Hair loss is one of the most common complaints in today’s world, causing many of us feel insecure about the way we look. Thankfully, there are some hair transplant procedures that enables new hair to grow. Thus, hair transplantation can be considered as a natural and permanent solution to hair loss.


It is normal to see some hair on our brush when we brush our hair. Even though it’s not visible to the eyes we lose about 100 to 125 hairs each day. When we think of hair loss we mostly think of genetic factors, but there are times when people lose much more hair and it should be noted that there might be many underlying causes of hair loss such as hormonal problems, thyroid problems, and other. If you are thinking of undergoing a hair transplantation surgery, it is safe to seek professional consultation to find out whether if your hair loss is due to some serious problem.


A little bit about the technique

In simplest terms, hair transplantation is a microsurgical operation that is based on extraction of hair grafts from a donor area and implantation of them to the areas where thinning or hair loss is observed. Thus, people who suffer from hair loss or baldness have new hair. It takes time for the new hair to adapt but with time the patient has his/her hair grow again naturally.  Today’s technology enables patients to undergo a very comfortable, almost painless modern procedure. Let’s take a look at a few hair transplantation techniques.


Over the course of time, many different hair transplantation techniques have emerged. In the past, around 1990’s, when hair transplantation started to take shape, people were introduced to a technique called FUT and then it has been replaced by the FUE method which was developed in the early 2000s and introduced in 2005. The latter method, FUE, enables the result look natural and provides high success rate hair restoration. This method leaves patients with least scarring and its recovery time is short. Many transplantation methods used today are based on FUE technique, they mostly differ in the tools used when operating the surgery. 

Classic FUE (via micro motors)
Robotic FUE
DHI technique (FUE performed with Choi implanters)
Sapphire FUE (FUE performed with Sapphire blades)


About the process…

Regardless of the method you choose to go through, each one of them have the same basic principles as follows:

  1. Extraction of hair follicles
  2. Creating incisions for implantation
  3. Transplanting the hair follicles

Extraction of hair follicles

Following FUE method helps the extraction of hair follicles with a high success rate and that is for a reason. Following this method, follicles are extracted one by one using cylindrical needles (don’t forget the tool may vary depending on what FUE method you go for). Using these needles cause the least amount of distortion, making the process smoother.


Creating incisions for implantation

When following the standard FUE method, steel slits are used to create canals. When following aforementioned methods, though, much sharper and smoother sapphire blades are used (see Sapphire FUE). Using sapphire blades help the surgeon to be more precise when determining the correct angle and direction of the transplantation. Furthermore, the healing process shortens when sapphire blades are used.

It is of great importance to follow the growth angle and the direction of the existing hair while creating slits in the recipient area.

Each patient is different, so is the blade tips to be used. Depending on clients’ hair follicle thickness, the type of blades to be used will change as well.


Final stage, transplanting hair follicles

When transplanting the hair follicles to the recipient area it should be done one follicle at a time at an angle of 40-45 degrees, within the incisions created in line with hair growth direction. 

All the stages need to be performed carefully and they require specialty. 

Pros and cons…


Pros

When done properly, hair transplantation procedure pursuits restoration of hair loss caused by male baldness, trauma or burns with a high success rate.

One of the major benefits of hair transplants is that it leaves patients with natural looking hair. The donor area is not visible after the surgery and the hairlines are mixed well. The implanted hair grows naturally as they are extracted from donor area to create the natural hair. The new hair will last for a lifetime, although it needs some time to grow.

The distribution of the follicles will be done balanced as the surgeon extracts and transplants one follicle at a time. 

The latest technology tools used when performing the operation will leave patients with least scarring and pain after the operation. Such an effective process is carried out safely and is painless.

Hair transplantation improve one’s self-confidence. Hair thinning and loss is very common among youth.  As a matter of fact, in today’s world appearance matters the most. After the completion of the treatment, the person will have a head full of hair.


Cons

Depending on the case and the method followed, the operation may get really expensive. It is essential to seek professional consultation to receive what you need. Nothing more, nothing less…

The risk of hair follicles dying before hair regrowth lead to bumps and lumps on the area of transplantation. 
There’s no margin of error for this process as it cannot be reversed. If the growth direction isn’t followed well it may result in a weird-looking hair pattern. Mistakenly implanted hair in the wrong direction or move during healing process hair looks unnatural. 

During recovery, though it is considered short, patients need to prevent itching, pulling, scratching which would irritate the transplanted area delaying the recovery process.

Reference:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hair-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20372926#:~:text=It%20can%20be%20the%20result,most%20common%20cause%20of%20baldness.

 

What are the causes of hair loss and thinning?


We all lose about 100 hairs a day and this isn’t really noticeable since we also have new hair growing. Hair loss or thinning occurs when the hair growth cycle of the scalp is disrupted or when the follicles are destroyed.The most common cause behind hair loss is hereditary condition. Apart from that, hormonal changes in the body, medications and supplements, radiation therapy, stress or hair treatments done wrong can cause hair loss or thinning.

What are the different types of hair transplantation procedures?


There are two main types of hair transplant procedures, yet they work quite similar. The first one is called follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and it’s also known as the “strip method”. It follows the extraction of a strip of skin from the part of the scalp where the healthiest hair growth is observed. Then the strip is dissected to separate groups of 1-3 hair follicles. Finally, the hair will be implanted into the bald patches of the scalp, where the thinning or hair loss is seen.The second method, also the more modern one, is called follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedure. In this method, the grafts are extracted as individual hairs in two-step or three-step technique. Although, the implantation process is still the same with FUT.Even if the latter method is the more common among the society and leaves the patients with less scarring, it’s not always the best option for everyone. People who have weaker follicles are suggested to go with FUT method because it’s success rate in survival and hair restoration is higher both during and after the procedure. Also, FUT should be considered if the area to be implanted is on the larger side.

When is the right time for hair plantation?


Hair transplants can be preferred if female or male pattern baldness is developed in the patients and it’s the only long-term effective solution. Apart from that, the procedure can be applied to fill in scars or restore hair.

Even if the hair starts thinning at a young age, it’s safe to wait until the age of 25, as it will be easier to foresee how the patient’s pattern baldness will progress with time. Nonetheless, there’s no “perfect time” to get a transplant. If you just started losing your hair or have your hair thinning for a while or if you are completely bald, you can consult a surgeon and see the best way to move forward.

What are the benefits of hair transplantation?

As mentioned above, there are two main types of transplant and the only difference between them is the way the donor hair is extracted. Transplanted hair is planted the same way to the balding areas of the scalp.

In financial terms, FUT is beneficial as it’s cost effective when compared to FUE. It takes less time to obtain the donor grafts. The disadvantage of FUT would be scarring as the removal of the strip of skin leaves a scar on the scalp. If the patient wears her/his hair long, then this should be no problem because the scar won’t be that visible. However, the scar will remain visible on the patients who like to wear their hair shorter.

Despite being more expensive, FUE leaves the patients with less scarring as the donor hair is extracted individually, instead of cutting a strip of skin. Red dots appear where the donor hair is extracted and they heal within a few days. Hence, this method is preferable if the patient likes to wear her/his hair short. Also, many celebrities like Wayne Rooney, Calum Best had this method.

When can I return to work after hair transplant?

This mostly depends on the patient herself/himself. If the patient has a desk or basic office job, it’s possible for her/him to return the work the next day after the transplantation surgery. Some patients prefer taking a few days or even weeks off, if they feel self-conscious about their condition.

How long does an average healing last for hair transplant?

Usually the new hair starts growing a few months after the surgery, yet you can expect to see visible results in 8-12 months. It takes almost a year for the new hair to be bedded into the bald patches.

Patients who undergo hair plantation surgery and have a full head of hair now say that the procedure boost their self-confidence and improve their quality of life. The surgery is the only long-term solution to the problem if you don’t want to wear wigs or accessories constantly to cover up your balding areas.

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