So, is a hair transplant suitable for everyone? Will you be happy and why are some people more suited than others? What happens if a hair transplant goes wrong? What can go wrong? Is it possible to reverse a hair transplant result? If a hair transplant goes wrong what are my options for a good head of hair again?
What´s a hair transplant?
Hair transplants have been performed since the 1950s. Genetically strong hair is taken from one area of the body, the donor source. Then implanted into the new area, the area of hair loss known as the recipient area. The genetically strong hair follicles maintain their existing properties and continue to grow in the new area. What did the early results look like? Little attention was paid to the donor harvesting methods. As a result, large scarring was very common. In the recipient area the placement of the hairs. Often large groups of hair, as many as thirty hairs in one graft. Or wrongly angled and positioned hair growth. This resulted in an unnatural look and very easily spotted.
With hair transplant surgery today many of the early concerns have been addressed. Follicular Unit Transplant and Follicular Unit Extraction have allowed for improvements in donor management and a more natural appearance in the hair growth from the hair transplant procedure.
Refined Surgical and Artistic Hair Restoration
Patients have demanded more natural results from surgical procedures. The doctor was required to master the intrinsic art of hairline design and temple closures. As well as the ability to create a natural looking hair density and maintain coverage over advanced hair loss stages. All this needed to be achieved whilst reducing the signs of hair movement. Reduce visible scarring and changes to the hair and skin characteristics in the donor area.
Hairline design now is an art, to create the natural irregularities we have rather than a sharp obtuse line of unnaturally placed hair, refined FU groupings that give a gradually increase in density, and hairline design that has been thought out to frame the individual person‟s face rather than one design suits all.
Hair transplant results are permanent
A hair transplant is a permanent form of hair restoration. As with any cosmetic surgical procedure, it is impossible to turn the clock back. The transplanted hair can be removed. But there will always be visible signs, scars and the loss of hair. From both the donor and recipient areas. Here we will focus on two aspects of a hair transplant. Both are vital for different reasons. The hairline design and placement are the first. Then, the donor hair management. This article will focus on the hairline design. Part 2 of “What happens if a hair transplant goes wrong?” will focus on donor management.
Not all of us have an artistic side to our personality. It is one thing to medically understand the mechanics of the anatomy and body proportions. But it is an art to be able to mimic nature. Create natural hairline designs and placement. With skills such as recognising angulation, orientation and spacing. The importance they all play. These medical and artistic skills will determine how the hair will grow in creating a look that is natural.
A natural looking hairline doesn´t have to be age appropriate. Because the age does not always correspond to the hair loss pattern. For example, a man in their early 20´s can suffer from advanced hair loss. It would not be appropriate to design a low adolescent hairline with such an advanced hair loss pattern behind. The hairline design needs to consider the age of the individual of course. But in relation to the current hair loss stage. The potential future hair loss pattern. As well as the quality of the donor hair characteristics.
The hairline position is often a compromise between patient and Doctor. Younger men have vivid memories of the low adolescent hairline. Older gentlemen may have a tendency to go to high with the design. The hairline frames the face. Regardless of how high or low it is placed. The placement needs to be in proportion to the individual´s bone structure. A good hairline should simply blend and not stand out of draw attention to.
Artistry exceeds textbooks
If there is minal natural artistic ability. A doctor can simply mimic a textbook plan for the hairline design. Although mathematical guides do not assume the reality of a real head. The template approach relies on standard theories of anatomy. Pre-disposed distances. With this approach, it is common to see a pattern to all the Doctor´s hairline designs. Rather than each hairline naturally personal to the individual. This one aspect can make the difference between a WOW result and an “ok” hair transplant. Or a totally unnatural hairline design. Too high, too low. Too flat, too straight.
Technical hairline graft placement
The slit making in the recipient area should be performed by the Doctor. The direction, angle, orientation and density/pattern of the slit making will determine how natural the result will look. In addition, attention is taken to avoid damage to surrounding hair.
The tiny opening made at an angle almost flush with the skin. In close proximity to each other. The angle and direction of the slit is dependent on the site position. The angles can be so acute that the base of one follicle lies under the shaft of the next. The Doctor will be creating these slits under magnification. To ensure correct direct, depth and graft care.
Not to place the graft too deep or crush the bulb with the forceps whilst handling. The trimmed grafts have very little volume other than the functional follicle so they are perfect for dense packing but are delicate and easily traumatised.
So, both the length and the depth of the slit are important for the hair transplant. The microcirculation is just beneath the hair follicle. If the incision is too deep this can be damaged. It is essential to minimise trauma to the surrounding tissue. Also, if the slit making if too aggressive. Or, the incorrect or inferior instruments are used. Damage can occur to the surface of the scalp. Creating a ridge or cobblestoning over the scalp.
What to do if your hair transplant has gone wrong?
Bad hairline design – it is never easy to change a hair transplanted hairline. To remove the hair follicles is not a simple procedure. Each hair follicle needs to be removed one by one. Using the FUE technique. Small punches are made along the hairline that later heals. Usually leaving a slight scar wound. Occasionally the hairs regrow finer and thinner. This requires a further FUE procedure. The new hairline needs to be created first. Then often refined with new hair grafts. This process can be slow and expensive. Requiring time to allow healing. As well as waiting for the new hair growth and your final hairline growing through.
This is assuming correcting the hairline position is possible.
Bad graft placement – Again the hairs can be removed but this can be a long and often unrealistic option. The scarring to the skin is permanent. Skin resurfacing treatment is available but can cause hair loss. The original hairline can be hidden along with any scarring sometimes. By placing a new hairline in front. But this requires changing the original design and using more valuable hairs.
Do Your Research
When looking into repair surgery it is important to thoroughly research. It is a speciality field. Generally, an online consultation will not suffice with repair cases. The Doctor will want to see you in person. Assess the skin damage, the lay of the hair, orientation, direction and measure your donor capacity. This will allow the doctor to build up a picture of how they will approach the repair, which techniques to employ, the potential graft numbers that can be achieved.