The hair loss and transplant industry has boomed in recent years with a number of celebrity endorsements, however there are still many misconceptions about the treatment. In this article we will explore what hair transplants involve, procedures, how much they cost and who might be suitable for the surgery.
What is a Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure used to relocate hair from one part of the body to another. It is most commonly used to restore hair loss or baldness but can also be used for cosmetic purposes.
The majority of hair loss is caused by male pattern baldness. This is due to genetics. The remaining occurrences are the result of a variety of reasons, including stress, medications, diet, illness, and hormonal imbalance.
What are The Two Types of Hair Transplants?
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
FUT is the traditional hair transplant method which involves taking a strip of hair from the donor area at the back of the head. This strip is then dissected into individual follicles before being transplanted to the recipient area.
FUE is a more recent method which involves extracting individual follicles from the donor area. This is done using a small punch biopsy instrument.
How Much Does a Hair Transplant Cost?
The cost of a hair transplant will vary depending on the clinic and the amount of hair being transplanted.
Who Needs a Hair Transplant?
Not everyone needs a hair transplant. The most common candidates for the surgery are those with male pattern baldness and thinning hair. However, people of all ages can benefit from a hair transplant, including women.
What Happens During a Hair Transplant?
The surgery is performed under local anesthetic. A small section of scalp is removed from the back of the head and this is then transplanted to the bald or thinning areas.
The surgery usually takes between four and eight hours, depending on the amount of hair being transplanted.
Who is Suitable for a Hair Transplant?
Most people who experience hair loss or baldness are suitable for a hair transplant. However, it is important to consult with a doctor to determine if you are a suitable candidate.
A hair transplant is usually performed under local anesthesia. The surgeon will make small incisions in the scalp and then remove individual hair follicles. These follicles will be transplanted to the bald or thinning areas.
The hair follicles are removed directly from the back of the head with hundreds to thousands of tiny punch incisions in follicular unit extraction (FUE). The surgeon makes little holes with a blade or needle in the region of your scalp that will receive the hair transplant. They carefully place hairs into these holes. During one treatment session, a doctor may transplant hundreds or even thousands of hairs. This technique is often used for eyebrow transplants.
In follicular unit transplantation (FUT), the surgeon will remove a strip of scalp skin from the back of the head using a scalpel. The incision is generally several inches long. This is then stitched up. Using a magnifying glass and sharp surgical knife, the surgeon next divides the excised portion of scalp into little pieces.
To achieve the complete head of hair you want, you may require up to three or four treatments. Each transplant is spaced several months apart to allow for complete healing. Depending on the quantity of hair being transplanted, the entire operation might take between four and eight hours.
After the surgery, it is important to follow the post-operative instructions carefully. This includes avoiding strenuous activity, washing the hair gently and using the prescribed medications.
Most people can return to work within a week. However, it may take several months for the transplanted hair to start growing.
How Long Does a Hair Transplant Last?
A hair transplant can last a lifetime. However, it is important to note that the transplanted hair will be susceptible to the same factors that caused the hair loss in the first place. This includes genetics, age, and hormones.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, there is always a risk of complications. These can include infection, bleeding, and hair loss around the transplant site.
What are the Alternatives to a Hair Transplant?
If you are not suitable for a hair transplant, there are other options available. These include medication, wigs and hairpieces.
Hair Transplants – The Bottom Line
A hair transplant can be an effective solution for hair loss. However, it is important to consult with a doctor to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the surgery.