Yes. The main advantage of a hair transplant is that it is a permanent procedure. The long-term outcome of a hair transplant is subject to certain conditions.
It must be understood that the “newly transplanted” hair will start falling off around six weeks after surgery. However, this is a temporary phase, and new hair will grow out of the graft in another five to six weeks.
The transplanted hair may also thin over time, just like the normal hair.
You will need a surgical “touch-up” after the transplant procedure to create more natural-looking results. These will be done weeks after your initial cuts have healed. Some individuals may need multiple attempts to have a head full of hair.
What exactly is a hair transplant?
A hair transplant is a cosmetic procedure done to add more hair over the balding or thinning areas of the scalp. It is generally done by taking the hair from another part of the scalp (donor site). This part of the scalp is not controlled by androgens (the male hormones contributing to hair loss); hence, it does not go bald. Hair from other body parts may also be used.
- The “donor area” needs to be trimmed short for the easy access and removal of the hair that is to be transplanted.
- Your plastic surgeon will inject a numbing agent into the scalp.
- Wounds in the donor site after recovering the harvest grafts will be stitched and closed.
The harvesting and transplant procedure:
- Punch grafts, mini-grafts, micro-grafts, slit grafts, and strip grafts are performed on patients who have small bald areas.
- Flaps, tissue-expansion, and scalp-reduction are procedures that are done for patients who have extensive balding.
The different techniques for hair transplants are as follows:
- Strip harvesting: The surgeon cuts strips of the tissue from the donor areas of the scalp. These strips are punched into the bald parts. The new hair grows in the bald spot from these strips.
- Flap surgery: In this procedure, the surgeon can cover large bald patches. One flap has the ability of around 350 grafts. An area of the bald scalp is cut. A flap of the hair-bearing skin is lifted off another area of the scalp. The other end of this flap is still attached at its original blood supply. The hair-bearing flap is brought into the bald patch and sewn into place. This technique yields better results among other hair transplant techniques.
- Scalp reduction (also known as advancement flap surgery): In this technique, parts of the hair-bearing scalp are pulled forward or “advanced” to fill in a bald crown. The skin surrounding the cut-out area is loosened and pulled so that the hair-bearing scalp can be brought together and closed with stitches.
- Single hair (micro-grafting) and slit grafting: This method is used most often to recreate a frontal hairline. Slits are made in the scalp using a scalpel or needle. Thin strips of the tissue containing the hair follicles are then inserted into the slits.
- Dilation: Dilators are inserted directly into the scalp to push aside the scalp and allow the insertion of micro-grafts or mini-grafts. Holes may be punched into the thinned part where the graft needs to be inserted. The surgeon can also create a site for graft insertion with lasers.
- Follicular unit extraction (FUE): The surgeon takes individual hair follicles out of the scalp. He makes small holes in your scalp and grafts hair follicles into the holes.
- The surgeon bandages the transplanted area with sterile gauze and an antiseptic ointment.
- He may inject triamcinolone (steroid) into the scalp to bring down swelling.
- You will need to take antibiotics, painkillers, vitamins, and medicines to promote hair growth.
- No weightlifting, exercises, and sexual activity are permitted for one to three weeks after the procedure.
- You must not wash your hair for two weeks after the procedure.
Do hair transplants really work?
You can expect the hair growth of half-inch per month.
Results will be seen after three or four months and continue to improve over the year. In three to six weeks, the hair will fall off, and you may seem to have less hair than before. This is normal. That hair will grow back in the next few months. Medicines such as Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil) may be given to stimulate inactive hair follicles.
In some cases, the grafts die out. Such individuals may need a repeat procedure.
Several surgical sessions may be needed to achieve satisfactory hair growth. An interval of several months is usually recommended between each session. An additional touch-up procedure to fill in the frontal hairline and a better look may be undertaken if needed.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Is Hair Transplant Permanent? Related Articles
Effective Ways to Stop Hair Loss in MenHair loss is one of the common problems in men. There could be many causes of hair loss that include diet, mineral deficiency, medications, stress, pollution, and genetics.
Do Hair Growth Vitamins Work?Vitamins or herbal supplements for hair growth are often used to promote healthy hair growth and regrowth. If there is hair loss or hair damage associated with a serious nutritional deficiency of certain vitamins or minerals, hair growth supplements can help with hair growth or regrowth.
finasterideFinasteride tablets is a drug used to treat male pattern baldness. The most common side effects associated with finasteride are breast enlargement, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation disorders. Serious side effects include increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer, and increased risk for male breast cancer. Finasteride should not be used or handled by pregnant females.
Hair LossThere are many causes of scalp hair loss. This featured article covers the common ones such as patchy hair loss (alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and tinea capitis), telogen effluvium, and androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness, female-pattern baldness).
Hair Loss: Alopecia, Thinning Hair in Men and WomenLearn about hair loss (alopecia) in women and men. Discover hair loss causes and treatments like shampoos and drugs, as well as how to prevent hair loss.
Hair Loss QuizTrue or false: Genetic hair loss comes from the mother's side of the family. Take the Hair Loss Quiz to learn about your hair. Learn what damages hair and what doesn't. Take the quiz!
Hair Transplant PictureSurgical approaches include various versions of hair transplantation (taking hair from the back and putting it near the front) or scalp reduction (cutting away bald areas and stitching the rest together). See a picture of Hair Transplant and learn more about the health topic.
Alopecia Areata: How Is It Treated and Can It Be Cured?Many people experience an autoimmune disorder of the skin that causes hair loss on the scalp, face, and other areas of the body. Learn what medical treatments can help ease your alopecia areata symptoms and help you manage this condition.
How Can I Make My Hair Grow Faster and Thicker at Home?Hair needs nutrition. Grow hair faster and thicker at home by eating a diet that provides enough protein, selenium, vitamins, and other micronutrients and using home remedies.
19 Health Problems in Men: Snoring, Hair Loss, and MoreWhat are the biggest body health issues that plague men? Most men struggle with belly fat, back hair, sweating, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, body odor, or bad breath at some point. Get tips on dealing with male body problems and the prevention of common issues in men's health.
minoxidil topicalMinoxidil topical is an over-the-counter medication locally applied on the scalp to treat male or female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). Use with caution in patients with heart disease. Common side effects of minoxidil topical include excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis), exacerbation of hair loss, redness (erythema) at the application site, local erythema, burning, irritation, allergic contact dermatitis, eczema, swelling (edema), tendon inflammation (tendinitis), back pain, fractures, systemic effect of low blood pressure (hypotension), dizziness, lightheadedness, feeling faint, anxiety, sinus inflammation (sinusitis), and respiratory infections. Avoid use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
mycophenolateMycophenolate is an immunosuppressant medication used to prevent rejection of transplant organs (heart, kidney, and liver). Common side effects of mycophenolate include high or low blood pressure (hypertension or hypotension), exacerbation of hypertension, rapid heart rate (tachycardia), swelling (edema), lower extremity edema, peripheral edema, blood clot formation (thrombosis), inflammation of the vein (phlebitis), high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol level in the blood (hypercholesterolemia), high level of blood fats (hyperlipidemia), high uric acid level in the blood (hyperuricemia), high or low blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia/hypokalemia), and others. Mycophenolate can cause fetal harm and should not be used in pregnant women. Do not use if breastfeeding.
siliconSilicon is taken as a dietary supplement to strengthen bones and improve hair, skin, and nail health. There are no known side effects from oral ingestion of silicon supplements. Inhaled silicon can cause: liver disease, kidney injury, increased risk for tuberculosis, and autoimmune disease. Consult with your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Foods for Healthy HairTop foods for healthy hair include salmon, green vegetables, beans, nuts, poultry, eggs, whole grains, oysters, low-fat dairy products, and carrots. Foods for healthy hair supply protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.