, using circular punches to extract hair follicles one strand at a time. But because this method isn’t standardized and depends on the practitioner, punches being used vary in size, some of which can be as big as 1.4mm and even 2mm in diameter, leaving very visible marks on the back of the head of patients and damaging their donor zone greatly in the process. Implantation with FUE is just about the same as with the FUT method, which consists of creating slits or holes with a cutting instrument and placing the newly extracted follicles back using forceps. The trauma to the implanted hair affects the growth percentage significantly where up to 40 percent of the implanted follicles won’t grow. The lack of control of the angle, depth and direction of the implantation of follicles tends to have them grow at 90° (doll effect) and cannot achieve the desired density or a natural-looking result.
Direct Hair Implantation
Simple, minimally invasive and unlike any other treatment, the game-changing DHI technique significantly diminishes manipulation of grafts to avoid damaging extracted hair follicles. Moreover, follicles are preserved in a solution normally used for organ transplant called HypoThermosol between extraction and implantation, which increases graft survival. The painstaking process involves taking the eternal hairs one by one with the use of custom-made high-precision tools and re-injecting each follicle with patented DHI implanters allowing for proper direction, depth and angle of 10° to 45°. Since there is no cutting, stitching or use of scalpels required, it is totally safe with completely manageable pain and most importantly, does not leave any scars and renders the most natural results.
For this reason, the DHI technique is considered an aesthetic procedure and not surgical, based on France’s very rigorous medical standards. “Doctors from all over the world go to the DHI Academy in Europe, where they undergo 12 to 18 months of difficult and highly specialized training,” Aknine said. “They learn how to master the technique until they are able to identically reproduce the procedure for their own patients while following very strict DHI protocols. Only one doctor, called a ‘Master’, works on one patient for the entire procedure. At no point does a nurse or a technician take over; the Master handles the procedure from the very first follicle extracted until the last one implanted.”
The Master’s intense focus, precision and skill are guaranteed to pay off as the patient’s implanted hair looks 100 percent natural and will permanently grow and thicken long after the procedure. The greatest reward is nipping hair loss in the bud, allowing the scalp to produce hair once again.
Over 200,000 clients have put their trust in the DHI technique, including some of the world’s top international celebrities, as well as high-profile models, entrepreneurs, athletes and politicians.
The DHI experience
One of DHI’s renowned local clients is fashion director and socialite Robby Carmona, who is no stranger to the demands of the cutthroat industry. Being surrounded by statuesque figures on a daily basis, he feels the constant pressure to look his best. Four years ago, he began experiencing hair loss on his hairline and crown area.
“I tried concealing it with different products such as hair powders and thickening sprays but those were just temporary remedies,” he said. “I felt the need to address this on a more permanent level.”
Carmona, who found out about DHI through friends, did not have second thoughts about undergoing the procedure after seeing the actual results on them. His process started with an initial consultation and hair analysis, where he learned that he had healthy hairs, enough to be used for his desired hair intervention.
“During the procedure itself, I was in a posh and private clinic, where a hairstylist started by cutting my hair very short,” he shared. “It took around three hours to extract the healthy and immune hair follicles at the back of my head, followed by a quick lunch break and a few more hours for the actual direct implantation, with no pre-holes. It was such a relaxing experience. I didn’t feel anything and I even fell asleep on the very comfortable spa bed halfway through the treatment.”
After the procedure, Carmona had no regrets. “I am very satisfied with the initial result at five months and am really excited to see the full result within the next few months, when it grows even thicker. I’m so proud of how it looks. My daily preparation is basically wash-and-wear now, and I feel a lot more confident.”
Also part of DHI Philippines’ clientele is international model Robson Costa, whose appearance plays a huge role in his career. Hair loss was starting to be noticeable in his temporal gulf, but he decided to take action before it affected his look and work. Scouring for options to halt the menacing stigma, he researched extensively and consulted several hair loss specialists.
“I went to a few clinics but couldn’t really make the decision to do it,” said the 28-year-old Costa. “All the other conventional procedures had a very long recovery time and the results that I had seen never looked good enough for me.”
Costa took his high standards to the DHI clinic in Makati and found just what he needed. “At first, I did not know what exactly the DHI technique was, but as soon I had the meetings with the DHI specialists, I knew that it was the treatment I needed.” he said. “With the simplicity of the procedure and the incredibly short recovery time, I was able to go back to a working shoot three days later. I was impressed by the VIP treatment my doctor gave me, the smooth and scar-free results and the obvious and consequent impact it had on my look and my work.”
A first in the country
With 56 clinics in 28 countries worldwide, DHI hopes to put the matter of hair loss and treatments in the spotlight. Talking about hair loss is still taboo in the Philippines and most men opt to just live with baldness and thinning hair.
“The main issue is that people are not informed about what’s available for them,” Aknine said. “In other countries, we educate the public on what they should expect from hair restoration. We also tell them what they should avoid: doctors with little or no experience in the practice as they prefer to use machines or robots. While engineers have been working hard to make it easy for the doctors to do the procedure, this is actually not to the advantage of patients. The Robot, for instance, has been on the US market for many years now, but hardly any hair specialist bought this machine as it was not bringing better results. The implantation method used with this machine still follows the classic FUE technique with the risk of scarring on both donor and implanted areas. All this machine does is lessen the work of the doctor. But you don’t make Berluti shoes or a Hermès bag using a machine; a hand is precise, accurate and adaptable. There is no short cut and no machine can replace the expertise and precision of a well-trained DHI Master.”
“I know that Filipinos demand quality products and are very detail-oriented,” he added. “We want to open them up to the idea of a revolutionary answer to hair loss.”
DHI offers a roster of products and procedures that range from male and female hair restoration; eyebrows, beard and body hair restoration and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).
For more information or a free assessment, contact DHI Philippines at (02) 893 6175 or 0917 720 8028, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dhifrance.com or facebook.com/DHIinthePhilippines.