If you’re dealing with seeing your hair fall out or thin, it can be a major issue that impacts self-esteem and interpersonal relationships. By the same token, hair transplant surgery is a big decision that’s not to be taken lightly, and not all transplants were created equal. So if you’re in the market for a hair transplant clinic, it’s important to do your research. Here are a few questions you should plan to ask any surgeon before you go in for your consultation.
At present, there are two main methods of obtaining hair follicles for transplant. The first, and most common, is strip harvesting, in which a strip of skin is removed from an area of good hair growth elsewhere on the body. Surgeons remove fatty and fibrous tissue from the graft and, using small micro blades or needles, puncture the site that will receive the graft. The procedure takes leaves thin scars at the donor area, and the recovery time is about two weeks.
The other method is follicular unit extraction (FUE), in which individual follicular units are removed under local anesthesia and are placed in a predetermined pattern along the scalp in order to give as natural a result as possible. FUE is a much lengthier process than strip harvesting, resulting in as many as 3,000 grafts over the course of two days, but there is no linear scarring on the back of the head, and the recovery time is usually less than seven days.
Anytime you’re undergoing a major medical procedure, it’s important to get a feel for whether your clinician is comfortable with it. Because hair transplants are in such a visible area of the body, it becomes especially important that you and your technician establish a level of trust. If you’re choosing the FUE method, the lengthier and costlier option, be sure to ask your technician about how successful past grafts have been using that particular method, as some surgeons have reported a lower ratio of successfully transplanted follicles, leading to more hair fall out and a greater possibility of future transplants.
As stated above, the recovery time will ultimately depend on which type of hair transplant procedure you undergo, but your results will also vary based on your age and other genetic healing factors you may have. It’s also important that your technician discuss the possible side effects of the procedure with you, such as bleeding, swelling of the scalp, and shock loss, in which you may experience the temporary hair fall out from transplanted sites.
Many people can experience the benefits of hair transplant procedures. People who suffer from pattern baldness, people with thinning hair, or people who have lost hair due to a burn or scalp injury are all good candidates for this treatment. On the other hand, women with widespread patterns of hair loss throughout the whole of the scalp, people who lack donor hair in other areas of the body, and people with thick, fibrous scarring on the scalp should discuss possibilities with a technician before undergoing the treatment.
The success and life of your hair restoration will depend on several factors, but you can expect a higher level of success if you take medication or undergo laser therapy. The donor hair will continue to follow the genetic pattern of the hair at the donor site, so you may experience hair fall from non-donor sites at a slightly different rate than your transplant, which may require future transplants for untreated areas. However, if cared for properly, your hair restoration treatment could last a lifetime.
Shopping for a surgeon to undergo this treatment can be a lengthy, confusing process. But if you’re armed with the proper research and ask the right questions, you could be taking the first steps to a healthier, more confident you.