Many people believe that hair loss is due to hair care products, wearing a hat too often or not taking adequate vitamins. However, the most typical type of male hair loss is “androgenetic alopecia” or male patterned baldness. In general, both genetics and hormonal factors play a part in the loss of hair. Although some people can slow down or reverse the signs of balding with special shampoos and lifestyle changes, others may want to have a hair transplant. Hair restoration can effectively provide a person with a thicker and healthier head of hair. Before you have a hair transplant, here are some things you should know about the procedure.
1. Choose a Surgeon
Hair transplants require a great deal of proficiency and accuracy. Therefore, you will want to choose an experienced cosmetic surgeon who performs hair transplants on a regular basis. The more experienced the surgeon is, the better prepared the doctor will be to deal with any possible complications during surgery.
Ask the surgeon to see before and after photos of actual patients. This will give you a good visual of your expected outcome as well as a better idea of the surgeon’s skills.
3. Realistic Expectations
The best outcome is one where the patient has a complete understanding of the procedure and what can realistically be expected to happen. Every patient is different and your current level of hair loss can impact the level of coverage you can adequately receive from a transplant. How much donor hair you have can place limits on your transplant.
4. Choose a Procedure
The two most common transplant procedures are Follicular Unit Transplant(FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). FUT is also known as the “strip method” where a linear area of skin and hair is removed in order to be transplanted. This technique leaves a liner scar on the head of the patient. FUE uses a diffused dotted extraction method to remove hair and transplant them to the targeted area. This procedure can leave scars but they are seen as tiny dots on the scalp of the patient.
5. Shave or No Shave?
With FUE, the surgeon will need to shave the back of the head. Tiny pinpoint marks will be visible during the healing phase. These marks will be visible until the hair regrows around it. The surgeon will not have to shave your head if you are having FUT since the hair is lifted up during the procedure and taped out of the way. The strip of tissue is removed and then the skin is stitched together so the hair covers the stitches.
6. Hair Transplant Cost
The total cost of a hair transplant varies depending on the fees charged by the doctor, the technique that is performed, the geographic area of the country where the surgeon is located and any additional fees for the surgical facility and anesthesia. A hair transplant is considered to be an elective surgery so insurance normally does not cover the cost.
7. Side Effects and Risks
Temporary side effects and risks of a hair transplant can include bleeding, swelling and numbness. However, these conditions should go away within a few weeks to a month. The results from a hair transplant may not be what a patient desired so an unsuccessful procedure is also a potential risk.
8. What To Expect Immediately After a Hair Transplant
Your scalp will be tender and you will need to wear a bandage on your head for the first few days. There will be some redness that resembles sunburn with tiny grafts sticking out. You can return to work 3-7 days after the procedure. In order to achieve the best results; avoid smoking and drinking after the transplant. Your surgeon will provide you with post-op instructions to help ensure your new hair settles properly in the scalp.
9. Hair Loss Again?
Your transplanted hair will fall out within 2 to 3 weeks, after the surgery. Don’t worry! This is normal and new hair should start to grow within a few months.
10. Lasting Results
The results from a hair transplant should last a lifetime. Many people believe that transplanted hair is weaker than the original hair but this isn’t the case. Due to genetics, the transplanted hair behaves in the same manner, and has the same strength, as the original hair.