Your Guide To Hair Transplant Surgery
Suppose your hair loss affects your confidence and mood to the point where you are avoiding social engagements, declining dating opportunities, and withdrawing from work opportunities. In that case, it may be time to consider doing something significant about your condition. If you have already tried medical shampoos, supplements, and other non-invasive treatments, you may be interested to know whether a hair transplant can work for you. Below we will explore the hair transplant procedure and who makes a good candidate for treatment.
How is a hair transplant performed?
- BEFORE – Before your hair transplant, you will receive a detailed consultation to determine if the procedure will work for your scalp. Your surgeon will examine your hairline, looking to see if there is sufficient donor hair for grafting. Once it is determined that a hair transplant is the best fit for your needs, you will need to prepare for your surgery. You’ll get blood tests, undergo ECG testing, and you’ll be advised to discontinue any blood thinners, antidepressants, beta-blockers, supplements, and any other medications mentioned explicitly by your surgeon. You will also need to stop drinking and smoking to give your hair grafts the best possible chance at survival.
- DURING – Your surgeon will use either FUE (follicular unit extraction) or FUT (follicular unit transplantation) to graft the new hairs to your target areas. FUT is more appropriate for patients who have extensive baldness. This method involves removing a tissue strip from the back or sides of the head and then using it to cover the regions hardest hit by hair loss. Once the donor area is sutured, a small linear scar is left behind. However, this can be well hidden with certain haircuts.
During FUE, individual follicles are extracted manually from the donor area using a specialized device. FUE is often chosen because it is less invasive and leaves unnoticeable pinprick scars rather than the entire linear scar.
Once the hairs are harvested, the surgeon will create tiny incisions in the recipient zone to receive the new follicle transplants. An experienced, skilled surgeon will perform the surgery in a seamless manner that creates a natural-looking result suited to your unique head shape.
- AFTER – Several hours after your surgery, the anesthetic will wear off, and you may feel some minor tingling, swelling, or discomfort. These side effects will diminish shortly, typically within a day or so. Like any other surgery, you will receive pain medications and antibiotics along with a thorough aftercare plan. For the first few nights, you are advised to sleep with your head elevated. You will need to avoid drinking alcohol for 48 hours, and you will be cautioned to abstain from smoking for at least 30 days. Strenuous exercise can be resumed after 2-3 weeks, and you can expose your scalp to direct sunlight after 90 days. These restrictions may seem bothersome, but following your surgeon’s instructions to the letter will ensure a long-lasting, attractive result that can be transformative in terms of your self-confidence.
How quickly will I see results?
The hair grows in cycles so that most clients will see 50-60% of their new hair growth within 6-9 months after treatment. Full results will take 12-18 months, so it does require some patience. In the end, your balding areas will be concealed, and you will be able to wash and style your new hair naturally.
What is the takeaway?
Hair transplant can be among the most rewarding cosmetic procedures, providing clients with the satisfaction of improving their image and boosting their self-esteem. The key to a successful hair transplant treatment is working with a vetted surgeon who you trust. You should assess your hair transplant surgeon based on their expertise, their testimonials, their before and after photos, their online reputation, their education, and their overall demeanor. When done correctly by a skilled artist, a hair transplant can make a world of difference in your quality of life.