Hair transplantation is a relatively dense subject that is often hard to comprehend. Below we’ll answer some of the most asked questions about hair transplants that will hopefully help breakdown the topic and address your concerns.
1- When is the best time to have hair transplants?
Those who suffer from traumatic alopecia or traction alopecia without male pattern baldness can seek treatment whenever it is convenient for them. However, the case is different for androgenic alopecia. With male pattern baldness, the patient should opt for the procedure once the hair loss has stabilized as it affects the quality of donor follicular units and consequently the results of the surgery.
2- Are hair transplants always effective?
Hair transplants are useful in the treatment of select classes of alopecia. Androgenic alopecia, traumatic alopecia, and traction alopecia are conditions that can be reversed with hair transplants. The conditions above share a mutual feature, and it is the existence of a stable source of donor hair.
Donor regions are regions of stable hair growth that is unaffected by hair loss and is permanently resistant to the incident of dormancy. Androgenic alopecia is notorious for its distinct pattern of hair loss that is mostly attributed to the difference in androgen sensitivity between follicular units in the back of the scalp and those in the crown area. The androgen resistant properties are genetically predisposed providing, therefore, a solution to male pattern baldness. The androgen resistant grafts are transplanted to areas of hair loss where their properties remain intact generating hair growth in target areas.
Similarly, traction alopecia and traumatic alopecia refer to hair loss from styling and accidents accordingly. Hair loss in the conditions above is not contagious and does not spread to other areas. In other words, the unaffected areas can act as a reservoir of donor hair.
Although the three conditions mentioned above are treatable with hair transplants, some cases are eliminated due to the patient’s inadequate supply of donor hair. If you would like to evaluate your scalp’s donor regions and recipient sites, contact Vera Clinic. Vera Clinic is a hair transplant center that provides consultation sessions solely for the purpose of educating patients on hair transplants.
Alopecia areata, alopecia universalis, and alopecia totalis are not reversible for hair transplants. The former results in unpredictable hair loss which makes the available hair unsafe for hair transplants. The latter result in complete hair loss in the scalp and consequently terminates the supply of donor regions.
3- How long is the duration of the procedure?
Hair transplants require approximately six hours to finish. The procedure is divided into four main stages — extraction, preservation of grafts, channel opening, and finally implantation.
Extraction: during the extraction phase, grafts are extracted from areas of hair growth and preserved in a Hypothermosol solution.
Channel-opening: The process of channel opening prepares the recipient site for the surgery. A micro-sized blade is employed to create incisions that will later embrace the extracted hair.
Implantation: Implantation marks the end of the procedure. The grafts are placed in the previously made incisions.
4- How many techniques of hair transplants are there?
This point confuses patients the most, while it may seem like the list of hair transplant techniques there are in reality only two basic methods of hair restoration: Follicular unit transplantation and follicular unit extraction.
The two techniques follow a similar protocol but differ in the extraction phase alone. In FUT transplants, the harvesting process of grafts is invasive. To collect follicular units, a strip of the scalp has to be surgically removed and later dissected. The size and depth of the wound result in a linear scar and the possibility of permanent nerve damage.
FUE transplants is a procedure of a minimally invasive nature. Instead of excising strips of skin from the scalp, grafts are obtained individually. A micro-punch surrounds the graft and isolates it by creating incisions around the graft alone and later extracting it with forceps. The manner of the extraction phase leaves no visible scarring or nerve damage.
5- Does the extracted hair grow back?
Every person is born with a unique set of follicular units that vary in their sensitivity to androgens. If exposed to damage, or dormancy as a result of molecular mechanisms the grafts are permanently gone. Therefore, when extracting follicular units and relocating them, they are never replaced in their original location.
For that reason, the patient has to have a sufficient supply of donor hair that could cover balding scalp without jeopardizing the scalp in the back. In addition, patients should be careful with their scalp post surgery and abide by aftercare instructions provided by the surgeon.
6- Are the results immediate?
The only immediate change noticeable will be the hairline. The scalp might appear spotted with blood and scabs, but hair transplant centers like Vera Clinic offer a clinical washing session the day after the surgery to gently remove the clots and scabs. The results of a hair transplant take a full year to appear, and minor changes occur within this period.
The hair will first begin to shed during the first month, and this may be a cause for concern to a few. In reality, shedding is an integral part of the process and should not be a cause for worry as the grafts are still in place and will generate newer stronger hair in the future.
Four months into recovery and the scalp becomes ridden with acne. Again this is a natural process and is the result of folliculitis from brittle hairs growing out. Over time hair growth becomes more prominent and the hairs more pigmented and healthier. Once past the one year mark, no further changes will occur, and patients should enjoy a head full of hair. Of course, the hair could be treated like regular and styled how the patient desires.
Hair transplants a successful hair restoration treatment and the only permanent solution to hair loss. If you would like to know more about hair transplants, book a free online consultation with Vera Clinic.