A hair transplant is a procedure in which the surgeon moves hair follicles from the back or side of the head to the front or top of the head (bald area). This process is also used in transplanting hair in lashes and brows.
Pattern baldness that comes down to genetics is responsible for the majority of hair loss. Other cases are due to a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalance, diet, illness, stress, medications. Receiving a hair transplant can improve the appearance and self-confidence.
Who might Benefit from a Hair Transplant?
Generally, candidates must have healthy hair growth at the sides and back of the scalp to serve as donor sites. Hair color, condition and texture also are considerations. Good candidates for a hair transplant include:
men with male pattern baldness
women with thinning hair
anyone who suffer hair loss due to a burn or scalp injury
anyone with enough healthy hair on their scalp that can be transplanted to the balding area
During a consultation with the doctor, you can find out if a hair transplant is good option for you. He will give you a thorough scalp exam.
Who might Not Benefit from a Hair Transplant?
Hair replacement is not a good option for:
those with a widespread thinning and baldness
people who do not have enough hair in donor sites to be transplanted to the balding area
anyone who form thick, fibrous scars after injury or surgery
people whose hair loss is due to chemotherapy or other medications
Hair Transplant Procedure
A hair transplant typically occurs in a medical office under local anesthesia that makes the scalp numb. The procedure can take between 4 and 8 hours.
After thoroughly cleaning your scalp, the surgeon uses a small needle to numb an area of the scalp with local anesthesia. There are two main techniques for hair transplantation: FUT and FUE.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
FUT is an effective method for hair transplantation in which a piece of skin from the suitable position on the scalp is chosen for the transplant. This technique has a higher yield when it comes to hair restoration. And this can be the main thing for many patients because they are willing to have a long, thin scar on the back of their heads in favor of a higher yield of hair and better results.
The surgeon begins the surgery by removing a strip of scalp skin from the donor area. The incision is typically several inches long. He next separates the removed strip into individual follicular units using a magnifying lens and sharp surgical knife. After that he makes tiny cuts in the scalp for the follicular unit grafts to be carefully placed into, which can leave some scarring. When implanted, these sections will help achieve natural-looking hair growth.
Advantages of FUT Treatment
Large number of Follicles can be transplanted in one session
High survival rate of hair follicles
Yields better quality hair follicles
Lower resection rate
Less time to achieve hair restoration growth
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
FUE is the modern technique to hair transplants in which individual hair follicles are extracted directly from the patient’s donor area, and then are implanted in the balding area, that gives the best result in terms of hair density gained and reduces possibility of scars. Due to less obvious scarring, this technique is usually favored by patients. The FUE hair transplant surgery is especially useful in cases of pattern baldness which is technically known as androgenic alopecia.
The surgeon begins the surgery by extracting follicular units out of donor area. Those taken grafts are kept in a holding solution till the time recipient area is prepared. The surgeon makes tiny holes with a micro surgical needle in the area of the scalp that is receiving the hair transplant. Then he places the extracted follicles in these holes. This procedure is less painful compared to earlier transplant treatments and they tend to produce more advantages also.
During one treatment session, the surgeon may transplant hundreds or even thousands of hairs. Patients may require up to three or four sessions to achieve the full head of hair they desire. Sessions occur several months apart to allow each transplant to fully heal.
Advantages of FUE Treatment
Helps to restore your balding, receding and thinning hair
Ensures a natural looking hair line
Less downtime to heal the wounds
Invisible linear scars or stitches
Low risk of complications
Minimal post- operative discomfort
What can You Expect after a Hair Transplant?
The success and amount of hair coverage on a treated area depends on how many hair follicles remain healthy after being transplanted. Whatever technique you choose, you will be stuck with a bald head for a while. Because the transplanted hair will usually fall out between 2 and 8 weeks after the surgery. However, a new hair will eventually grow to take its place within a few months and most people will see 60 percent of new hair growth after 6 to 9 months. For some patients, it takes 12 months. Sometimes you may need several surgeries to get the hair coverage you want and healing between surgeries usually takes several months.
Potential Complications of a Hair Transplant
They can include:
Scalp pain, itching, and swelling
Bruising around the eyes
Follicle grafts will not “take.”
Crust or pus drainage around the areas of the scalp where hair was removed or implanted
Numbness or lack of sensation around the treated areas of the scalp
Inflammation or infection of the hair follicles (folliculitis)
Shock loss, or sudden but typically temporary loss of the transplanted hair
Visible areas of hair that do not match the surrounding hair or are noticeably thinner
Unnatural look, especially if grafted hair lies next to a patch that continues to thin out; additional surgery may be required in this situation.