A hair transplant is when a dermatological or plastic surgeon removes hair from a bald spot on the head. The surgeon moves hair usually from the back or side to the top or front of the head.
A hair transplant is usually performed in a medical setting under local anesthesia.
The majority of hair loss is caused by pattern baldness. It all comes down to genetics. There are many factors that can explain the remaining cases, such as:
- Hormonal imbalance
What are the different types of hair-transplants?
There are two types: micrografts or slit grafts.
Slit grafts can contain between 4 and 10 hairs per piece. Micrografts can contain between 1 and 2 hairs per micrograft depending on how much coverage is required.
Who could benefit from a hair-transplant?
A hair transplant can make you look and feel better. These are the best candidates for a hair-transplant:
- Men with male pattern hair loss
- Thinning hair is a problem for women who are female
- Anyone who has suffered a scalp injury or burn that results in hair loss
Hair replacement isn’t a good option for:
- Women with a pattern of hair loss across the entire scalp are known as “hair-loss gals”.
- People who don’t have enough donor hair sites to transplant hair from
- People who develop keloid scars (thick fibrous scars) following injury or surgery
- People whose hair falls are caused by chemotherapy or medication
What happens during a hair-transplant?
After thoroughly cleansing your scalp, a surgeon will use a small needle with local anesthesia to numb an area in your head.
FUT and FUE are the main methods to obtain follicles suitable for transplantation.
In follicular unit transplantation (FUT):
A scalpel will be used by the surgeon to remove a section of the scalp skin from the back. The incision usually measures several inches.
Then, close the wound with stitches.
Next, the surgeon will cut off the scalp using a magnifying glass and a sharp knife. These sections will allow for natural-looking hair growth when they are implanted.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE), the hair follicles can be removed directly from the back of your head using hundreds to thousands of small punch incisions.
- A surgeon will make tiny incisions with a needle or blade on the scalp area that will receive the hair transplant. These holes are made by the surgeon.
- A surgeon can transplant hundreds, or even thousands of hairs in one session.
- The graft, gauze or bandages will be applied to your scalp and left on for a few more days.
A hair transplant can take up to four hours. The stitches will be removed approximately 10 days after the surgery.
To achieve the full hair you want, it may take three to four sessions. Each transplant should be performed several months apart in order to heal fully.
What happens after a hair-transplant?
You may feel a little bit irritated after hair transplant surgery.
- Pain medication
- Antibiotics can be used to lower your chance of getting infected
- Anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling
Many people are able to return to work within a few days of their surgery.
The transplanted hair will usually fall out within two to three weeks. This allows for new hair growth. Most people will notice some new hair growth within 8-12 months.
To improve hair regrowth, many doctors recommend minoxidil (Rogaine), or the hair growth medication Finasteride (Propecia). These medications can also slow down or stop future hair fall.
What are the complications of a hair transplant procedure?
Most side effects of a hair transplant are minor and disappear within a few days.
These can include:
- Scalp swelling
- Bruising around the eyes
- A crust forms around the areas where hair was removed.
- Sensitivity loss or numbness in the treated areas
- Folliculitis is an inflammation of or infection of hair follicles.
- Shock loss is a sudden, but often temporary, loss of transplanted hair
- Unnatural-looking tufts
What’s the long-term outlook for this industry?
People who have had hair transplants will usually continue to grow hair from the areas they transplanted.
Depending on the following factors, your new hair might appear thicker or thinner.
- Scalp laxity refers to how loose or tight your scalp skin is
- Density of follicles within the transplanted area
- Hair caliber or quality
- Hair curl
You may experience hair loss in the non-treated areas of your scalp even if you don’t use medication such as finasteride or minoxidil.