Around 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women will experience some form of hair loss.
For many, losing hair gravely impacts their self-esteem and confidence levels. And this can have an effect on personal as well as professional lives. Unfortunately, most hair loss is out of our control. In fact, you can blame your ancestors for a large part of it.
Luckily, there are many hair loss treatment options. Some are non-invasive. Others, like, hair transplant surgical treatments have been generating a lot of buzz thanks to celebrities vouching for the efficacy of these invasive procedures..
Have you been thinking about hair transplant surgery? If so, here’s what you need to know before you go under the proverbial knife.
What Is Hair Transplant Surgery And How Does It Work?
This is a hair restoration procedure that involves removing tufts of hair from hair-rich areas such as the back of the head. These areas are referred to as donor sites. The surgeon then places the hair into the bald section.
Hair transplants work on the principle that not all of your hair is affected by DHT, the baldness-inducing hormone. Therefore, by transferring DHT-resistant hairs to bald spots, the patient can counter balding.
Hair replacement surgery has come a long way. The first transplants usually involved extracting and transferring hairs using plugs, which were several groups of hair follicles that had a round, clustered shape.
While the plugs did fill the receding hairline, they looked unnatural and comical. Today’s techniques are a lot more sophisticated. Transplantation surgeons use either the FUE or FUT methods to restore hair today.
Hair Replacement Surgery Techniques: FUE vs. FUT
While both methods produce similar results, the way of going about is different.
The Follicular Unit Extraction technique (FUE) involves removing small units of hair (typically one to four) from the scalp using a medical instrument. These hairs are then transferred and planted on the bald spot to restore the lost hair.
The advantage of using the FUE technique is that it does not create large scars. Rather, it results in numerous micro-scars that are inconspicuous once healing occurs. It is, therefore, a good option for people with light hair.
The Follicular Unit Transplantation technique (FUT), on the other hand, involves extracting an entire strip of skin from the back of the scalp. Hairs are then removed from the strip in groups ranging from two to four.
After extracting these hairs from the strip, the surgeon then embarks on planting them on the area where hair has been lost.
The reason why FUT is preferred, despite the large scar that results from the skin being stripped off the scalp, is that its transplanted hairs tend to have a higher success rate than those of the FUE technique.
Nonetheless, the scar is a real issue if you have short hair.
Is Hair Restoration Surgery a Good Solution?
If your hairline is receding, then getting a transplant should be one of the options to consider.
Nevertheless, the results you get from this procedure largely depend on the surgeon who does it. A skilled and experienced surgeon will generally give you good results. And for those services, you will have to part with a pretty penny.
Therefore, if you are afraid to break the bank, it might not be appropriate since you may end up settling for cheap services whose results might disappoint you.
However, irrespective of a surgeon’s skills, it is important to keep your expectations in check since hair transplantation surgery is not a magic pill.
It doesn’t necessarily cure baldness. It is able to restore your hairline but it does not mean that you will end up with a full head of hair.
Things to Consider Before Getting a Hair Replacement Surgery
Before signing up for the surgery, it is important to have realistic expectations. You should also have the following things in mind.
1. The Effect of DHT
If you are already genetically predisposed to balding, your hair might continue falling even after the procedure. This is why soccer player Wayne Rooney has had to have several transplantation procedures.
And it is also the reason why it is recommended to use hair loss prevention treatments such as Minoxidil and Finasteride to curb that from happening.
As mentioned earlier, transplant surgery results in scars. FUE creates numerous scars all over the scalp while FUT results in a single large scar. Have that in mind in case you decide to shave in the future.
3. Surgeon Skills and Experience
Even though it is a cosmetic procedure, it is best to choose a surgeon who specializes in hair restoration rather than a general plastic surgeon. Also, it is important to work a reputable and experienced surgeon to increases chances of success.
4. You Do Not Get New Hair
Hair transplant does not create new hair, instead, it moves hairs from other parts of your scalp. Therefore, if you have already lost a significant amount of hair, you might be able to restore your hairline, but do not expect a lot of thickness and volume.
Therefore, while a transplant procedure will significantly improve your current appearance it is not likely going to give you an extreme makeover.
Should You Get the Transplant?
Before you make the decision, take your time and ensure that you truly understand both the upsides and downsides of going through with the procedure. Cost is something you should take into consideration too.
Although transplant is not a magic pill, the procedure can reverse several years of hair loss thus significantly improving your appearance.
Preserving the Hair You Have
While a hair transplant can help you reverse the clock and get back your hairline, the most effective way of keeping a nice head of hair is by preventing your hair from falling out in the first place.
This will ensure that you hold onto your hair for as long as possible, thus saving on the thousands of dollars that hair transplant surgeries cost.
Are you balding?
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