I am a 30-year-old man and I have been losing my hair gradually since high school. I have tried all kinds of shampoos, tonics, hot and cold applications, vitamins etc. It is a hereditary trait, but it has never started this early in other men in my family. What can you tell me about hair transplants?

Hair loss can be attributed to trauma such as surgery, a heart attack, high fever, crash diets, long-term emotional stress or burns.

Using certain systemic drugs, such as cholesterol-reducers or the chemical agents in chemotherapy, steroids or amphetamines can also cause hair loss. I do not know of any hair tonic, cream or shampoo that will stimulate or restore hair growth.

Hair transplants, hair weaving, hair implant and fibre implants are other choices.

In hair weaving, the person’s own hair from the neck area is used to anchor a woven hairpiece to the scalp.

This can weaken and damage what is left of the person’s hair and the process has to be repeated frequently. In hair implantation, the hairpiece is sutured to the scalp, which can lead to scarring which may destroy some of the healthy remaining hair follicles.

Fibre implants are synthetic fibres that are woven to the scalp. This process can lead to infection, soreness, numbness or scarring.

Hair transplants are done by qualified hair specialists, plastic surgeons etc. Hair is generally taken from the back of the head because it is the strongest and transplanted to the area in either strips or plugs.

A plug may consist of 25 to 50 hairs. One transplant session may consist of moving 20 to 40 plugs which is done under a local anesthesia. After surgery, the head is wrapped in a pressure dressing so that bleeding is minimal.

The transplanted hair will last approximately a month and then fall out gradually while the hair follicles undergo a resting phase.

This is normal, especially after the trauma of surgery. This phase may last two to four months or longer, depending upon the person. It will take at least a year to see if the results show growing hair.

Usually the new hair will have a coarser texture, but the color should be the same as your transplanted plugs.

Transplanted hair should be treated very gently. Use wide-toothed combs, not a brush, and comb the hair slowly. Don’t allow water to pelt down onto the scalp when you are washing your hair in the shower.

Use a gentle-formula shampoo, and gently massage the scalp; don’t scrub or scratch the scalp with your nails. Pat hair dry, do not rub it.

How long should one keep mascara? Is a year too long? How can you tell?

It depends on how you use mascara, but generally, mascara should be replaced every three to five months.

The potential for contamination of mascara is very high, especially when it is used every day.

If the mascara has an odd odor, goes on clumpily, has changed color or appearance, then it should be replaced.

To keep micro-organisms at a minimum, don’t share your mascara with anyone, do not touch it to the eye, don’t add water to it, don’t pump the wand up and down because that dries it out and wash your brush or wand once a week.

I thought a facial would get rid of blemishes, but instead, more developed. What happened?

Several factors could cause break-outs, but, a facial will help bring impurities and toxins to the surface instead of leaving them in the skin. If your esthetician used products that have active ingredients, these will stimulate the skin to get rid of toxins. This is quite a normal reaction. Usually the skin is better from the second day on, therefore don’t book a facial immediately before an important event. If makeup is applied after a facial, or you exercise right after (perspiration can be irritating), or you expose skin to the sun, wind etc., this can also cause a reaction.