Hair Transplant 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Booking that Appointment
They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and this applies to all aspects in life, including our hair.
Thick hair and long luscious locks only seem to be a cause of concern when it is starting to thin out. If natural home remedies and OTC drugs are no longer effective, many people turn to hair transplant for help.
Hair transplant is a form of surgery that involves removing a patch of skin with hair from the back of the head and placing it in the area of the head with thin or no hair at all. It is a procedure done under local anesthesia and performed by a surgeon.
Hair Transplant Side Effects
Just like with all surgeries and medical procedures, there are side effects to hair transplant. Some of these side effects are the following:
- swelling of the scalp
- bruises around the eyes
- lack of sensation on the treated areas of the scalp
- Folliculitis or inflammation of the hair follicles
- shock loss or sudden loss of transplanted hair
These side effects are often minor and tend to clear up one to two weeks after surgery. Should you find these side effects uncomfortable, it is best to seek the advice of your surgeon or GP immediately for the right remediation.
There is also that risk of growing unnatural looking hair, which may look like patches or tufts of hair. Take your time looking for a surgeon, as these are risks often associated with an inexperienced and unreliable surgeon.
Hair Transplant Video
To have an idea of what happens in a hair transplant surgery, you can check the video below:
When it comes to this procedure, not everyone is a candidate. However, good candidates for a hair transplant are:
- Men with androgenic alopecia
- Women with thinning hair
- Any person with a burn or scalp injury
In the same vein, hair transplant is not recommended to:
- Women with anagen effluvium or the widespread loss of hair on the scalp, face, and the different parts of the body
- Individuals who do not have enough hair sites to remove for transplantation
- Patients who are keloidic or are prone to develop thick scars after surgical procedure
- Patients whose cause of hair loss is due to chemotherapy and other similar medications
A comprehensive health examination will be done by your GP to determine if you are a good candidate for hair transplant or not.
Hair Transplant Procedures
There are basically three general parts of a hair transplant surgery.
First, the surgeon cleans the scalp and injects a local anesthetic to numb the area where the strip of scalp will be removed. Using a scalpel, the removed strip of scalp will be set aside and the area will be closed. This area will be immediately hidden by the hair around it.
Second, the removed scalp will be divided into at least 500 to 2,000 tiny grafts each containing a few strands of hair.
Third, after the grafts are prepared, the surgeon now numbs the area of the scalp where the grafts will be placed. The surgeon will then create holes or slits on the scalp using a scalpel or needle, and each graft is delicately placed in each of the holes or slits.
After the grafts have been placed on the scalp, stitches will be made, and the scalp will be covered with gauze or a bandage. And after approximately ten days, the stitches will need to be removed by the surgeon.
A typical hair transplant procedure lasts at least four to eight hours. Should the patient decide to have thicker hair, another hair transplant procedure can be scheduled.
However, the next session must be spaced months apart from the previous session to allow each hair transplant to heal. Ideally, three to four sessions are needed to achieve the full head of hair that is desired.
Hair Transplant – is it worth it?
Although a promising solution to individuals who are going through hair loss and those seeking a long-term solution to their baldness, there are still widely discussed drawbacks and problems of hair transplant procedures that are worth discussing.
First, not all hair transplants are successful or will promise the fullness of hair that existed before the baldness started to set in. But then again, the improvements hair transplants offer are more significant than home remedies and other non-surgical hair loss treatments.
Second, there are patients where hair transplants do not work at all. Hair follicles may refuse to take and offer no improvement at all. At the very least, be cautious of surgeons who promise 100% success on hair transplants since results cannot be guaranteed with full confidence.
Lastly, hair transplants do not come cheap. A typical session can cost up to $8,000, and you will need more than one session to achieve the results you want. Considering the costs and the uncertainty of results should be incorporated in your decision-making process.
To answer the question if the hair transplant is worth it – it boils down to the surgeon you will choose to trust and his or her recommendation after that.
Find the right surgeon. Be assessed if you are a suitable candidate for a hair transplant. Read testimonies, ask friends and family who have undergone hair transplant before, evaluate prices of at least three surgeons, and consider personally if the procedure is right for you.
Talk openly about the risks and the possibilities of hair transplant and from there make a decision.
There is no doubt that hair transplant can make positive changes to a person both physically and emotionally. Improved appearance can boost self-confidence in people who are balding. Especially if you are addressing hair loss as a consequence of pattern baldness, lupus, injuries and other medical problems, a hair transplant might be the best option for you to regain your hair back.