If you are losing your hair, you probably have lots of questions about your condition and whether you should seek treatment. If you want to pursue hair transplant, the specifics of your surgery will surely bring even more questions. Below, we explore the hair transplant basics to answer your initial questions. Then, if you decide to have your own surgery, you can visit with a hair restoration expert for answers to more in-depth hair transplant FAQs.
What is a hair transplant?
Hair transplants are a surgical method of using donor hair from one region of your scalp to add hair where you experience balding or thinning. This process is called grafting, commonly known as transplanting. A hair transplant is an option to many of the 60 percent of men who experience hair loss. Otherwise, you can try over-the-counter medications like minoxidil to improve your hair growth.
One of the least known hair transplant basics is that surgeons have performed this procedure since 1939. The “plug” technique developed several decades after the first surgeries. But modern medicine has enabled progress in the field of hair transplant surgery. Today’s procedures involve mini-grafts and micro-grafts that do not create the “plug” look. Instead, a man having hair restoration surgery today can enjoy a natural looking hairline.
Does hair restoration surgery work?
Another one of the hair transplant basics and a definite hair transplant FAQ is whether the procedure works. In fact, you can likely achieve better results from a transplant than from over-the-counter hair treatment products.
What you can expect from a hair transplant includes 10 to 80 percent of the transplanted hair to grow back in just three to four months. But just like with the rest of your scalp, this transplanted region may experience some thinning over time and as you age.
Another one of the hair transplant basics to remember is that surgery is not right for everyone. It works primarily for men with natural balding or thinning such as from male pattern baldness. It can also work for those who lost hair because of an accident or injury.
How does the transplant work?
Your hair restoration expert can explain the process and hair transplant basics specific to your individual needs. He can show you where on your scalp he will acquire the donor follicles and, in turn, where he will transplant them. For most hair transplant recipients, the donor follicles usually come from the back of the head.
Of course, this procedure is a surgery. This means that there are typical risks associated with any surgical procedure. It also involves use of anesthetic. These are case-specific hair transplant basics you can discuss with your surgeon.
Two Methods of Hair Transplant Surgery
There are two types of hair transplant surgeries. These include FUT and FUE. Below, we look at the hair transplant basics for these two methods:
- Removal of a strip of scalp with healthy hair follicles, usually from the back of the head
- Closure of the donor area wound using stitches
- Separation of the donor strip into smaller pieces, each small piece being a graft containing one or more hairs
- Making small holes in your scalp using a needle or blade where the grafts are transplanted
- Inserting the donor grafts into their new places on your scalp
- Covering your surgical wounds with gauze or bandages
There are multiple factors in determining how many transplants you will receive. These factors include your hair type, the transplant site size, hair quality and hair color.
- Shaving hair from the back of your head
- Extraction of individual follicles from your scalp on this shaved donor site
- Creation of small holes where follicles will be transplanted into your scalp
- Grafting of the donor follicles into the holes
- Covering the surgical site with gauze or bandages
Recovery from Hair Transplant
Both FUT and FUE require several hours for completion. Some men need multiple procedures performed over several days. Your surgeon can help you understand what to expect from the length of your surgery and recovery. But most people return home on the same day as their procedure.
You can expect some swelling and pain or soreness at the surgical sites. Your surgeon may use a triamcinolone injection to reduce swelling. Otherwise, he may prescribe ibuprofen, antibiotics to prevent infection and anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling.
Some of the hair transplant basics of aftercare include:
- Do not wash your hair until cleared to do so by your surgeon
- Use only mild shampoo until your wounds heal
- Return to work and normal activities in three days
- Avoid pressing a comb or brush over the grafts for three weeks
- Do not wear hats or pullover clothing until your surgeon clears you to do so
- Do not exercise for one week
One of the most common hair transplant FAQs after surgery is, “What if my hair starts falling out after surgery?” Do not worry about hair falling out. This is a normal event after the procedure. It usually takes several months for hair to grow as it typically would and match the hair around it.
Schedule a Consultation with a Hair Restoration Expert
The best way to have your hair transplant FAQs answered is to schedule a consultation with an experienced hair transplant surgeon. Dr. Arthur Zacco of AZ Hair Restoration in Raleigh and Apex, NC is happy to answer your questions and provide individualized consultation including hair transplant basics. Schedule your visit today by calling 919-615-0577.