Posted 29/10/2022 in Hair Transplant

The Ultimate Guide to Hair Transplant


The Ultimate Guide to Hair Transplant

Table of Contents

      Medically reviewed & verified by: Prof. Dr. Naci Karacaoglan.

    Written by: ClinicAdvisor®


    Today with working remotely being more popular than ever, we are confronted with our image daily. But it can quickly become a complex for those who suffer from excessive hair loss called "Androgenetic Alopecia." 


    More or less, androgenetic alopecia is defined by the massive hair loss on the temples and the top of the scalp due to a hormonal disturbance. 


    However, know that there is a proven permanent solution to treat this hair loss.



    Overview

    What is a hair transplant?


     hair transplant is a medical procedure by which hair grafts are moved from a donor area to thinning or balding areas of the head and face. 


    A hair transplant is an ultimate solution for people who have exhausted other hair loss treatment options. 


    The hair transplant procedure has evolved significantly since it started in the 1950s. And many countries around the world are professionals in hair transplantation. For example, Turkey, Mexico, India, Poland, Spain, Thailand, and many more countries.


    Also, this procedure has become popular among many public figures and celebrities, who got great results.


    How does a hair transplant work? 

    Hair transplant surgery is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. 


    Usually performed by a plastic or dermatological surgeon, a hair transplant takes hair grafts, either individually or through a strip, from a donor area -usually the back of the scalp. 


    Your healthcare provider will then implant these hair grafts into the balding areas of your scalp or beard. Once healed, the transplanted hair should continue to grow for a lifetime. 


    Sometimes, a hair transplant can also be performed without shaving the donor or recipient areas.


    Hair grafts extraction


    What are the types of hair transplants?


    Several types of hair transplantation can be performed to restore lost hair from the scalp or thicken the beard and eyebrows. 

    Hair transplantation can also be used by implanting body hair into the head.

    Below we will learn more about each type in detail:

    Scalp Hair Transplant

    Hair transplantation for men or even hair transplantation for women is the most required type for those who suffer from baldness or hair thinning. 

    Men suffer severely from the problem of baldness, primarily hereditary hair loss, which is categorized into seven stages on the Norwood scale. The only solution to restore lost hair is by performing a hair transplant.

    Afro hair transplant is also famous for people with curly hair, but it is one of the operations requiring high experience in dealing with this type of hair. This is because the afro hair follicle, unlike other hair types, is built in the shape of the letter C. 

    Women also suffer from regression of the hairline, which causes the size of the forehead to become more prominent, or some suffer from visible patches on the scalp. 

    But it must be taken into account that not all cases of hair loss in women are suitable for hair transplant, so you should consult your doctor first.

    Beard transplant

    There is another type of hair transplantation, which is beard and mustache transplantation. It is prevalent among men who suffer from a lack of beard hair growth or thinning.

    Beard transplant


    Usually, hair from the back of the head is used and transplanted into the beard. Since the hair from the head grows faster, the beard must be constantly trimmed.

    Eyebrow Transplant

    Eyebrow transplantation is a hair restoration procedure that is demanded, but not as much as head or beard hair transplantation. 

    This is because eyebrow hair is soft and thin, unlike hair taken from the back of the head.

    So, if it is done by a doctor who cannot transplant naturally, it may lead to an unpleasant appearance.

    Do you want to know more about this process? Here we talked in detail about the process of eyebrow transplantation.

    Body hair transplant

    Contrary to what some might think, what is meant by body hair transplantation is the use of abundant hair in various parts of the body and transplanting it into the scalp.

    Extraction of body hair is used when there isn't enough hair in the donor area in the back of the head. In this case, body hair is considered a good alternative, especially for thickening the middle of the scalp or transplanting the crown area.

    It can also correct failed hair transplants when there aren't more hair follicles to extract from the back of the head.


    Who might benefit from a hair transplant?


    You may be a good candidate for a hair transplant surgery if: 


    • You are at an age that is appropriate for a hair transplant.

    • Are in good health: since it is an elective surgery, you may not be advised to do it if you have other preexisting health conditions. 

    • Men with androgenetic alopecia, also called male pattern baldness, where men lose their hair gradually in a U shape due to genetic factors. 

    • Women with thinning hair: Only a tiny percentage of women with thinning hair qualify. Consult a professional to find out. 

    • Men or women with naturally large foreheads: For people who have a large forehead and would like to lower their hairline through a hair transplant. 

    • Have enough donor hair: a good candidate will still have significant areas of dense hair growth in the back of the scalp, which is the preferred donor hair. Even so, extracting follicles from beard or chest hair can be possible as a last resort in some cases. 

    • Men or women who lost hair due to a burn or scar: you must keep in mind the growth level of hair on scar tissue rather than healthy skin tissue. 

    In addition, realistic expectations are the one condition that all cases above must have. 


    Discuss your expectations of the surgery with your healthcare provider before you make any decisions. The procedure's most crucial step is knowing whether it's right for you. 


    How much does a hair transplant cost?


    The cost of a hair transplant will vary based on the number of grafts, the technique used, and the qualifications of your healthcare provider. 


    Do you want to know how many grafts you need? This article discussed all the stages of hair loss and the number of grafts required for a hair transplant.


    In the United States, a hair transplant can cost anywhere between $5000 and $16000. Many people opt to travel to other parts of the world to get a decent-quality hair transplant at a fraction of the price.


    Turkey is amongst the leading destinations for hair transplants; the cost of a hair transplant in Turkey ranges between $1850 to $2800, and in some centers, it may reach $3500. So it would be an excellent choice to go for a  hair transplant in Turkey.


    Procedure Details 


    What are the different techniques for hair transplants?


    Though the premise is the same - taking hair from one area and implanting it in another - hair transplant techniques have evolved remarkably over the last 70 years. Here's a brief round-up:

    FUT

    Follicular Unit Transplant, or FUT for short, is famously known as the strip method. The surgeon takes a strip of skin tissue from the back of the head. 


    The area is then sutured, and the grafts are taken from the removed strip and implanted in the balding area. 


    This method has become outdated now, requiring more prolonged recovery and downtime. 

      


    FUE

    Follicular Unit Extraction is by far the preferred method of doctors and patients today. Unlike FUT, the FUE technique is much less invasive and requires a shorter recovery period. 


    During the FUE procedure, your surgeon will extract hair grafts individually using a micromotor punch from the donor area. These grafts will then be implanted in the bald regions into previously made microincisions.
    Sapphire FUE
    Sapphire hair transplant is another FUE method that follows the same steps but uses a blade made of precious sapphire stone, which is supposed to accelerate the healing of the incision, though there is no science to back up this claim. Needle Free Anaesthesia Hair Transplantation method in FUE is another technique to overcome the patients' anxiety.
    Choi Implanter (DHI)

    This method is a derivative of FUE. During a DHI hair transplant session, follicles are extracted as they usually would be in an FUE hair transplant. 


    Afterward, your hair transplant team inserts each hair follicle in the Choi implanter pen. The pen also contains a blade at the end, which allows the follicles to be inserted into the scalp without having previously made incisions (as is the case for FUE). 


    Instructions to be followed before a hair transplant

    To ensure that your hair transplant is free of complications, some essential instructions (pre-hair transplant instructions) must be adhered to in preparation for the operation. These instructions include:

    • Avoid smoking for two weeks before the procedure.
    • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for a week before the operation.
    • Refrain from taking vitamins and supplements a week before the operation.
    • Refrain from taking blood thinners such as aspirin a week before the procedure.

    Risks and side effects 


    What are the risks of hair transplant surgery?


    As is expected with any surgical intervention, a few potential risks are associated with hair transplant. 


    Although the majority of these are easily avoidable and rare if you choose a professional clinic. Here are the main ones: 

    • Excessive bleeding

    • Allergic reaction to anesthesia or other medications used during the surgery

    • Infection

    • Unnatural-looking hair growth

    • Necrosis


    What are the side effects of hair transplant surgery?


    Hair transplants may have one or more of these side effects, which are temporary and should disappear within weeks of the surgery. 


    If not, you should follow up with your doctor. You may be prescribed antibiotics or other treatments to accelerate the healing process.


    Recovery & results


    How long does it take to recover after a hair transplant?


    A hair transplant is considered a minimally invasive procedure, and the pain is minimal, so the recovery process is relatively fast.

    The infographic below shows the recovery timeline after a hair transplant:

    Click to zoom in 

    To help ensure a speedy recovery and healthy hair growth, here are some general guidelines on post-hair transplant recovery:



    • Covering the head: headgear such as caps could damage the newly transplanted grafts. The same goes for motorcycle or bicycle helmets. It would be best to wait at least two weeks to cover your head. 

    • Exposure to the sun: it is strongly discouraged during the first four weeks following the transplant to be exposed to direct sunlight.

    • Swimming: swimming after a hair transplant, either in the pool or in the sea, as well as saunas and Turkish baths, must be avoided one month after the operation.

    • Heat: it is strongly recommended not to use a hair dryer or other tools until four weeks have passed.  

    • Shaving after hair transplant: avoid shaving the transplanted hair in the first few months of the operation.

    • Sleeping: try to sleep on your back safely, so there is no friction between the pillow and the transplanted hair follicles. Avoid sleeping on your stomach for the first week. Learn more about the best ways to sleep safely after a hair transplant.

    • Exercise/Sports: it is necessary to avoid any strenuous physical activity one month after the hair transplant.  


    How long do the results of a hair transplant last?


    After a hair transplant, your final results may take up to a year to become visible. 

    Although, most people see about 60% of the result around 6 to 8 months after the procedure. 


    The transplanted hair usually falls after a few weeks from the transplant. This is normal and part of the process. It will grow back and continue growing for a lifetime. 


    Some patients may need/want to undergo a second touch-up procedure to increase the density or possibly cover other areas. 


    Some doctors may prescribe minoxidil after a hair transplant, PRP therapy sessions, or shampoos to stimulate hair growth. 


    There is no conclusive scientific research as to the extent of their effect after a hair transplant. 


    Note from ClinicAdvisor® board of plastic surgery

    Hair transplants are an excellent solution for people suffering from excessive hair loss and have not gotten results with other treatments. The results of hair transplants are permanent and can be very natural looking if performed right. 


    There are many hair transplant procedures, so find out which is best for you. So choose a skilled professional with experience in hair restorations and hair transplants. We recommend you discuss with your doctor how much improvements you can get from it and develop realistic expectations. 



    Get a personalized hair transplant consultation.



    FAQs


    Is there an alternative to hair transplants?

    Scientists and researchers seek to develop an alternative to hair transplantation to treat baldness and restore lost hair. Recently, we found some studies on stem cells and their ability to regenerate new hair grafts. However, research is still ongoing on its effectiveness.

    What is the appropriate age for hair transplants?

    Individuals over 19 can perform hair transplantation, provided they meet the conditions, such as having advanced baldness. The age of 25 years is considered the most suitable for hair transplantation, as the hair loss pattern is more precise and stable.

    Who can not undergo a hair transplant?

    Some people cannot get a hair transplant, like those who suffer from health problems such as heart disease and kidney failure. Some cases suffer from weakness in the donor area and do not have enough hair to donate to other sites. Also, some infectious viruses, such as hepatitis or AIDS, differ due to the clinic's policy and whether they accept surgery for such cases.

    How successful is hair transplantation?

    Hair transplant operations are considered one of the successful treatments to get rid of the problem of baldness. Its success rate ranges between 90 to 95 percent, and we see many patients who are satisfied with their results as long as they had it done by a doctor with sufficient experience.

    When does hair begin to grow after hair transplants?

    It depends on the rate and speed of hair growth in each person. The transplanted hair begins to grow two weeks after the hair transplant but quickly falls out during the first two months. It grows again by the third month and does not fall for life. The initial results of hair transplantation appear after six months, and after 8-9 months, a person can get the final result. But sometimes, that period may be extended to 12 or 18 months.

    What is the cost of a hair transplant?

    The cost of hair transplantation around the world ranges between 5000 to 20000 dollars, while we find that the cost of hair transplants in countries such as Turkey ranges between 1850 to 2800 dollars.


    Is a hair transplant painful?

    The pain associated with hair transplantation during anesthesia is slight and tolerable. It disappears gradually within a few minutes, after which the patient does not feel anything. When the anesthetic wears off, patients are given a pain reliever.

    Is hair transplant permanent?

    The transplanted hair is distinguished by its survival for life, as it never falls out. This is because it is taken from the donor area, characterized by its resistance to the hormone that causes precipitation, which is DHT.

    Does hair transplant affect old and existing hair?

    When a doctor performs the operation with sufficient experience and who knows how to open the channels in the appropriate depth so that hair transplantation does not affect the old hair, the existing hair won't be damaged. But when it is performed in clinics without experience in this field, the untransplanted hair might get hurt. Therefore, the clinic and doctor must be chosen very carefully.

    Is hair transplantation a permanent solution to baldness?

    Hair transplantation is a permanent solution to hereditary baldness but does not prevent permanent hair loss. It only works to compensate for the lost hair in balding areas.

    What is the best time for a hair transplant?

    Getting a hair transplant throughout the year is possible, but extra care must be taken during summer, especially for those who live in hot areas. They must avoid direct exposure to the sun and excessive sweating to prevent infections.


    How many times can I get a hair transplant done?

    This depends on the degree of baldness and the density of the donor area. For example, some people need more than one or two sessions to cover baldness completely.

    Where are hair follicles taken from during hair transplant?

    During a hair transplant, hair follicles are taken from the donor area, located at the back of the head between the two ears. This is the safest area because the hair follicles are not affected by the DHT hormone, which causes hair loss.

    When can I sleep on my stomach after hair transplantation?

    After hair transplantation, you should sleep on your back with your head raised at 45 degrees for the first week. This is to avoid friction of the newly transplanted follicles with the pillow. After this period, you can then sleep on your sides or stomach.

    How long does the itching last after a hair transplant?

    After a hair transplant, most patients feel itching in the donor and transplanted areas of the scalp because of the incisions that were made. The appearance of crusts (scabs) and new hair growth causes itching. Itching disappears after a month of hair transplantation, and in some cases, it may last for several months. In this case, you can consult your doctor to prescribe the appropriate treatment.


    Does hair grow back in the donor area?

    There is controversy about this, as some say that a tiny percentage of the extracted hair grows back. But if we look at it, the entire hair follicle is removed from the back of the head, so the hair does not grow back. To avoid gaps in the donor area, an expert doctor must be chosen who has a medical staff with full knowledge of how to extract the follicles accurately.



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