With so many choices promising miracle cures and scar-free surgical procedures. It is important to research and know what you are getting yourself into.
2 HAIR FACTS – there is no miracle cure for hair loss and any hair transplant or surgical hair restoration procedure will leave some kind of scarring
Hair restoration is becoming more and more popular. Partly due to social media. Making everyone more conscious of cosmetic appearance and wanting to be seen at your best all the time.
Personalities are now coming out to have had a hair transplant. This widens the appeal to the man in the street. Footballer Wayne Rooney, actor James Nesbitt maybe the most well-known receivers of a hair transplant. But the list also includes TV star Calum Best, chef Gordon Ramsay, actor Rob Brydon.
The cost is often reported in the tens of thousands of pounds/dollars and euros. This can put many people off even thinking about this as an option. Or drive them into the hands of low-cost providers. Often using inferior medical equipment, techniques, and unqualified staff to reduce the costs.
Prevention sometimes is better
Depending on your hair loss stage and age a hair transplant may not be the best first option. But to preserve and improve what you still have can be the priority and a less costly option.
Treatment can even reduce the size of a hair transplant required. As well as slow down progressive hair loss. There are many treatments promising hair growth and cures. It can be hard to know which to choose. But there are only three FDA approved hair loss treatments available at present.
Minoxidil (Rogaine®) is a topical application applied to the scalp twice daily. 1ml each application. Available over-the-counter in 2% or 5% lotion. Now in a foam form. The active ingredient is thought to increase blood circulation locally, acting as a vasodilator.
Finasteride (Propecia®) is a tablet taken daily. It acts by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Which is the cause of male pattern hair loss. It is available only on prescription and cannot be taken by women. It slows hair loss and stimulates some new hair growth. Generally works more effectively on the crown and mid- scalp than the frontal area.
The most recently approved treatment uses low-level red laser light. Which stimulates hair follicles. The size of a normal hairbrush in a comb hair brush form or as a cap that sits underneath a hat. It improves the strength and appearance of hair as well as hair growth.
Permanent hair replacement
Although there is no cure for hair loss that does not mean there is not a permanent solution to restoring your lost hair. Turning the clock back a few years and in some cases decades.
Techniques have become so advanced in recent years. That FUE and FUT hair transplants can treat different stages of both female and male-pattern baldness. To the point where no one will know that you were ever losing your hair.
There has been a marked rise in the popularity of hair transplant. The cost has come down. But ensure you do your research and choose a qualified hair transplant provider. One that has a proven record for results and experience. Often low-cost providers work on the basis of the number of patients per day. Rather like a production line. This means less personal Doctor care. Increased risks, and poor results often not noticeable for a year or so down the road.
It’s not a decision to rush into. The cost is not insignificant. The result will be dependent on who carries out the operation. So you need to know the different types of procedures. What questions to ask a hair transplant surgeon before making your decision.
Best hair transplant technique
FUT and FUE, they differ in how the hair is removed. The rest of the procedure is basically the same. FUT is a one-day procedure, hair is taken by a thin strip from around the back and sides of your head. This is then sutured and easily hidden under a little hair length. The suture needs to be removed 10-15 days later. FUE your hair is shaved around the back and side of your head. This is to remove the hair follicles. A micro tool punches each group of hairs one by one. Small white dots are left where the hair follicles are removed from. It can be a long procedure to perform for the number of grafts removed.
Each technique has pros and cons. Some individuals are better suited to one over the other due to the hair characteristics or donor hair quality. Some benefit from a combination of techniques. Often combined with a hair loss treatment or therapy such as Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy that can help the healing post-op and encourage healthy and strong hair growth.
A hair loss consultation in person or online can help to determine the correct technique. The number of grafts and a basic plan to restore your hairline. Important aspects such as hairline design, and caring for future hair loss will be considered.
Some Common Questions
Q. – Why does the hair grow after a hair transplant?
A. – With genetic hair loss in men or woman, the hair around the sides and back of your head is immune from the male/female pattern baldness gene. The hair follicles can be moved and relocated to an area of hair loss or thinning to give greater hair density and fullness. The transplanted hair retains its genetic properties and continues to regrow even when moved.
Q. – Is there any age limit for the operation?
A. – Although no upper age, health permitting the younger the individual more care needs to be taken as hair loss is progressive and can be hard to predict. As our hair can still be changing well into our twenties it is prudent to wait as long as possible to allow the hair loss pattern to become more obvious.
Q. – Is there any scarring left by the operation?
A. – Any surgical procedure will leave scarring, some very minimal and on occasions not obvious to the eye. FUT will leave a linear scar around the back and sides of the head and will vary in the length dependent on the size of the procedure. FUE will leave small white dots in a random manner around the sides and back, some may appear as simply hairless areas or gaps between the surrounding hairs. If the doctor or any person representing a clinic infers a hair transplant does not scar or uses terms such as “scarless” or “seamless” they should be questioned and asked to put their claims in writing.
Q. – When can I start to see the result?
A. – The transplanted hair falls out normally around thirty days after and then the follicles sleep. Two months later minor growth starts and then a month on month more hair grows and matures. Normally by twelve months, the transplanted hair has fully grown but it may take a few more months for the hair to fully mature.
Q. – How many operations do I need to have?
A. – It depends on your age, the type of hair loss, the size of the head, hair thickness, hair type, the density of the donor area and your expectations and wishes. With planning, this should be discussed at the first procedure.