Hair transplant is a surgical procedure of removal of the hair follicles from any parts of the body and planting them areas of the head that are either thinning or have no hair. This process is known to be Follicular Hair Transplant. It can be performed by using two types of procedure, which is, Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) or Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) is a transplantation technique involving naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs which are called follicular units. These follicular units consist of sebaceous glands (oil or sebum), a small muscle and occasional fine vellus hair which are removed from the donor area of hair and is inserted into thinning or balding areas (recipient area) following natural hair growth patterns. This technique involves planting the follicular units in the targeted area via stereo microscopic dissection. Generally this procedure will leave fine scar as the wound edges are closed.
Whereas, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a minimally invasive procedure where it involves the extraction of individual follicular units from the donor area, strand by strand without a surgical incision involvement. The physician will then harvest the follicular units and implant them in the balding or recipient area. Unlike FUT, FUE does not leave linear donor scar. FUE is mostly indicated when the patient has widened scar or scalp laxity which are not suitable for FUT procedure.
How many treatments do I need to see hair growth?
Although the process for the procedure can take up a lot of time, a single session is sufficient in completing the treatment. However, a second session may be required if the density of the hair growth in a previously transplanted area does not meet expectations, to ensure refinement of the hairline from the first transplant and if further hair loss occurs after the first transplant. Careful evaluation and planning will be done to decide if the procedure requires a second session.
Does the hair transplant procedure hurt?
This is the most common question asked by patients. Most of them have the impression that hair transplant procedure can be very painful. Rest assured, prior to the transplant, local anaesthetic will be administered to the area of targeted area and this will reduce any discomfort during the transplant process.
What does a hair transplant cost?
The cost of a hair transplant is very variable from individual to individual. The most important factor is that as explained above, there are many various ways of treating hair loss.
Hence, it is important to speak to your doctor to get advice on choosing the right treatment for you. Then, you will receive an individualized quote and payment plan.
Where else can hair transplant be done?
There are other instances of hair transplant surgery being applied which include:
- Androgenetic alopecia
- Eyebrow transplant
- Frontal hair line lowering or reconstruction (naturally high hairlines without an existing hair loss condition)
What happens after hair transplant procedure?
You will feel sore and there may be swelling after the procedure. Medications that you are required to take including:
- Pain medication
- Antibiotic to avoid risk of infection
- Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling.
Most patients return to work several days after surgery. Two to three weeks after the procedure, you may notice transplanted hair falling out. This is to make way for the new hair to grow. For most people, 60% of new hair will grow six to nine months after the surgery.
What is the recovery time?
You will notice some scabbing and swelling around each follicle right after the procedure, and it will take about a week for it to reduce. Patients can easily return back to their daily activities about seven to ten days after the procedure. Typically, hair at the treated area will naturally grow over four to six months. Your new hair will be visible and your hairline starts to form. It takes about 18 months for the full hair transplant to be visible as hair only grows around 1 cm per month. Patience is needed to see results.
Are the results permanent?
The results are permanent as it grows from your own natural hair. Although some of the transplanted hair follicles won’t last long, about 90% of them will be retained. Most results are satisfactory and chances of restoring your image is higher!
Is it possible to use someone else’s hair in hair transplant?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to be done as your body will reject the transplant without the use of immunosuppressive drugs. Immunosuppressants will lower your natural immune response which increases the probability of getting infections and even cancer.
Also, using someone else’s hair in transplant is not desirable for aesthetic reasons. Finding the right donor hair to complement and blend with your existing hair can be quite significantly challenging to perform.
What are the side effects in hair transplant surgery?
The side effects are usually minor and normally resolves within few weeks. Side effects include:
- Swelling of the scalp
- Bruising around the eyes
- A crust that forms on the areas of the scalp where hair was removed or implanted
- Numbness or lack of sensation on the treated areas of the scalp
- Inflammation or infection of the hair follicles (folliculitis)
- Sudden but typically temporary loss of the transplanted hair (called shock loss)
- Unnatural-looking tufts of hair
What is expected in long term in hair transplant?
People who have gone through hair transplant will continue to grow hair in the transplanted area. There are several factors that contributes to the growth of the hair, this depends on:
- Scalp laxity (how loose your scalp skin is)
- Density of follicles in the transplanted zone
- Hair caliber or quality
- Hair curl
Typically, your doctor will prescribe your minoxidil (Rogaine) or Propecia (hair growth medication) to improve the regrowth of the transplanted hair. If you are not compliant to the medications, you may continue to experience hair loss in the non-treated areas of your scalp.
*Results May Vary
*Results May Vary
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*Results May Vary
*Results May Vary
*The above pictures are for illustration purposes only. Your results may vary.