What is hair transplant?
When we move hair from the sides or back of the head where the hair is permanent and then transplant this where the area of the head has thinning or balding hair (alopecia), we call this hair transplant.
Once the hair has been transplanted it will continue to grow for the rest of this person’s life. This is the best proved treatment for alopecia. Dr. Bernstein created the publication “Follicular Transplantation” in 1995 and this has been the basis for alopecia treatment by hair transplant ever since. When natural hair is used to transplant, it produces the best results. The hair transplanted are follicular units, which are made up of 1 to 4 hairs from the scalp. It takes skill to remove these units from the scalp of the donor and to make sure they are placed on the scalp of the patient in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing so the hair looks the way it should on the head.
Before & After Hair Transplant
Types of Hair Transplants
There are two main ways to get hair from the donor scalp. FUT or Follicular Unit Transplantation is the more traditional method used. In this method, a long thin strip is taken from the donor scalp by using microscopes; the follicular units are taken out. FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction is the newer method and this is where the follicular units are removed, one at a time from the scalp.
Once the follicular units have been obtained then the next steps are essentially the same. The patient receives thousands of needle sized holes in the scalp to implant the hair grafts. Once the holes are made, then the follicular units are placed there. This step can take several hours or even longer to complete. In about 2-3 months, the hair begins to grow and the transplant will be completely mature in about 1 year. The way the follicular units are arranged on the scalp from the transplant is why this method produces the most natural form of hair transplant.
Are You Candidate for Hair Transplant?
There are four basic criteria for you to be considered for a hair transplant procedure which are listed below.
- You need to have significant hair loss which impacts your appearance now
- You have been unresponsive to traditional medical procedures for hair loss (If you took this route)
- You have realistic expectations about the results you’ll achieve
- There’s enough donor hair to satisfy needs now and in the future
Hair transplant surgery is not a preventative method for hair loss that may occur. This is a procedure to undergo once the hair loss has accelerated significantly and your appearance has been impacted by it. The procedure does not stop the progression of normal hair loss. Medical therapy can be used to prevent hair loss if it’s started in the early stages. You get no benefit for getting a hair transplant early on unless it’s cosmetic in nature. You can wait for surgery as it can be done at any time and no windows close making it impossible to have done.
FUT or Follicular Unit Transplantation
When FUT or Follicular Unit Transplantation is done, the back and sides of the scalp are used from the donor. A strip or single thin layer of tissue is removed. This area is then stapled or sutured which produces a thin scar. The strip of tissue is placed under a series of stereo microscopes and then the hair is dissected into follicular units which vary from 1-4 units of hair.
The follicular units are placed on the sites that the surgeon makes on the scalp of the recipient in the area where there’s baldness. There’s quick healing and no scarring that occurs in this area.
FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction
When FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction is done the hair grafts are removed individually from the sides or back of the donor scalp. This is done by robotic control or by hand with a round cutting instrument. It takes about one week for the small holes to heal on the head. Several different punches are used for the procedure with various pros and cons for each one. The grafts are placed into sites on the recipient’s scalp where the baldness occurs.
Repair of Poor Hair Transplant
Various transplant techniques can be used when the hair restoration does not go quite as planned. These restorations can be used to fix scalp reductions, old plug style procedures, widened donor scars or flaps as well as other hair transplant issues. There’s usually graft removal or camouflage as well as re-implantation of smaller units to correct the problem to get the best natural results. Patients may not have the best donor services for hair so transplant are usually done with a great deal of care.
Restoration and Eyebrow Transplant
Eyebrow transplant surgery is similar to other hair transplant procedures. Since the eyebrow is a bit different, there are specific techniques that are used so the eyebrow looks aesthetically pleasing once the transplant is finished. An eyebrow transplant is done when there’s eyebrow hair loss for various reasons. There’s usually enough donor hair because of the small amount needed to fill out the eyebrow area.