Table of Contents

What Is Hair Transplant Surgery?

Hair transplant surgery, also known as hair restoration surgery, involves a surgical procedure that allows hair to re-grow in areas where it has been permanently lost. Surgical hair transplants involve the relocation of hair to an area that is losing hair from an area that has lots of healthy hair. Hair loss can cause psychological trauma and distress; however, it does not cause any physical harm. For these reasons, many people choose hair transplant surgery.

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  • Postoperative Medication, Shampoo, Lotion
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Hair Transplant

What Causes Hair Loss?

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. It is commonly associated with the process of aging. However, it can affect men and women of any age. Some common causes of hair loss are:

  • Stress
  • Cancer treatments
  • An illness
  • A side effect of surgery
  • An inherited genetic condition
  • Weight Loss
  • Hormonal changes
  • Low levels of iron
  • Injury or burns
  • Skin conditions

When Should Hair Transplant Surgery Be Considered?

Commonly, hair transplant surgery is chosen by those suffering from:

  • Hair loss
  • A receding hairline
  • Baldness
  • Thinning hair

Hair transplant surgery restores hair growth to areas where the hair is permanently lost or thinning.

Androgenetic Alopecia

This is the most common cause of hair loss. A large percentage of both men and women are affected by androgenetic alopecia. More commonly known as Androgenic Alopecia, “Male Pattern Hair Loss,” and “Female Pattern Hair Loss”. Androgenetic Alopecia is caused by a mix of both hormonal and genetic factors. The main hormone responsible for hair loss is called Dihydrotestosterone, which causes a reduction in the size of hair follicles to the point that they disappear. Since hair follicle damage is permanent, hair can no longer grow back. This condition can be inherited from one parent or both parents. The pattern of hair loss and the severity can differ for men and women. Hair loss can range from thinning hair to complete baldness.

Alopecia Areata

The exact cause of this hair loss condition is thought to be associated with issues about the immune system. Hair loss happens when the body attacks and damages healthy hair follicles. This condition can cause the appearance of hair loss in patches on the scalp. Alopecia Areata can also affect hair on:

  • Eyelashes
  • Eyebrows
  • Beards
  • Other areas of the body

This condition can cause permanent hair loss, however, for some, it is not permanent.

Male Pattern Hair Loss

Typically when men lose hair, they experience male pattern hair loss. This is when hair is lost from the sides and top of their head. Commonly it begins as a receding hairline at the front of the head. Hair loss takes place over several years, can begin as early as post-puberty, and can lead to male pattern baldness. Teens can show early signs of male pattern hair loss, which may have been inherited from one or both parents.

Female Pattern Hair Loss

Many women experience hair loss differently from men. Women may begin to notice thinning hair over their entire scalp. Some women experience hair thinning on the top of the scalp, which is more common. Conditions such as menopause or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, both hormonal conditions can be responsible for hair loss in women. Female teenagers may also present with early signs of female pattern hair loss that may have been inherited from one or both parents.

Children, Teens and Hair Loss

Hair loss can affect individuals at any age, including children and teenagers. Premature hair loss in children and teens can be caused by several reasons, such as:

  • Unhealthy nutrition and diet
  • Ringworm – a fungal infection also known as Tinea Capitis
  • Alopecia Areata
  • Stress or anxiety causing the child or teen to twist, pull, rub or pluck their hair
  • An underlying medical condition
  • Possible but rare Scarring Alopecia
  • Puberty – hormonal changes

The Cycle of Hair Growth

Throughout your lifetime, all hair on your body goes through various stages of growth. There are three main phases of the hair growth cycle. They are known as the anagen Phase, the catagen phase, and the telogen phase. During the first phase, the anagen phase, the root, or otherwise known as the hair follicle starts to grow. This growth continues over many years. The second phase, the catagen phase, occurs when the hair follicle has completed its growing cycle and begins to weaken. In the third phase, the telogen phase occurs when the follicle becomes so weak it falls out. This hair growth and loss cycle will repeat itself unless certain conditions occur where the hair follicle cannot re-grow.

Hair Loss Treatments

There are several treatment options for hair loss. Some of these treatments are:

  • FUE Hair Transplant
  • Direct Hair Implantation
  • Eyelash Transplant
  • Moustache Transplant
  • Body Hair Transplant
  • Sideburn Restoration
  • PRP Injections
  • Mineral Supplements
  • Vitamins
  • Ayurvedic remedies
  • Dihydrotestosterone blocking herbs
  • Other herbal treatments
  • Rogaine
  • Propecia/Dutasteride (For Men Only)
  • Spironolactone or oral contraceptives (For Women Only)
  • Hair extensions
  • Wigs
  • Toupees
  • Concealers
  • Hairstyle changes
  • Laser therapy

PRP Injections Treatment

Platelet-rich plasma therapy for hair loss involves a three-step medical treatment. Thinning hair men and women can both benefit from this hair loss treatment. The PRP treatment involves extracting blood from the patient, processing the blood, and then injecting the processed blood back into the scalp. It is thought that increases in blood supply to hair follicles in the affected areas can trigger natural hair growth. This process can also increase the thickness of the hair shaft, making it stronger. As far back as the 1980s, PRP injection therapy has been used for many healing treatments for injured tendons, muscles, and ligaments.

Hair Transplants

Hair transplantation or often referred to as hair restoration is often the preferred treatment for men experiencing male pattern baldness and thinning hair. The two most popular ways a hair transplant is performed is through Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). Hair transplant surgeries can take between 2 and 8 hours and may often require more than one surgery, depending on the area of hair loss being treated.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

An FUE hair transplant involves the removal and relocation of individual hairs. Most commonly, this procedure is performed on the scalp; however, it can also be performed on other areas of the body. The procedure begins with shaving the area of treatment. Individual hairs are then removed by using a punch tool, a device specifically used for this purpose. The individual hairs are removed one at a time. The removed hairs are then inspected, and the strongest ones are chosen for the transplant. The surgeon will then make tiny cuts in the area of treatment. The individual hairs that have been extracted and selected will then be inserted into these tiny cuts. For full hair restoration, the total number of hair follicle grafts can range from 1400 to 6400, depending on the size of the treatment area. FUE treatments should only be performed by a surgeon highly trained and experienced in surgical hair transplants and dermatology. They are having a hair transplant performed by such a surgeon can greatly reduce hair transplant before and after complications.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

This surgical technique involves the removal of a strip of healthy skin and hair and relocating it to the treatment area. Often referred to as the strip method, it is most commonly used for hair loss on the scalp. During this procedure, the surgeon will remove a large strip of healthy hair and skin from the sides or back of the scalp. This large strip is then cut into smaller sections or strips. The smaller sections are then separated into follicular units or grafts containing approximately two hair follicles each. The surgeon then makes tiny cuts into the scalp of the treatment area. The grafts are then inserted into these tiny cuts. The original wound that was created by the removal of the large strip of skin and hair will then be closed using non-dissolvable or dissolvable stitches.

What are the Main Differences Between FUE and FUT Surgeries?

There are a few differences between these two types of hair transplant surgeries. The process in which the hair follicles are extracted is the biggest difference between these two surgical procedures. FUE hair transplant surgery does not leave any major scarring at the hair follicle extraction site, whereas FUT does. FUT requires the use of stitches, whereas FUE does not. FUE offers better control of the outcome of the surgery as only select hairs that have the best chance of growth are used for the implant. The scarring between the two procedures is very different. An FUE scar will present with tiny dotted scars at both the extraction site and the insertion site. A FUT scar will leave a long scar where the strip was removed.

Post Hair Transplant Surgery Care

For reduced complications and optimum hair transplant results, post hair transplant surgery care is very important.

Day of Surgery – the area of treatment will be covered with a bandage to prevent swelling, expect to see scabbing on the treated site, and redness on the donor site, these spots will fade within a couple of weeks. You will be given oral medications to prevent infection. Sleep in an upright position to reduce swelling.

Day One – Do not wash hair after surgery as alcohol and anticoagulants can cause bleeding.

Day Two – Swelling will increase for approximately four days, continuing to sleep in an upright position will help reduce swelling. Do not wash your hair as your scalp needs to be kept dry to allow wounds to heal.

Day Three – This is the first day you can wash your hair, be sure to follow specific hair washing instructions given to you at the hospital

Day Four – Wash hair again in the morning, do not expose your treated areas to the sun for at least 15 days to avoid scalp and plant hair damage. You can wear a hat but choose one that does not place pressure on the treatment area.

Day Five – Wash hair with the specialized sprays and shampoos given to you by the doctor

The First Week – Always keep the transplanted area clean by avoiding excessive sweating and dust to prevent infections. Avoid extreme stress, excitement, and extreme sports. Continue to use medications and topicals given to you by the doctor.

Day Ten – Scabs and crusts are to be removed at this time. For the following six months, the hair should be cut using scissors only.

The Next Three to Four Weeks – in the first 4-6 weeks, it is common to spill most of the planted hair. However, the planted hairs will begin to appear within 3 to 5 months. By month 7, you can expect to see 80% of the planted hair emerge. The outcome can take up to 12-15 months.

Note: It is very important to take all the medication that the doctor has given you.

Before and After Hair Transplantation Surgery

Before Hair Transplant Surgery

People choose hair transplant surgery for cosmetic reasons. Hair loss does not cause physical health conditions; however, it can greatly affect one’s mental health. People who suffer from hair loss quite often experience feelings of depression and anxiety. They are quite often self-conscious about their hair loss and avoid social interactions without wearing a hat, hairpiece, or wig. However, these items only mask hair loss, and they don’t treat it.

After Hair Transplant Surgery

Patients who have undergone hair transplant surgery become the person they were before losing their hair. They are much more confident and have higher levels of self-esteem. They can enjoy all the activities that hats, hairpieces, and wigs may not have allowed them to. They can feel confident with their physical appearance and live a happy, fulfilling life.