Hair Transplant Procedure
Hair transplants depending on the number of grafts are carried out over 1 to a number of sessions. The small wounds from the donor strips of hair are sutured and the wound usually heals in seven to ten days. The hairs are then transplanted into the bald area using small bore needles or blades. A skilled, experienced surgeon seeks to transplant the hair at angles that mimic the hair growth in other areas of the individuals head. This gives a more natural look to hair growth.
Another type of hair transplant, a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) involves removing and transplanting the hair with a small punch, like a cookie cutter. This technique is expensive but avoids in scar lines that occur with the other hair transplant procedure. Follicular unit extraction can be used when someone has a very tight scalp or whose scars do not heal well and leave bigger scars. This procedure can result in damage to the hair follicles being transplanted.
Since hair naturally grows in follicles that contain groupings of 1 to 4 hairs, today’s most advanced techniques transplant these naturally occurring 1–4 hair “follicular units” in their natural groupings. Thus modern hair transplantation can achieve a natural appearance by mimicking nature hair for hair. This recent hair transplant procedure is called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Donor hair can be harvested in two very different ways:
- Strip Harvesting – a strip of scalp is removed under local anesthesia, the wound is then sutured back together and this piece of scalp tissue is then cut in to small pieces of tissue called grafts which are then transplanted back in to the thinning area of the patients head. This method will leave a linear scar in the donor area, which should be covered by a patients hair (if long). The recovery period is around 2 weeks and will require the stitches to be removed by medical personnel.
- FUE Harvesting – Follicular Unit Extraction individual follicles of hair are removed under local anesthesia; this micro removal uses tiny punches of between 0.6mm and 1.25mm in diameter. Each follicle is then reinserted back in to the scalp in the thinning area using a micro blade. Because this is single follicles and no large amount of tissue is removed there is no visible scars or post-surgery pain, with no stitches to be removed. Recovery from FUE is within 7 days.
Upon Consultation your surgeon will be able to discuss the most suitable procedure for your situation.
Transplanted Hair then Falls Out!
The transplanted hair will fall out usually within two to three weeks. The hairs then regrow in the recipient area about two or three months later.
Questions & Answers
A follicular unit is a group of hair as it naturally occurs. Individual follicular units are very small and grow in an irregular pattern. Follicular units are usually preserved in their natural composition. This is important because it maximizes the supply of donor hair and contributes to the finest, most natural looking result. A micro-graft is a graft with 1, 2 or 3 hairs. The goal of any hair transplant procedure is to provide the patient with a very natural look, maintaining virtually undetectable results and optimal density without compromising the donor area. Multiple techniques can be effective but it is the responsibility of the surgeon to select the best method for obtaining a patient’s specific goal.
A consultant can educate you on the causes of hair loss and available treatment options. After your evaluation by a doctor, a final determination will be made as to whether you are a candidate for the procedure. They will analyze your individual hair loss, discuss expectations and outline your options. Factors that determine candidacy for the procedure include the number of grafts that are necessary to produce the results your desire, availability and density of donor hair, hair color, skin color, hair texture, and potential future hair loss.
Hair transplantation has been successfully performed for over 40 years. Recent advances in the use of follicular unit grafts have dramatically improved the results of hair restoration surgery. Transplanted hair looks as natural as the rest of your hair because it is your naturally growing hair. One of the exciting and unique benefits of transplanted hair is that it will grow for the rest of your life.
Hair loss is a problem which persists throughout life. We encourage you to address the issue early… before it becomes more visible. An earlier start will allow your surgeon to camouflage the work while the transplanted hair grows in gradually and unnoticed. There are no age limits (our patients range from 21-80 years old). You don’t have to wait until you stop losing hair to start. There is no magical age where hair loss stops. Doctors take into account your future hair loss, and their surgical plan makes sure you will look natural along the way. If you have been waiting for hair transplantation surgical techniques to be perfected, that time has arrived. Start counting your new growing hairs instead of those falling out.
While Propecia and Rogaine have been proven to regrow hair, they will not grow all your hair back. Their greatest benefit seems to be in slowing down hair loss. Propecia and Rogaine can be part of a very effective hair restoration plan.
The scalp is very elastic. When the donor strip of hair is removed, the scalp on both sides is just pulled together and sutured. The only evidence of surgery is a thin line hidden under the hair that grows vertically on the back of the head.