Hair transplantation has become more popular in recent years, especially with more exposure in mainstream media. Because of this, people have been seeking more information on the specifics of the procedure. The most common questions on the subject are about how hair transplants work. To clear the air, we’re going to answer the public’s most common questions associated with hair transplants.
What Is A Hair Transplant?
Let’s start off by explaining what a hair transplant actually is. Hair transplantation is the process of taking hair follicles from one part of the body and moving them to another part of the body. This surgical procedure is performed in order to minimize the appearance of hair thinning and balding. Men who are experiencing Male-Pattern Baldness are the most likely to seek this procedure.
How Much Does A Hair Transplant Cost?
Most insurance plans do not cover hair transplant surgeries. Because of this, it is quite a costly procedure. The cost of the surgery depends on the amount of hair being transplanted and the individual doctor. At Colorado Surgical Center and Hair Institute, we charge $2.00 per graft. Our surgeries cost between $3,000 to $6,000.
How Do Hair Transplants Work?
Hair transplantation is a complicated process. It may begin with a surgeon shaving the scalp, but it depends on the surgeon’s planned course of action. If not, the surgery begins by cleaning the hairline and then numbing it, as the patient will typically be awake for the procedure.
The two most common types of hair transplants are Follicular Unit Extraction and Follicular Unit Strip Surgery. Based on the patient’s personal preferences and the surgeon’s recommendations, one of those procedures will be performed. The surgery can take up to ten hours.
After the surgery, the area will scab and remain tender for three to five days and must remain bandaged for that time. Many patients will take medication to ease the pain. After a few weeks, the hair that had been transplanted will actually fall out, which will leave room for the new hair to begin to grow. Over the course of six to nine months, the patient’s natural hair will begin to grow again, sometimes with the help of medication.
Do Hair Transplants Work?
The fact that doctors can move hair from one part of the body to another is incredible. It seems almost too good to be true. So this makes sense that a big concern of the public’s is, “do hair transplants work?”
Short answer: Yes, they do!
The procedure typically results in 10% to 80% of full hair re-growth for most patients after two months and continues new growth for up to one year. It depends on a variety of factors such as the individual’s physiology and the specifics of the procedure.
There are some risks associated with the procedure. The most common being bleeding and infection, but these can be easily treated by a doctor.
What Is A FUE Hair Transplant?
One of the most common procedures is known as Follicular Unit Extraction. The FUE hair transplant involves taking grafts of skin that contains healthy hair follicles and moving them to the bald or balding area. The procedure takes between eight and ten hours, with a recovery period of up to five days. The FUE leaves a very faint scar line that fades more and more with time.
Having a full head of hair can bring confidence to people, and because of that, the lack of it can be devastating. More and more are seeking hair transplants every year and thankfully, the industry’s technology is constantly advancing. In the future, we hope to see a 100% success rate.
If you are considering receiving a hair transplant, call Colorado Surgical Center and Hair Institute.
Hair transplant can make you look younger and more attractive. Your doctor will need to prepare you for the surgery so that you will know exactly what to do to make the procedure go better. If you follow instructions, you will have a much better outcome.
When the doctor sees you a couple of weeks before surgery day, she will go over again exactly what procedure you are getting. The surgery will be explained to you in detail so that it will be fresh in your mind before you make that final commitment. She will go over any problems she sees that might come up during the hair transplant procedure.
Then, you will be given instructions to make your hair transplant surgery go better. Some of the items on the list might seem like the doctor is interfering with your life, but they are truly necessary if you are to get the best outcome.
You will be told to quit smoking, at least until after you have healed from the surgery, if you are a smoker before the hair transplant procedure. This is important because smoking makes you heal slower by inhibiting blood from flowing to your skin.
It may be hard to do, but if you quit smoking just for the surgery, it might not be so hard. Then, once you have done that, you may find that you want to stay off the cigarettes or cigars even after the hair transplant have healed. If not, then at least you will have allowed your skin to heal.
You may be given specific guidelines for eating in the weeks leading up to the hair transplant surgery. Excessive drinking may be a problem due to anesthesia and medications you have to take in the course of having your hair transplant done, so you may be asked to refrain from drinking until your head has healed. You may even be told whether or not to take certain vitamins and medications.
The doctor will discuss where your hair transplant procedure will take place. She may even have a nurse or helper give you a tour of the facility. It will most likely be a doctor’s clinic or an outpatient surgery center. You will be made to feel as comfortable as possible. Unless you are one of a very tiny group, you will not have to stay in the hospital overnight.
You will have time to discuss anesthesia with the doctor. She will probably tell you that you will be sedated and given a local anesthesia. This will be enough to help you relax and keep pain from being a part of the hair transplant procedure. You will only feel pressure on your scalp.
Finally, you will be told to make arrangement to be taken home on the day of the hair transplant surgery. You will not be fit to drive because of the sedation; at least, it would not be wise to do so. Since you probably need to take it easy the first day or two, you might want to ask someone to stay with you, although that is purely optional.
If you follow all your doctor’s recommendations, you will be thoroughly prepared for you hair transplant surgery when the day comes. It is a big deal to you, so you might as well treat it with the seriousness it deserves.
Once you have made the decision to have hair transplant surgery, you are probably jumping ahead to thinking about your post-op plans. You most likely cannot wait to see the faces on your friends and acquaintances when they notice your new full head of hair. In the meantime, you have to go through the surgery and take care so that your hair transplant will be successful.
Your hair transplant will not heal unless you keep the newly operated-on skin out of the sunlight. The surgery will make the skin especially sensitive. If you protect the skin on your scalp after getting a scalp hair transplant, you will help the wounds heal much faster.
You can start out by getting some kind of hat. It does not matter what kind of hat it is, as long as it is fairly loose-fitting so that it does not rub on your new hair transplant grafts. You should not have to put up with this for long. After a couple of weeks, you can replace the cap with sunscreen. It should have an SPF of at least 30.
Having just the right amount of blood flow to the hair transplant sites will make a big difference in how fast they heal. For example, you need to make sure you get enough blood flow during the night. You can do this by sleeping on pillows to elevate your head. Your usual pillows can be used, or you can buy wedge-shaped pillows made for this purpose.
On the other hand, you do not want too much blood flow. You should get plenty of rest after your hair transplant surgery. For the first few weeks it is not wise to engage in any physically demanding activities. Then, the blood flow will be too much. Your transplants may start to bleed.
It is important to clean your hair just as your doctor recommends after hair transplant surgery. You will be given a special shampoo to use and specific instructions on how and when to use it. It is necessary to clean gently but thoroughly. At first, you may find yourself rinsing your hair many times a day. Just be sure that you do not bother the hair transplant site by scratching or rubbing it.
Your hair transplant doctor will want you to come in for a check of your transplants about a week after your surgery. Be sure to be at that appointment on time. If you have any questions about how to care for your hair, bring them up at that time.
Ask your doctor when you will be ready to use a comb on your new hair. You might be surprised at how soon you can use one. Then, your doctor will schedule other check-ups, which you should also attend.
At first it may seem as if you have to be very careful with your hair – and you do! It does not make sense to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars having your hair transplant surgery and then not follow through with good care. However, in no time at all, you will be treating this new hair just as you treated the hair you once had there.
Balding is not just a men’s problem; women often lose hair as they get older as well. You might wonder, if that is the case, why more women do not have hair transplant surgery. You may be surprised to know that many women are not good candidates.
Women usually have a different type of hair loss than men. Male pattern baldness uncovers parts of the top of the head. However, the sides and back of the head are usually covered with healthy balding-resistant hair follicles.
Men with this pattern of balding will have donor hair that survives the hair transplant process and flourishes long afterward. That is because a naturally-occurring enzyme in the body combines with testosterone to create a chemical called DHT. This chemical is responsible for the hair loss on the tops of men’s heads when they have male pattern baldness.
However, it does not affect the back and sides of their hair in most cases. These areas have healthy hair follicles and make excellent donor sites for hair transplant surgery. These are called stable sites because they remain unchanged over time rather than shrinking like the hair follicles affected by DHT do.
Female pattern baldness is different. In most cases, they do not have large areas of stable balding-resistant hair follicles. The sides and back of their hair tends to thin just as the front and top of the head do. The DHT affects all the areas of their hair.
Any hair follicles that are affected by DHT will simply fall out if they are moved by hair transplant procedures. Moving them from one place to another does not affect the basic nature of the hair follicle.
Also, women do not have the problem of receding hairlines in most cases. Their hair is lost in a more diffuse manner, thinning uniformly all over the head. It is not so much where their hair is that is the problem, but how much they have. Hair transplant surgery will not correct this problem. It is best used to move hair from one place to another.
There is a very small percentage – about 5% of all women with baldness problems – who are good candidates for hair transplant surgery. The thing that all these women have in common is that they all have healthy areas of hair follicles that can be used as donor sites.
For example, women with mechanical or traction Alopecia have lost their hair because they have scratched their head for a long period of time, they have used tight rollers or their hair has been pulled or stretched in any manner. These women almost always have an area of their hair that is unaffected. If they do, they can have hair transplant procedures.
Some women have cosmetic surgery and suffer hair loss around the incision sites. In these cases, hair transplant surgery can help. Other women actually have a pattern of hair loss that is similar to male pattern baldness. These women are able to have the surgery, too.
Finally, women who have suffered trauma from accidents or burns are good candidates for hair transplant procedures. If you are a woman with balding problems, is worth the time to consult with a doctor to find out if you are one of the women who can benefit from hair transplant surgery.
For most women with thinning hair from age or hair loss from weight loss or disease, stem cells are a much better option.