A hair transplant is a surgical procedure involving the removal of hair follicles from one section of the body also known as the donor area and then implanting them into the area that is affected by hair loss (recipient area).
Two methods are commonly used during hair transplant; Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). FUT is a procedure where the doctor removes a strip of donor skin and micrografts on the balding site, earning FUT the term “strip surgery.” FUE, on the other hand, is a procedure where actual individual follicles are extracted one graft at a time before being placed (grafted) into the balding area.
Approximately 60 percent of the male population and 50 percent of the female population worldwide will experience hair loss at some point in their life. While many swear by the change in diet, and the use of personalized supplements to stimulate hair growth, others opt for a hair transplant, which, in some respects, can be a quicker and provide more drastic solution. In most cases, hair transplant is the only viable solution.
Both men and women can be good candidates for hair transplants. Most men lose hair through Male Pattern Baldness (MPB), where the hair thins via the hairline, sides and back. For women, the cause hair loss can vary. Many women will experience thinning or bald patches in smaller areas across the scalp or experience an overall thinning.
Hair transplant Procedure:
Here’s how the FUE procedure works:
Donor Graft Extraction
During this step, the surgeon uses a specialised tool to extract donor grafts from the patient’s donor area. During an Advanced FUE procedure, grafts are always extracted one by one from the back and sides of the scalp. This type of extraction does not leave an elongated scar on the donor area.
As grafts are extracted, our team preserves them for implantation. Once a graft is extracted from the donor area, it is cleaned, sorted according to the number of hairs it contains and submerged in an active plasma solution, which maximises survivability.
Once a sufficient amount of grafts is extracted, implanting into the recipient area begins.
After the main stages of a hair transplant are completed, it is important to follow correct aftercare procedures. This includes washing the donor and implantation areas, protecting the transplanted grafts the elements, excessive rubbing, impacts and direct sunlight. The surgeon will also schedule a follow-up a day after the hair transplant to check on the recovery progress.
Hair Transplant Frequently asked questions:
What causes hair loss?
The most common cause of hair loss is genetics. Both men and women inherit the gene for hair loss from either or both of their parents. Men are most commonly affected by the inherited gene as the hormone, testosterone, activates the genetic program causing loss of hair follicles. There is no known method of stopping this type of hair loss currently. The age of onset, extent, and rate of hair loss vary from person to person.
Do hair transplants really work?
Yes. The transferred tissue is not “rejected” as it is not foreign tissue. The transplanted hair maintains its own characteristics; colour, texture, growth rate, and curl, after transplantation and regrowth. The vitality of the grafted follicle is maintained by the rich blood supply to the scalp.
What is Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)?
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is a type of hair transplant done by taking individual hair follicles from one part of your scalp or body and moving them to another part of your body where hair’s thinner or absent.
What is Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)?
Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT for short is a process of removing a thin strip of hair-bearing scalp from the donor region of the scalp. The hair follicles are dissected into 1-3 hair groups under a high powered microscope and implanted into premade incisions to fill in bald or thinning regions of the scalp. The process produces a thin scar that is easily covered by hair. Once again the hairline will be completely natural-appearing. The main advantage to the FUT or often referred to as a “Strip” hair transplant is that it’s usually less expensive than an FUE.
What can be expected after hair restoration surgery?
The postoperative course will depend on adherence to the instructions given after surgery. Small scabs will form on the scalp at the graft sites. These scabs disappear in 4-7days. It is advisable to take at least two days off work after surgery. Patients should avoid strenuous physical activity for at least five days after surgery. Typically the grafted hair will shed in 2-4 weeks. New growth will begin in 3-4 months and length will increase approximately 1/2 inch per month.
Are hair transplants painful?
Most people are surprised at how little pain there is during the procedure. Some discomfort is to be expected as the anaesthetic is injected into the scalp. Once the skin is anaesthetized, there is no pain. If the numbing medicine wears off during the course of the procedure, more is injected to re-anaesthetize the area.
How long does the surgery take?
The hair transplant surgery can take anywhere from 8-12 hours depending on the complexity and size of the case.
How long will my transplant last?
Hair transplants are a permanent solution to hair loss. Regions of the scalp that possess permanent hair have been determined by the careful study of thousands of balding scalps. Hair grafts are only harvested from these permanent regions to ensure the baldness will not occur in those regions again. When grafts are moved from the donor area in the back of the scalp to the recipient site (typically the front of the scalp or the crown area), then these grafts show ‘donor dominance’, that is they retain the permanence of the donor area.
Can women have hair transplants?
Women also have excellent success with hair transplants.
What will it look like after the procedure?
The grafts form small scabs in the days after the procedure. If one has enough surrounding hair, these scabs can be camouflaged with creative styling. If not, the small scabs may be visible but do not attract much attention. By keeping the scalp moist, the scabs usually come off in about a week or so.
When will my hair begin to grow?
Most patients begin seeing some very evident hair growth within 4-6 months. The full results from your hair transplant will be apparent within 12 months.
When can I go back to work?
Depending on the type of procedure you have done and the type of work you do, it is often possible to go back to work the next day. Your surgeon will discuss this with you during the consultation.
Am I a Candidate for Hair Transplant Surgery?
Most people with hair loss will find that they are eligible for a hair transplant. Advances in technology and refinement of techniques have made the surgery possible for most types of hair curl, grouping and thickness. A consultation with us is the best way to determine your eligibility.
How many grafts will I need?
A region of balding or thinning scalp the size of a closed fist requires approximately 1500 grafts to fill in appropriately. The number of grafts required is best determined during a consultation.
How long is a recovery from hair transplant surgery?
Full recovery from your hair transplant will require 7 to 14 days. Depending on the type of surgery, FUE requires a shorter recovery period than a FUT surgery, you should be able to return to most of your regular activities with 2-3 days with the exception of strenuous physical activity. Returning to work may be at the longer end of the 7-14 day spectrum if your work environment is dusty or dirty.
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