Hair Loss & Replacement for Dummies: Podcast Transcript
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Interviewer: I am here today with Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University and founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration in New York. Dr. Bernstein is the co-author of the highly anticipated Hair Loss & Replacement for Dummies book. Welcome, Dr. Bernstein.
Dr. Bernstein: Good morning, thank you for having me.
Interviewer: Dr. Bernstein, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the book?
Dr. Bernstein: Sure. We wrote Hair Loss & Replacement for Dummies for anyone who wants to learn more about hair loss and its treatment. In the book, Dr. Rassman and I not only discuss common balding, but we cover a host of other conditions that can all lead to the loss of one’s hair. In the book, we give readers a basic understanding of hair and offer tips for taking better care of both the hair and scalp. Most importantly, the book describes the most up-to-date treatments for both male and female pattern hair loss.
Interviewer: This sounds interesting, why did you and Dr. Rassman decide to write the book?
Dr. Bernstein: Well, hair loss affects so many men and women. There is lots of information available on the web, but much of it is unreliable and the medical literature is often a bit too technical for the average reader. We wanted to provide a resource that was factual and comprehensive but, at the same time, very easy to understand. Hopefully, this book will allow those experiencing hair loss to be able to get straightforward, honest information and be able to make informed decisions if they require treatment.
Interviewer: That is a very good idea. I understand that you are a key figure in the development of the modern hair transplant procedure called Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation. Why don’t you tell us about it?
Dr. Bernstein: The Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation procedure I pioneered is based on the fact that human hairs do not grow singly, but rather in tiny bundles of one to four hairs that we call follicular units. While evaluating patients for surgery using an instrument called a densitometer developed by Dr. Rassman, we were able to visualize these naturally occurring groups. It just made sense to me to perform the entire transplant using these tiny follicular bundles, as this would allow us to actually mimic nature. It also would enable us to safely transplant thousands of grafts in a single procedure and to complete the entire restoration in just one or two treatment sessions. Unlike the older hair restoration procedures, follicular unit transplantation is quite exacting and a large part of it is performed using special stereo-microscopes designed specifically for this new technique.
Interviewer: In your book, you mention the importance of checking a person’s hair density when considering a hair transplant. Why is this important?
Dr. Bernstein: For hair restoration surgery to be successful, the person must have an adequate supply of permanent donor hair. This can be determined by evaluating the hair on the back and sides of a person’s scalp under magnification to see if the areas are stable. The fact that more men have stable donor hair than women, explains why a higher percentage of men experiencing hair loss are good candidates for hair transplantation. Fortunately, those women with stable donor areas do make excellent candidates for surgery.
Interviewer: In the book, you discuss the ten common myths of hair loss. Can you tell us about one of them?
Dr. Bernstein: One of the most frequent concerns I hear from patients is that wearing hats all the time causes hair loss. This is based on their belief that hats cut off the air supply to the scalp and actually prevent the scalp from breathing. What they are overlooking, of course, is that hair follicles lie deep in the skin and get their oxygen from the bloodstream, so you can’t suffocate your follicles just by wearing a baseball cap.
Interviewer: Very interesting. I also understand that the Hair Loss for Dummies book will not be your first publication. Where can our listeners find other material that you have authored?
Dr. Bernstein: If you go to BernsteinMedical.com you will find the links to all of my medical publications. Like our new book, the site has a lot of useful information about hair loss written in layman’s terms.
Interviewer: Your new contribution to the Dummies Series sounds really helpful for those who want to do something about their hair loss – or just to learn more. Where can they purchase the book?
Dr. Bernstein: You can find it at any bookseller, on Amazon, or through our web site, bernsteinmedical.com.
Interviewer: It was good to have you on the program.
Dr. Bernstein: Thank you.
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