A hair transplant is such a procedure where a dermatological surgeon moves hair to the bald areas of the head. The surgeon usually moves hair from the back or side of the head to the front or top of the head and fill the area with thin or no hair. Doctors have been practising the hair transplant procedure in the US since the 1950s. However, the techniques have evolved a lot in the recent years.
The hair transplant procedure is typically carried out under local anaesthesia and it can be carried out by two procedures- slit grafts and micrografts. The slit grafts contain 4 to 10 hairs per graft whereas the micrografts contain one or two hairs per graft depending on the amount of coverage needed.
Who is a good candidate for Hair Transplant?
Receiving a hair transplant can undoubtedly improve the appearance and boost up confidence in the patients. Candidates suffering from male pattern baldness and with symptoms of hair thinning are considered as the best candidates for the procedure. The candidates must be in an overall good health with no major complicated health conditions.
Hair transplant is not a good option for people:
- With a widespread pattern of hair loss throughout the entire scalp.
- People with insufficient donor hairs in the donor sites of the scalp.
- People who have developed keloid scars after an injury or surgery.
- Candidates who have lost hair due to chemotherapy.
The hair transplant procedure:
Before beginning with the procedure, the scalp is thoroughly cleaned at first and the surgeon will use a small needle to numb the area of treatment with local anaesthesia. Then a scalpel will be used to remove a section of the scalp that is covered with hair.
Next, the surgeon will detach the removed portion of the scalp into small sections which are segregated under a magnifying lens with the help of a sharp surgical knife. These hair strands when transferred to the recipient area will help to achieve the most natural appearance.
The surgeon will then make tiny incisions with a blade or needle in the area of the scalp where the hair grafts are gently placed into the holes. One treatment session may consist hundreds or even thousands of hairs. A single hair restoration procedure can take about four hours or more.
After undergoing the procedure, the treated area of the scalp is covered up with a bandage for about few days. Finally, the stitches are removed after 10 days. To achieve the best results more than one session is necessary to achieve a head full of healthy hairs.
After the surgery, the patients may experience some tenderness in the treated area. They will be provided with some medications of pain for several days. The bandage on the scalp must be kept for at least a day or two. Some antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drug is prescribed by the surgeon must also be taken to fasten the recovery period. However, most of the people are able to return to work within 2 to 5 days after undergoing the surgery.
Within two to three weeks after following the procedure, the transplanted hair will fall out. The new hairs will start growing within few months. Most of the people will see 60 % of their new hairs to grow within 6 to 9 months after the surgical procedure.
The side effects of hair transplant are usually minor and they disappear within few weeks. However, the potential side effects are-
- Bleeding and infection.
- Swelling of the scalp.
- Bruising around the eyes.
- Formation of a crust that forms in the areas of the scalp where hair was removed or implanted.
- Lack of sensation in the area of treatment on the scalp.
- The sensation of itchiness on the scalp.
- Inflammation or infection at the site of transplantation.
- The unnatural and undesired appearance of the hairs.
What if hair transplantation fails?
A hair transplantation failure is extremely rare and especially when the patients follow the pre and post-operative care provided by the surgeon. While undergoing the actual procedure, the most common cause of failure is when an individual follicular unit graft desiccated or damaged if the graft is kept untreated for a long time outside the body. So in cases where hair transplantation fails the first step is to identify the cause of the failure and then treat certain health conditions. Under such circumstances, the surgeon’s advice must be taken and the conditions must be treated precisely. To avoid any possible failure in the hair transplant procedure, it is very important to choose an experienced surgeon.