Hair transplant

A hair transplant is a procedure in which a plastic surgeon or dermatologist moves hair to the bald area of the head. The surgeon moves the hair from the back or side of the head to the front or top of the head. The hair transplant procedure is done under local anesthesia. Patterned baldness is responsible for the majority of hair loss which focuses on genetics and the possible factors can be diet, stress, illness, hormonal imbalance, and medications.

There are basically two types of hair transplants such as slit grafts and micro-grafts. Slit grafts consist of 4-10 hair per graft whereas 1-2 hair per graft, depending on the coverage needed.

Principle of hair transplantation

Hair transplantation depends on donor dominance which means hair at the back of the side of the scalp are tend to grow throughout life even after hair loss. There is no hormonal influence and whenever a hair transplant is done on the bald area, then they can be washed and trimmed the way you like. Future hair transplant sessions will be required as you grow and age or the balding process.

How does a hair transplant work?

The area where hair needs to be grown is cleaned and numbed so that the surgeon can make cut holes or slits with a scalpel or needle and carefully graft is placed in the hole. The procedure takes between 4 to 8 hours depending on the amount of hair transplant. If the hair fall continues or you desire thicker hair then you may require another operation.

Hair transplant treatment

There are basically two techniques to obtain follicles for hair transplant treatment I.e., FUT and FUE.

FUT stands for follicular unit transplantation in which,

The surgeon will use a scalpel to cut out a strip of scalp skin from the back of the head. The incision is typically several inches long. Then it is closed with stitches. Then, the surgeon will separate the removed portion of the scalp into small incisions using a magnifying glass and a sharp scrape knife. When implanted, this help achieves natural-looking hair growth.

In FUE or follicular unit extraction, the hair follicles are removed from the back of the head through hundreds of small punch incisions. The surgeon makes tiny holes with a blade or needle in the area of the treated hair growth and hairs are placed gently in these holes. During a treatment procedure, the surgeon transplants hundreds to thousands of hairs.

A hair transplant session will take around 4 hours or more and the stitches will be removed after 10 days of the procedure.

What happens after a hair transplant?

The patient’s scalp gets sore and might need some medications after the hair transplant surgery, including

  • Pain medications
  • Antibiotics to reduce infection
  • To reduce the swelling, anti-inflammatory medications are needed

In most cases, people can return back to work after few days after the surgery. The transplanted hairs fall out after 2 to 3 weeks to make space for new hairs to grow. Most people observe hair growth after 8 to 10 months post-treatment surgery.

For hair growth, doctors prescribe certain medications such as minoxidil and hair growth medication finasteride which helps to slow down future hair loss.

Complications associated with hair transplant treatment

Side effects from the hair transplant surgery are minor but can involve

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Swelling on the scalp
  • Bruising around the eyes
  • Itching
  • Numbness or lack of sensations around the treated area
  • Inflammation and infection of the hair follicles
  • Shock loss and sudden temporary loss of transplanted hairs
  • Unnatural-looking tufts of hairs

The people who have got hair transplant surgery will observe the growth of new hairs. The density of new hairs depends on

  • Scalp laxity
  • The density of the hair follicles
  • Hair quality
  • Hair curl

If you don’t take medications such as minoxidil and finasteride or undergo less intense laser treatment, then you may continue experiencing hair loss in untreated areas of the scalp.