Are you contemplating undergoing Hair Transplant surgery? You’re probably not alone since hair loss is a universal problem. It is one of the unfortunate conditions in life that a significant number of men will have to deal with in their lifetime. According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 85% of men will experience some degree of thinning or balding by the time they reach the age of 50. The onset of hair loss can begin much earlier than that, about 25% of men who are affected by the condition begin to see the first signs before the age of 21. While it mainly affects men, women are not immune to hair loss. Around 40% of women also experience thinning hair after the age of 50.
Hair loss treatments are now a multi-billion-dollar industry and most Hair loss sufferers are willing to try anything to get their beautiful hair back, from special shampoo, over-the-counter medication such as minoxidil, collagen pills, to surgery. The most effective and preferred way is to undergo Hair Transplant surgery. If you are currently thinking about getting a hair transplant, keep reading to learn all the facts you need to know before having the procedure!
There are two techniques to perform a hair transplant
Today, there are two proven techniques to perform a hair transplant: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). Both have the same purpose to move hair from the occipital area (the lower back of the head) to the recipient area.
In the FUT procedure, a surgeon will remove strips of tissue from the donor area. These strips of tissues will then be placed under a high-powered microscope and divided into small grafts of individual follicular units that consist of around one to four hairs. Small cuts will be made on the patient’s scalp where the follicular unit grafts will be placed (recipient area). After that, the grafts will be placed into the recipient area and the donor area will be stitched up.
In the FUE procedure, individual hair follicles will be directly extracted from the donor area and moved to the recipient area using a specialist microsurgical technique. The follicular unit grafts are extracted individually, with a 0.88 mm to 1 mm ‘punch,’ using a motorized surgical tool or manually. There will be a series of tiny dot scars due to the ‘punch,’ but they will be so tiny that they’re not noticeable.
FUE hair transplant is a lot more popular
FUT was once the most popular technique to perform hair transplants, especially in the 90s. However, FUE is the most preferred technique used today. FUE is minimally invasive and known to give more natural results since it doesn’t leave any linear scar like FUT. With FUT, you need to keep your hair at a certain length to conceal the linear scar the technique leaves. With FUE, you don’t have to worry about concealing anything because there will be no noticeable scar. There will be small dot scars, but they can’t be seen to the naked eye. Because of the minimal scarring, FUE is suitable for those who want to keep their hair short.
It’s not for everyone
A hair transplant can enhance your appearance and self-confidence, but not everyone can undergo the procedure. A good candidate for hair transplant in men with male pattern baldness and women with thinning hair. Hair transplantation is not a great option if you don’t have enough donor hair sites, form keloid scars after surgery or injury, or if your hair loss is caused by medication like chemotherapy. Women with a widespread pattern of hair loss throughout their scalp are also not advised to undergo a hair transplant.
You’ll need at least a week off work after the procedure
After a hair transplant, you can’t immediately go back to your daily routine. It is a significant procedure and you will have to let your body heal for at least a week before you can go to work. In your recovery period, your grafts will be healing. Going to work or doing any vigorous activities can only slow down your recovery process. You may also experience some swelling and pain, so it is best not to do any strenuous work. Even when you feel alright, you need to take things easy for a while. Stay at home and rest.
The aftercare is not as complicated as it may seem
Your scalp will be sensitive and painful for a few days, but your doctor will prescribe pain killers to help you manage it. You will also be given anti-inflammatory medication and antibiotics to lessen the risk of inflammation and infection. Your doctor will also provide specialist shampoo, lotion, and a multivitamin. Your doctor will teach you how to use the specialist shampoo so you can do it yourself at home. Some doctors even provide special hats, headbands, neck pillows, and wound dressings. You may also be offered Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy to help stimulate the hair follicles as well as encouraging hair growth.
It has one of the highest success rates in plastic surgeries
The success rate for a hair transplant is as high as 98%. It is considered the only effective treatment for hair loss. Most people are satisfied with the result, especially when they see the before and after pictures of themselves. The risks are rare and minimal.
There are risks you need to be aware of
Although the risks are minimal and uncommon, you still need to be aware of some complications, which may include infection, bleeding, bruising around your eyes, swelling of the scalp, numbness, itching, inflammation of the hair follicles, and unnatural-looking tufts of hair.
Turkey and Thailand are two of the most popular countries to undergo a hair transplant
Hair transplantation is available in many parts of the world. However, many people travel miles to Turkey or Thailand to undergo this particular surgery. Turkey has been the premium destination for a hair transplant because the country has many skilled surgeons that have over 20 years of experience. It is also thought that FUE hair transplant originated from this country. Recently, Thailand is emerging as another popular destination for hair transplant due to its high-quality medical facilities and affordable prices. However, make sure you do adequate research before flying to these countries for a hair transplant.