Hair loss is a common problem, more so in males. Male pattern hair loss is usually genetic and hormone related and hair transplant offers the best solution.
Hair loss in females is usually related to some metabolic or nutritional deficiency which has to be investigated and treated first before resorting to transplant for resistant cases.
Since causes of hair loss are multifactorial treatments have to be catered according to cause and from simple to more complex.
Usually medical treatment is the first line followed by PRP or stem cell injections and finally a Hair transplant.
Hair transplant meaning
What is hair transplant?
Hair transplantation is a procedure that involves planting any piece of hair-bearing tissue (resistant to hair fall) to the required area which is affected by hair loss. Usually the hair follicles which are extracted from the back of the head will be implanted/redistributed on to the required area. Follicles from the back are comparatively stronger and permanent.
Who should get a hair transplant?
Anyone met with immutable hair loss causing androgenic alopecia (Male pattern baldness) can be an entrant for hair transplant surgery. It also includes thickening or restoring beard, moustache, scars etc. The procedure of hair transplant is sometimes performed for women also.
Hair transplantation in Bangalore has been on for almost 30 years now. The cycle went from Hair plugs to STRIP method or FUT to Single hair FUE or Scar less Hair Transplants
Hair transplant procedure
The procedure is a day care procedure, takes anywhere between 4-8 hours depending on the number of units transferred and the technique used.
Transplantation of hair is done either by one of the two techniques below.
- FUT Hair Transplant (Follicular Unit Transfer)
- FUE hair transplant (Follicular Unit Extraction)
The procedure is done under local anaesthesia and nerve blocks.
Some newer things you might hear about are,
Anagen specific Hair Transplants:
Here, the surgeon chooses the hair follicles to harvest and specifically take the most robust and healthy follicle (In anagen cycle of hair growth). By doing this we ensure we don’t waste any follicles and ensure the post-operative results are good and early.
Body Hair transplants:
Here hair from certain body areas can be harvested for the transfer. But the quality of this hair does differ from the scalp hair.
Robotic Hair Transplants
Here the harvest of the grafts is done using a robotic arm, which along with the computer maps the head and harvests. The grafts with precision once harvested graft are transplanted using the regular technique.
History of Hair Transplant
A little history to know the evolution of hair transplant will give a better understanding of the procedures. Initially it started with using rounded plug of hair transplant. Each plug had 30-35 follicles in it. But this gave rise to a cobble stone appearance and a “rice paddy field” appearance to the head and didn’t appear natural.
Over a period of time the plugs became smaller but still the appearances didn’t change much.
The “”STRIP”” harvest method of FUT hair transplant (Follicular unit Transfer technique) then introduced to the society. When the follicular unit was identified and with better magnification, their isolation became easier, a strip of skin was taken from in between the ears, then this was cut into smaller pieces and then into single follicular units for transfer to the front. This helped give the patients a much natural looking hairline and has from them on become the gold standard for hair transplants.
But the scar at the back of the head was a problem as it was visible if the patients shaved their head and if they had multiple procedures, then over a period of time in about 10-12% cases the scars widened and had problems.
Hence came in the era of “”Scar less Hair Transplants”” or FUE hair transplant (Follicular Unit Extraction). Here individual hair follicles are harvested by ultra-small punches of 0.8-0.9 mm in diameter and the hair is transplanted in to the recipient areas. Because the holes where the follicles are extracted are so small, they contract and close up. So essentially “scar less” is a misnomer as actually there are small pin prick scars but they are spread out and small and hence are not very visible. Also since there is no large cut, healing time is less and patient acceptance is much better.
Recovery time for hair transplant
Immediately after the transplant, the scalp is tender. You are put on pain medication for the next 8-10 days. You will have a cap/dressing over the head for 48-72 hours. Antibiotics, analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs are the norm for the next few days. You can wash the hair in about 6 days’ time. The scabs from hair transplantation may start falling off by 6-8 days and some of the hairs also fall off in the next 2-3 weeks. BUT the follicles are intact inside, so you don’t have to worry.
You will be required to refrain from smoking and use Minoxidil lotion to the scalp starting a week from the surgery for the next 6-8 months.
You will start noticing new growth in a few months. Most people attain about 60-65% growth in about 6-9 months.
Hair transplant before and after
Pictures in the Gallery showcase the results of the procedures done by Dr Surinder and our Board Certified Surgeons.
Hair transplant risks
There are no major associated risks with Hair Transplants.
Pain and swelling are common problems during the initial healing phase, not a problem in FUE Hair Transplant Scar stretch and related problems can happen in FUT Hair Transplant
Hair growth may vary according to the general condition of the patient and scalp and proper use of post-operative medications is necessary.
Hair transplant is a very satisfying procedure to the patient as well as the surgeon. It gives a lifetime of happiness as the transplanted hair stays there. But identifying the best procedure and the best surgeon is of importance as the procedure has to be customized to the specific needs of the patient.
Come meet our experts in hair loss treatment @ Aesthetics Plus to find out what would be the best option for you.