What is a hair transplant?
A hair transplant is a process in which a hair transplant surgeon moves a patient’s own hair to the bald area of the head. They mostly move hair from the back or side of the head to the top or front of the head where they are needed. Hair transplants mainly occur in a medical office under the supervision of a specialist by using local anesthesia.
Causes of hair loss
Pattern Baldness is the leading cause of hair loss. That is also due to genetic reasons. In addition to genetics, the following are the common causes of hair loss.
- hormonal imbalance
- diet, and many more.
What happens during a hair transplant?
Firstly, the hair transplant surgeon cleans your scalp. Then he uses a small needle to numb the area of your head with local anesthesia where the surgery is required.
Then he utilizes the two main techniques used to obtain follicles for hair transplantation. Those include
Let’s see what happens in these:
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation)
- The surgeon first cuts out a strip of scalp with the help of a scalpel from the back side of the head. That incision is primarily many inches long.
- Then, he closes this incision with stitches.
- After that, using a magnifying lens and sharp surgical knife, the hair transplant surgeon separates the removed portion of the scalp into small sections.
- When implanted in bald regions, these sections help achieve natural-looking hair growth.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
- In this process, the hair transplant surgeon directly cuts out the hair follicles from the back of the head through hundreds to thousands of tiny punch incisions.
- Then the surgeon makes tiny holes in the area of your scalp, receiving the hair transplant with a blade or needle. He then gently places hairs in these holes.
- A surgeon may generally transplant hundreds or even thousands of hairs during one treatment session.
- He will then cover your treated scalp for a few days with the help of gauze or bandages after the graft.
What happens after a hair transplant?
You may need to take medications following hair transplant surgery because your scalp may be sore. Hair transplant surgeons usually suggest
- antibiotics to reduce any risk of infection
- anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling
- medication for pain
This surgery takes time to heal, so primarily people can return to work several days after surgery.
For the transplanted hair, it is normal to fall out two to three weeks after the procedure. But don’t worry, this makes way for new hair growth. Usually, people will see new hair growth 8 to 12 months after surgery.
The dermatologists prescribe minoxidil (Rogaine) or the hair growth medication finasteride (Propecia) to improve hair regrowth. These medicines are also beneficial in slowing or stopping future hair loss.
What is the long-term outlook?
Mainly new hairs start growing in the transplanted areas of the scalp in people who’ve had a hair transplant.
The new hair may appear thick or thin dense depending on
- How loose or firm your scalp skin is
- Your scalp’s laxity
- Quality of hair
- Hair curl type
- The density of follicles in the transplanted area, and many more.
However, remember you may continue to experience hair loss in nontreated areas of your scalp. Especially if you don’t take medication (such as minoxidil or finasteride) or undergo a low level of laser therapy from a non-professional hair transplant surgeon.
Therefore, discussing the expected outcome with your surgeon before undergoing a hair transplant is essential. He will guide you properly and help you in developing realistic expectations.