Ever thought about getting a hair transplant? Here’s what you need to know.
What is a hair transplant?
Hair transplantation is a minor surgical procedure. During the procedure, hair is taken from the back of the head, and is moved to the area where there is hair loss.
The area where hair is taken for the transplantation is known as the “donor area”. Donor areas for hair transplants are usually the back or the side fringes, where there is a higher density of hair. Additional hair may also be harvested from the beard or chest area for those with good body hair. What makes this procedure so successful is that the hair will retain its growth characteristics even after being transplanted to the bald area.
What types of hair transplants are available?
There are two widely accepted hair transplant options that lead to natural results. They are the Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) and the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
The Follicular Unit Transplant, more commonly known as the “strip method”, takes a strip of skin from the donor area of non-balding hair at the back of the head. The strip is carefully evaluated under a microscope and between 1,000 and 3,000 specifically sculpted follicular-unit grafts are removed and implanted one at a time into tiny openings in the recipient, or balding area. The opening created for each graft is no larger than a pinprick. The gap in the donor area is sutured up to ensure it looks natural after the procedure. The main concern of FUT is that the wound may split open and cause excessive bleeding or gradually spread apart leaving a broaden scar.
Follicular Unit Extraction, on the other hand, is a newer technique. Skin cutting is not involved in this procedure. Instead, hair-follicles are carefully examined and selected under a microscope, then individually removed from the donor area and implanted into the bald area.
What are the differences between these two techniques?
The implantation process is the same in both methods of hair transplant. Their only difference is technique used to harvest the grafts.
While both systems are very effective, they each have their own pros and cons. Sometimes, the hair transplant surgeon may need to combine both in order to achieve the best results.
However, people have shown a preference for FUE over FUT because it leaves invisible scars and requires less down-time.
Am I a good candidate for hair transplants?
The answer to this will mainly depend on two factors: the cause of your hair loss and your age.Is the cause of your hair loss hereditary? 90% of people have genetic hair loss and therefore are suitable for a hair transplant. However, if you have a scalp condition, it might prevent transplanted hair from growing after the transplant.
While Your age should be considered, what is most important is the stability of your hair condition. Some people considering a hair transplant are not in a stable condition and will be disappointed that they are not any better after the surgery with the continuing hair loss. The success of the procedure depends largely on the amount of hair you have lost, your family history, your expectations, and your understanding of the progressive nature of genetic hair loss, among other things. These patients should instead focus on being medically proactive to curb the potential future of hair loss instead.
Are transplants painful?
A properly performed hair transplant should be virtually painless. With or without sedation techniques, even the few minutes taken to administer local anaesthesia should cause minimal or no discomfort.
Once your scalp is numb, you should feel nothing during the procedure.
After the procedure, you should only have minimal discomfort, whichever method you use.
Consult an aesthetic clinic for a consultation on the best hair treatment procedure for you.