Hair loss is a difficult thing to experience, yet it is something that approximately 50% of women and 70-85% of men will have to face in their lifetime. When you start noticing more hair on your pillow and in the drain it can feel like your life is over. Hair loss diminished your self-esteem and damages your image. The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia which is also known as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. The good news is that many people suffering from this type of hair loss can find help with a hair transplant.
How Hair Transplants Work
The goal of a hair transplant is to evenly distribute your actively growing hair over your scalp to create to fill in thin spots and eliminate bald spots. In androgenic alopecia, the hair follicles on the top and front of the head are affected by a metabolite of testosterone known as DHT (dihydrotestosterone.) DHT causes susceptible hair follicles to stop growing. The hair follicles on the sides and back of your scalp are not susceptible to DHT. This is why men with advanced hair loss on top may still have thick hair on the sides and back of their heads. When these follicles are transplanted to other areas of the scalp they continue to grow where they are placed because they are resistant to DHT, and so you get long-lasting results.
Before considering hair transplant surgery there are a few very important things to do and consider. The first thing is to decide on a hair transplant clinic. Here at the Hair Restoration Institute, we have the best hair transplant surgeons, so you won’t have to worry if your surgeon is fully qualified. The next step is to have a consultation with the hair loss experts at the clinic so they can evaluate your hair loss patterns and determine the best course of action. You will also want to discuss potential hair transplant side effects, risks, and complications while you are there so that you can make the best-informed decision.
The Hair Transplant Process
There are a couple of different types of hair transplant surgery to consider. Both offer incredible results but differ slightly in how they are performed. With both procedures, your surgeon will begin by shaving down the hair in both the donor area and any remaining hair in the area to be transplanted and cleaning your scalp. They will also inject medication to numb your scalp to keep you comfortable during the procedure. Now let’s talk about the differences.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)- Using an advanced medical device that uses suction to extract the follicles from your scalp, your surgeon will harvest individual hair follicles from the donor area. The surgeon will then sort and treat the extracted follicles to prepare them to be implanted. The surgeon will then uses an implantation device to gently insert the follicles in a precise and diffuse pattern making sure to follow the direction of natural hair growth. To fill in the balding areas and create a natural-looking hairline.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)- Once our scalp is prepped your surgeon will remove a thin strip of scalp from the donor area and close the incision with sutures. A technician will take this strip of scalp and separate and sort the hair follicles to prepare them to be grafted into their new home. The surgeon will then carefully implant the harvested follicles in a natural-looking pattern. This is the less time-consuming of the two procedures so if hair transplant cost is a concern this may be the procedure for you as it costs less.
Hair Transplant Recovery
Recovery from hair transplant surgery is not lengthy. If you’ve had the FUE procedure you can expect to heal more quickly because the procedure causes less trauma to your scalp. In general, you can expect to be healed and scab free within 10 days of the surgery. During your recovery, you may experience shock hair loss. This is due to the shock that the hair follicles experience during the transplant. The transplanted hairs begin to fall out within a few days to a few weeks after surgery. This is a normal part of the recovery process and does not indicate that the surgery was not successful. Within 6 months to 1 year, the hair will grow back in and thicken to reward you for your patience by giving you back the look you want- a completely natural-looking head of hair.
Maintaining Realistic Expectations
It’s important that you have realistic expectations in regard to hair transplant surgery. While a hair transplant does give you a seemingly full head of hair it can not give you back exactly the head of hair you had in your youth. There are only so many hair follicles to work with and that will limit the final density you are able to achieve with surgery. Hair transplant results will vary by person depending on the severity of hair loss, how many actively growing follicles you have left, as well as your hair type and texture. Your surgeon can give you a good idea of how your hair will look after surgery.
If you’re ready to learn more and discuss your hair transplant options we invite you to schedule a private consultation at the Hair Restoration Institute. We will evaluate the health of your hair and scalp as well as the degree of hair loss and discuss the best option to restore your hair and bring back the look you want. You can find us at 1201 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas, or call 817-854-HAIR (4247) for a discreet and complimentary consultation.