As we all know, hair loss in human beings is a sign of aging which is normal in most of the occasions apart from temporary causes like poor diet patterns, careless lifestyle, poor health, and stress. It could also be a consequence of heredity and hormonal changes or due to a medical condition. Hair loss is diffuse in men rather than women which are called pattern baldness. However, it is a generally known fact that most of the men and women both experience some form of hair loss. Sometimes, it could be temporary and reversible and sometimes it isn’t. Whether it is due to hereditary, hormonal changes, or a medical condition like Alopecia you are certainly distressed over this. In this case, hair transplant has become an effective and popular option for those who are affected by the baldness and receding hairline. Through this article ‘Hair Transplant-The Good and Bad’, we will be discussing further about the positive side and the negative side of hair transplant along with the other basic information you need to know. Let’s compare the hair transplant before and after results.
Is hair transplant, a good solution?
If you are suffering from having a receding hairline or baldness, then getting a hair transplant might be the solution. Hair transplant surgeries are done regardless of gender. As experts point out, most of the men who are affected by the above-mentioned symptoms tend to get a hair transplant as it is most common among them due to the genetic factors and hormone DHT. However, a very small percentage of women will be benefited from this kind of procedure. Such as women with distinct pattern baldness, women with alopecia marginalis, and traction alopecia. However, hair transplant surgeries do not work for everyone. It becomes effective if the balding and hair thinning happens naturally or due to an injury.
What happens in a hair transplant?
Simply, it’s a hair restoration procedure of transferring hair follicles taken from one place (mostly from the back of your hair, chin or body hair) which is called the ‘donor site’ to the affected area of your head or the balding part of the scalp known as the ‘recipient site’. There are mainly 2 ways of doing hair transplant surgeries apart from Advanced Tricho Pigmentation known as ATP where a special ink is used to tattoo an illusion of stubble. They are Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and Follicular unit extraction (FUE).
- Follicular unit transplantation (FUT)
This is also known as follicular strip surgery (FUSS). Here a piece of the scalp (about 6-10 inches long) is removed from the donor area and closed the incision with stitches. Then using a microscope, the donor skin is separated into tiny follicular units that contain several hair follicles and thereby planted in the recipient area.
- Follicular unit extraction (FUE)
In this process, follicular units are extracted by the donor area using a tiny punch like a tool. Then they will be grafted in the recipient area. The surgeon will sterilize the area where the hair will be removed first and numbs it with a local anesthetic (or sedating as your choice)
Hair Transplant- The Good and the Bad
Recently, hair transplants are much more popular and considered as sophisticated. The reason is that they are more successful and effective than using those of other average hair restoration products. The two methods, FUT and FUE produce almost similar results with a few differences. Even though this is reputed to be successful and effective, there are some drawbacks and to some, it could be risky depending on various reasons. Now let’s see the good and the bad in hair transplant surgeries.
The Good Side of a hair transplant
- FUE doesn’t leave a scar
The results of FUE are permanent and excellent and it doesn’t leave a scar unlike in FUT. Instead, it creates many tiny scars that will be less visible after the healing process.
- FUT has a high survival rate.
Even though it leaves a scar, there’s a high survival rate than the FUE method.
- This grows naturally
The follicles used in hair transplants are obtained from your own body and not artificial. Therefore it grows naturally as the transplant helps to cover up the bald area with its own hair. If the quality of the donor area is considered good, then it will give a fine look to your hair. The original color of the hair will also remain the same.
- It looks natural
The newly transplanted hair looks exactly like your naturally grown hair and therefore there’s no need to use chemicals and various shampoo types to gain the same volume of hair and the same look.
- It is safe.
As it doesn’t use harmful medicines or chemicals for the process, it is completely safe and natural and the hair damage will be minimal.
- It improves your appearance
Indeed, the recovery isn’t overnight. Hair growth normally begins after 2 or 3 months of the transplant process is completed. It takes 8 to 10 months for complete recovery. After that time, you will improve the appearance of your hair and yourself completely.
- Improves self-confidence
As you get a long term solution for an issue that has been bothering you, you regain your confidence as you are no longer a victim. Also, you tend to obtain positive and new social experiences as your self-confidence is improved.
The Bad Side of a hair transplant
If there is excessive redness, swelling, bleeding with pain, then you are likely to be infected. If you are sure you are infected, then it’s wiser to call your clinic or the surgeon and discuss the issue. This could result in hair loss on a part of the scalp that shouldn’t be losing.
Bleeding might occur from the day after the surgery or a few days after. This is a common side effect that you might have to endure. During the procedure, as the selected hair follicles will be removed from an area of the head and transplanted in another place, this side effect is likely to happen. This is common with both methods. Even though the FUE method is far less intrusive than FUT, there’s a possibility that bleeding might happen. This stops if you apply gentle, firm, and steady pressure over the area for at least 10-20 minutes without lifting the gauze to check.
- Shock loss
Shock loss happens when the head scalp has been exposed to a shock during the surgery, leading to hair falling. This could happen in both the donor area and the receiving one and is a common side effect. It’s after this, the newly transplanted hair will re-grow within a few months as the follicles will remain intact.
- Scalp Laxity
This is common after a hair transplant procedure mostly after the FUT procedures. This condition might come back to mostly normal after 6-8 months of the surgery but not 100%. If you have loose scalp, after the surgery, it will return to full laxity.
- Inflammation of hair
This is also known as Folliculitis. This is not dangerous, but this can be itchy. This might start with small red bumps around hair follicles. It is wiser to make an appointment with your surgeon if the condition lasts for days.
- Curly Hair after hair transplant
It is not uncommon for the newly transplanted hairs to be curly. This frequently happens after hair transplants and may improve with time. When the grafts were not handled well by those who perform the surgery, this might happen.
- Swelling on the affected areas
Swelling might occur usually on the donor area, forehead, and sometimes around eyes for 2-4 days after the surgery. This won’t be a permanent problem.
- Itching on the areas
With the growth of the implanted hair, an itchy sensation might occur in the donor area and the implanted area. This is likely to happen after this process.
- This isn’t a total cure for baldness
Before planning on getting a hair transplant, it’s necessary to have realistic expectations about the process that this is not 100% guaranteed for everyone. Also, this isn’t a complete cure for baldness.
Both FUT and FUE create scarring in the donor area. However, the sizes are different. The surgeries which are done in the FUT method create a large scar on the back of the scalp than in the FUE method. This scar can be hidden but with short hairstyles and with some shaved haircuts, the scar might be visible.
The cost depends on the particular surgeon, the clinic you intend to use, and the after treatments you might need. Hair transplants FUE and FUT can range from about $4 000- $15 000 per session and ATP might cost around $500- $4000. Also, the cost might change on the availability of surgeons in the particular area, experience, and the reputation of the surgeon, expected surgical techniques, the extent of the transplant process, and the after-care treatments.
- Be careful when choosing a surgeon and a clinic
If you do not choose an experienced, skilled surgeon considering the excessive cost, then the hair transplant might not look successful. However, the experience of the surgeon could restore and could give you back the previous thickness you had. Therefore you should be careful to select a surgeon who’s specialized in hair restoration instead of a plastic surgeon and it’s wiser to check out their previous results with the patients, their certificates, and the facilities they’re providing.
- The candidate should be healthy
The person who intends to take a hair transplant should be in good health. If the person is genetically sensitive to DHT, then this won’t be effective and the hair might continue to fall after the transplant. If this condition prevails as a consequence of chemotherapy or other medications, then also this won’t be an effective treatment.
Aftercare tips for a hair transplant
We hope you got a clear idea of hair transplantation through this article ‘hair transplant- the good and the bad’. Now let’s see some aftercare tips.
- Make sure you do not involve in doing your normal activities at home until after 3-4 days. If you continue doing the daily routines right away after the surgery, you will tend to experience swollenness and blisters which might cause infections.
- After 3-4 days you should wash your hair gently without pressure on the affected area.
- Avoid using hairdryers, at least for 2-3 weeks.
- Make sure you do not remove the transplanted hair roots.
- Your workout schedules should also be avoided until after 2-3 weeks.
- When sleeping, you should sleep with his head elevated in 45 degrees at least for 4-5 days after the procedure.
- Your sunbaths should be avoided at least for a month. Sexual contacts should also be avoided at least for one-two weeks.
- You should not consume any alcohol and cold food types at least for 3-5 days after the procedure.
- Coffee should also be avoided. Drinking coffee after the surgery is not safe as it might raise blood pressure which leads to bleeding and slowing down the recovery process.
- Make sure your diet is healthy without lacking the nutritional values and fast food should be avoided.
- Smoking after the day of your surgery should be avoided as it affects blood circulation negatively.
- To avoid swelling in the area, you could apply ice cubes on your forehead every two hours for 10-15 minutes.
- Make sure you don’t comb down your hair (the affected area) hard, make it gentle.
- Be careful not to take medications on your own, apart from what’s prescribed by the doctor. In this case, doctors are very likely to prescribe pain medications such as ibuprofen, anti-inflammatory to relieve swelling, medications such as finasteride-Propecia or minoxidil for the stimulation of hair growth
- Also, be careful not to wear any hats or pullover shirts until you are said so by the doctor.
We hope this article helps when you decided to do a hair transplant. Talk to your doctor or a transplant surgeon before you decide to get either hair transplant procedure.
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