Hair Transplants – An Overview
Hair transplants, hair transplantation, hair transplant surgery, hair restoration, hair implant, hair transplant operation, surgical hair restoration are the different names of the same medical operation. Hair transplant is a minor medical and cosmetic surgery. It involves the moving of hair from one part of the head to the other. To be more precise, it is the extraction of hair follicles (grafts) that are genetically resistant to falling, and that are on the back of the scalp and the sides, and the transplantation of these follicles on to the incisions made on the balding parts of the scalp.
Hair transplant is the moving of one’s OWN hair – the transplanted hair is not extracted from someone else’s scalp. Hair transplant is not the removal of someone else’s hair. This is because of the tissue compatibility.
Hair Transplant Techniques
Hair transplant surgery has evolved tremendously, and it has become less invasive. The hair transplant cost has also dropped thanks to the newest technology and the high demand. There are basically two hair transplant techniques: FUE hair transplant and FUT hair transplant.
FUE Hair Transplant
Also, known as FUE, FUE technique, FUE method, FUE restoration, FUE standing for Follicular Unit Extraction. Follicular units are the units of hair on our scalp – our hair exists in units of 1-4 hair strands.
FUE is often less invasive than other methods, particularly, robotic FUE hair transplants achieve aesthetically pleasing results.
FUT Hair Transplant
FUT is the abbreviation for Follicular Unit Transfer. This method involves the removal of a strip from the back of the patient’s scalp, and the dissection of this strip into follicular units.
What is Hair Transplant Like?
The process is fairly simple, and it is a minor surgery. It is performed under local anesthesia.
We should perhaps talk about hair loss before going into detail. Hair loss is a natural human phenomenon. It occurs in everybody. Our hair has a life cycle, and different hair strands exist in different phases on our scalps. It is usually natural to shed up to 150 strands every day, however, if your hair loss is more than that, it is best to visit a dermatologist.
There are many reasons for excessive hair loss such as pregnancy, hormonal imbalances, malnutrition, shock effect after an accident or a surgery, and illnesses.
Male pattern hair loss also known as androgenetic alopecia is a type of hair loss where one loses their hair on the top and front of their scalp. It is a genetic condition, and some people are more prone to it. It mostly occurs in men, but some women can experience it too.
This is currently the only and most suitable type of hair loss for getting a hair transplant. The main logic behind a hair transplant is to collect the hair on the back of the scalp – where there is no excessive loss, and to transplant it on to the balding parts of the scalp.
Who is It For?
Hair transplant surgery is not for every hair loss patient. Hair transplant for women is possible but only in those who do not have diffuse hair loss. Women often have diffuse hair loss where hair is lost overall the scalp, and there is the risk of losing transplanted hair. However, some female hair loss sufferers have male pattern hair loss, and this makes them a good candidate for hair transplant.
Men with genetic hair loss are often suitable to get a hair transplant.
What is the Procedure Like?
Hair transplant surgery has three stages: the pre-surgery (before hair transplant) period, hair transplant surgery, post-surgery (after surgery) period.
Often, a hair loss sufferer visits a dermatologist for their assessment. Assessment by a medical doctor is necessary. Depending on your hair loss pattern, your doctor might ask you to take some tests. After the assessment, you find out if you can get a hair transplant.
At this stage, your doctor might ask you to take certain procedures, and follow some guidelines such as not smoking, taking certain medications.
It is important choose a reliable hair transplant surgeon. One way to choose is to look at the before and after hair transplant pictures, or meet real patients. The hair transplant surgery itself is straightforward. In Turkey, often a single session is enough because the hair transplant teams can work 6-8 hours per day, and the teams have many experts operating at the same time.
Hair transplant is performed under local anesthesia. It is pain-free, and has minimal side effects and complications in a generally well person. You can usually watch TV, read, and eat during your hair transplant. Some clinics give breaks for you to visit the bathroom.
After your hair transplant, you can go home. If you cannot take a leave from work, you can resume work and every day life, the day after your operation. Most surgeons would expect you for a follow-up examination. They might demonstrate how to show special care for the first few days after surgery. You can always call your doctor to ask questions.
After your hair transplant, you will recover quickly. There will form scabs on the back of your scalp but these will not remain there for too long. The scars are very tiny, and usually not easily visible to the eye.
There will be no scarring on the recipient area. Your transplanted hair will start falling after a while, and it will grow back within 6-8 to one year after the hair transplant. This is due to the natural life cycle of the hair. It is normal to expect seeing your full hair after a year, and more dense and fuller effects after two years. Your transplanted hair stays on your head forever. It will go gray as the rest of your hair, and if done well, it will look natural.
Which Areas Can Receive Hair Transplant?
Hair transplant can be performed on the scalp, on eyebrows, eyelashes, beard, and mustache. The donor site is the back and the sides of the scalp. In rare cases, body hair can be transplanted too, though this is not recommended due to the nature of the body hair. Facial hair transplant is slightly more difficult to perform than scalp hair transplant.
Which Instruments Are Used?
The instruments used depends on the surgeon and the clinic. It also depends on the case. Not all hair loss patterns are suitable for robotic hair transplant. Small motors called robotic devices, micro blades and needles, punches, forceps can be used during a hair transplant.
Differences Between FUE and FUT
Some surgeons are more experienced in performing FUE hair transplants, others are more experienced in FUT hair transplants. FUE is a more advanced method than FUT. It leaves minimal scars, almost not visible, and covered with hair as it grows. Also, it has fewer complications, but in some cases, FUT can be a better option.
Try to find a surgeon who can perform FUE hair transplants. If you are told you are not suitable to get one, or if your surgeon favors FUT, find out why. Make sure you have a choice.
Who Can Perform Hair Transplants?
Hair transplant is a cosmetic surgery, and it can only be performed by a hair transplant surgeon. Due to the nature of the operation, surgeons need team to help them during the operation. These teams consist of medically trained staff such as technicians.
How is My Hair Designed?
It is very important to consult an experienced hair surgeon for proper diagnosis. Your diagnosis defines your hair transplant results in many ways. Your surgeon can tell how your hair design can look, and try to understand and meet your expectations. A good surgeon takes into account your complexion, your natural hairline, and your hair type when they are performing your hair transplant. The amount and nature of your hair on the back of your scalp also plays an important role here.
How Much Does Hair Transplant Cost?
FUE hair transplants are gaining ground, and many people are wondering how much they cost. The cost of a hair transplant depends on the country. Countries like Turkey have affordable operational costs, and the surgeons can charge less than in Europe or in the US.
The prices vary from surgeon to surgeon. Grafts also define the price. How many grafts you need, how advanced your hair loss is, how flexible your scalp tissue is are important elements in determining the cost of your hair transplant.
The expertise and skills of your hair transplant surgeon do not always mean that your hair transplant should cost you a fortune. Particularly, all-inclusive packages in Turkey for international hair transplant patients prove to be efficient.
How Long Does It Last?
Hair transplant results stay with you forever. The transplanted hair is resistant to genetic hair loss. However, especially twenty years ago or so, patients received hair transplants that they are not satisfied with – some resulted in hair transplant scars. Hair transplant surgery can be performed on those who have hair transplant scars from former surgeries. These can be covered with a hair transplant surgery.
Pros and Cons
When it comes to hair transplants, it is hard to find cons if the transplant is done properly.
The cons are:
- In all industries, there is black market. We will talk about this in a bit. It is essential to find the right surgeon. An unreliable and not medically trained person can cause harm.
- If one chooses the US or Europe for their hair transplant, it can be very costly.
- The results are permanent, but then this is a great pro if the hair transplant result is good.
- Scarring can occur in rare cases, or incorrectly performed operations.
- Side effects might be experienced as in all other medical and cosmetic operations. If the patient is generally well, this is unlikely to happen.
The pros of a hair transplant are:
- The results are permanent. No more hair concealers – or less use of them. No more hair care products. Once hair is transplanted, it will not fall out because it is the resistant hair follicles.
- It is cost-effective in the long run.
- It has aesthetically pleasing, and natural looking results. The results are undetectable if the surgeon is skillful.
- Minimal complications, and minimal scarring occur.
- It is pain-free.
- It is safe.
- It boosts one’s self-confidence, and changes self-image, and public image.
- According to research, those who received hair transplants are more successful in their private and professional lives.
- It is low maintenance. It is your own and natural hair.
- The recovery time is very quick. Returning to work and your everyday life is not a problem.
What to Watch For?
For the best results and a rewarding hair transplant journey, finding a reliable and the best hair transplant surgeon is the first important thing to do. A great hair transplant surgeon ensures greatest results.
Hair transplant operations require surgical skills and expertise.
If you consider hair transplant and are on a budget, you can look for countries where hair transplants are more affordable. Turkey is a top destination in hair transplants.
It is very important to choose a surgeon and a clinic licensed and authorized to perform hair transplant. The surgeon and their team should be medically trained and certified. The clinic where the operation takes place should have surgical conditions and be sanitized at all times.
It is also important to be cautious about online or published adverts. The before and after hair transplant pictures do not always represent reality. It is best to choose a world renowned surgeon.
When you make a query, learn about the surgeon, their teams, how long the operation takes, which procedures are used, which equipment is used, how many grafts are often transplanted, what is the recovery time – and any questions that you might have.
Once you select a surgeon, visit them for evaluation. This should be free of charge, however, depends on the surgeon. The best hair transplant surgeons are not always the ones who charge the most for your hair transplant.
It is natural that your transplanted hair falls out, and starts growing back usually around the sixth month into the hair transplant, and also, you can see the full results after one year.
If you have any illnesses, and use any medications, do not forget to tell your surgeon when they make a medical assessment. Visit the clinic before you have your hair transplant, and talk to real patients if you can. Keep a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle to achieve the best hair transplant results.
What Does Science Say About Hair Transplant?
Hair transplant surgery is currently the most advanced and the only permanent solution to male pattern hair loss and balding spots that are not caused by diffuse hair loss. Stem cell hair transplants are currently not available, and yet, hair scientists are working on several different solutions to find other treatments for hair loss. However, scientist agree that the current methods for treating male pattern hair loss are highly efficient.
The successful results depend on the skills and expertise of the hair transplant surgeon and their team, the equipment used (the needle size and type), resistance and elasticity of the scalp, the pattern, the general well being of the patient.
Hair loss treatments such as the prescription of drugs that promote hair growth prove to be successful in some cases, however, this depends on your hair loss, and hair transplantation is still the only permanent solution.
You can find out more about hair research, hair transplant FAQs, and statistics on the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery website.
If you are woman experiencing hair loss, it is best to get your evaluation by a dermatologist, and if your hair loss pattern is suitable for a hair transplant, you can get one. Eyebrow and eyelash restorations are also quite effective.
Hair transplant costs vary, however, do not hesitate to get a quote and evaluation from the best hair transplant surgeons. Try to get a FUE hair transplant if your hair loss pattern suits. Hair transplant reviews can be helpful but keep in mind that there are unjust or exaggerated reviews too. The best hair transplant clinics would have the option of robotic hair transplants. Do not believe them if someone tells you that they can perform stem cell hair transplant which is currently not available, not to be mixed with hair PRP or stem cell therapy though. They are not medical surgeries but treatments.