Hair serves to frame the face and can affect many people’s sense of self and confidence. Unfortunately, many people suffer from hair loss including the most common form of hair loss, patterned baldness. If you’re one of those people who are not happy with the way your hair looks, you may be considering a hair transplant.
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure that involves taking hair from one area of the head (the donor area) and transplanting it to a different area (the recipient area). The hair transplant does not create hair, grow new hair, or prevent further hair loss, but it moves existing hairs from the donor area to the areas that are thinning and affected by hair loss.
If you’re thinking about getting a hair transplant, there are a number of things you should know and consider before deciding if you should have a consultation with a hair restoration surgeon. If you are unsure, here are five important things to keep in mind:
1. Hair transplant results can mimic natural hair
The main goal of a hair transplant is to achieve improved hair density in balding areas with natural-looking results. The goal of today’s hair transplants is to create natural-appearing results. Today, thanks to numerous advances in surgical tools and techniques, this is possible in the hands of an experienced surgeon.
During a hair transplant procedure, all of the following are taken into account: the direction, angle, tilt, density, and curl of the hair. This attention to detail ensures that the final results look as natural as possible.
2. Results are not immediate
Some people think that a hair transplant will look great right away. But that’s not the case. It can take up to a year for the transplanted hair to start growing.
The existing transplanted grafts and follicles stay under the skin permanently; however, the hair in the transplanted follicle often sheds within weeks of the procedure. Many patients will start to notice some of the transplanted hairs start to grow in three to four months after the procedure with even more hair typically growing in six to nine months after the procedure. The full effect of the transplanted hair growth often takes up to twelve to fifteen months following the completion of the procedure to be fully appreciated.
So, if you’re thinking about getting a hair transplant, you need to be patient and understand that it will take some time before you achieve the look you desire. If there is a certain event or time period you would like to have your full results by, this expected timing of growth is very good to keep in mind in terms of the timing of your surgery.
3. Women can get hair transplants, too
Generally and historically speaking, more men are hair transplant candidates than women. However, it doesn’t mean that women can’t get one. In fact, more and more women are now opting for this procedure.
Hair transplant can be appropriate in different cases such as in women with patterned loss or traction alopecia. It is important to see an experienced hair restoration surgeon to discuss your individual case and to see if hair transplant could be a good option for you.
4. A hair transplant doesn’t have to leave big scars
When most people think about the word transplant, they often think about a big scar. However, this is not always the case. In fact, thanks to advances in surgical techniques, hair transplants no longer have to leave behind big scars.
The size of the scar and amount of scar tissue will depend on the amount of hair being transplanted, the method of donor harvesting, surgical technique and skill, and the way the patient heals. Follicular unit transplant (FUT) procedures leave a sutured incision and tend to leave a single linear scar. Follicular unit excision/extraction (FUE) procedures take each graft one by one and leave smaller pinpoint scars throughout the donor area where hair is taken from. It is important that although FUE does not leave a linear incision or scar, there are still small scars and the procedure is not scarless as is sometimes claimed. It is important to follow any post-operative instructions that your surgeon provides carefully to optimize the healing process and minimize scar formation. The scar appearance additionally tends to improve and become less noticeable over time in most cases. Experienced surgeons always evaluate the surrounding hair in the donor area which act to cover any scar tissue.
5. Transplanted hairs are usually permanent
Finally, it’s important to understand that once you’ve had a hair transplant, the transplanted hair is typically permanent. The hair that is taken is taken from a safe donor area that is least likely to be lost in the future. This means that in most cases these hairs are permanent and will continue to grow for the rest of your life providing permanent coverage in previously thin or bald areas.
This is one of the reasons why hair transplants are so popular as they are the only largely permanent solution to hair thinning. As mentioned above, hair transplants provide coverage in thinning or bald areas but do not increase the total number of hairs on the scalp or prevent further loss, so it is important to see someone experienced in hair restoration to discuss your case and if any other therapies would be a beneficial part of your hair restoration treatment.
If you’re thinking about getting a hair transplant, keep the above-mentioned five things in mind. They will help you make a better-informed decision about whether or not you should schedule a consultation with a hair restoration surgeon to see if this procedure is right for you.
If you are experiencing hair thinning or balding and are considering a hair transplant procedure, it is important to see an experienced physician for your hair loss to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for surgery and if any other treatments are recommended to help prevent further loss.
Moreover, if you decide to get a hair transplant, centers such as Root Hair Institute are here to help you achieve the best results. Contact us today to learn more about hair transplants and to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced hair restoration surgeons.