Hair transplantation is a medical procedure to restore hair in the balding areas on the scalp. One of the most commonly preferred hair restoration methods, hair transplant surgery offers patients natural-looking hair with permanent results. In this method, your doctor will take healthy hair follicles out from the donor area, and then harvest them into the balding areas on your scalp, or in any other part of your body. The balding area is called the recipient area, and the areas to take the hair transplantation grafts are called the donor area. Grafts are pieces of skin containing one or more hair follicles. Your doctor will not collect the hair follicles but the grafts during the graft extraction phase.
What Are The Types Of Hair Transplantation Methods?
There are two main types of hair transplantation methods: FUT and FUE. The main difference between FUT ( Follicular Unit Transplantation ) and FUE ( Follicular Unit Extraction ) is that your doctor will use different techniques to take out the grafts from the donor area. In FUE, your doctor will cut a strip of skin while they will use a tool to take the grafts one by one during FUE. FUE is considered more advanced as it leaves no scar. During FUE, your doctor will make only small incisions to collect the grafts which will cause a little trauma to your scalp as compared to the FUT method.
If your donor area does not have enough healthy hair follicles, you may not have the procedure or your doctor may use different areas such as pubic hair and the chest hair to collect grafts. Apart from the donor area, the thickness, strength, and color of your hair will affect the success rate of the procedure.
Who Is An Ideal Candidate For A Hair Transplant?
Even though almost everyone who would like to have a hair transplant can have the procedure, but some people are better candidates than others. There are factors such as age, the cause of the hair loss, and the general health of the patient to decide if you are a good candidate for the surgery. Even though someone as young as 20 years of age and someone as old as 70 years of age can have the procedure, age may still pose an obstacle for some. For example, young patients have an unstable hair loss pattern and if they have the procedure at a young age the hair loss will continue and they will need a second surgery in the following years. Plus someone very old may not have enough hair follicles in possible donor areas.
If the hair loss is caused by an autoimmune disease or another chronic disease, the hair shedding may continue after the hair transplant procedure. So the hair transplant procedure most probably will fail. The ideal candidate for a hair transplant procedure is a middle-aged person with androgenetic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness, is caused by genetics and hormonal issues. People who are genetically sensitive to a male hormone called DHT will lose hair in a pattern specific to male-pattern hair loss. The hair follicles taken from the donor area are resistant to the effects of the DHT hormone, so they will not shed after the hair transplant procedure.
What Are The Side Effects Of Hair Transplantation?
Hair transplant is fairly a safe medical procedure with minimal side effects and complications. However, as is the case with all surgical procedures, there are possible side effects and complications that you may experience. Here are some of the possible side effects and complications of hair transplant procedure:
- Pain on the area of surgery
- Itching and swelling
- Inflammation called folliculitis
- Loss of sensation on the area of surgery
How Long Does A Hair Transplant Procedure Last?
How long hair transplantation will last depends on various factors such as the patient’s needs, and the technique of hair transplantation. If the patient has large spots of balding areas, then the surgery may last longer. The FUT method will most probably last 3-4 hours. However, the FUE method will last at least 4 hours as your doctor will have to collect the grafts one by one with a variety of techniques such as micromotor or manual-punch. According to the patient’s needs, the doctor will choose the most adequate method and apply the necessary techniques for the success of the surgery. We also recommend checking out our hair transplant FAQ section.