Hair loss is a common problem among both men and women. Approximately 85 percent of men will experience some degree of hair loss by the time they turn 50. The same is true of 50 percent of women.
Are you struggling with hair loss right now? Have you been considering a hair transplant procedure to give you back the luscious locks of your youth?
If you want to learn more about the procedure before deciding that it’s a good fit for you, keep reading. Everything you need to know is explained down below.
What Is a Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure. It involves a surgeon removing hair from one area of the body and using it to fill in an area that’s thinning or balding.
Surgeons first started performing hair transplants in the 1950s. The procedure has changed quite a bit since then, though.
How Does the Hair Transplant Procedure Work?
Every surgeon has a slightly different technique when it comes to performing hair transplants. That being said, in most cases, the procedure will begin with the surgeon cleaning the scalp and giving you an injection to numb the area in which you’ll be working.
Their next steps will vary depending on which transplant method they choose: Follicular Unit Extraction (or FUE for short) or Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (or FUSS for short).
The FUE procedure begins with the surgeon and their team shaving the back part of the scalp. Then, they remove the hair follicles to prepare the area for the transplant.
With the FUSS procedure, they remove a strip of skin from the back of the head (usually about 6-10 inches in size) and sew the scalp closed while they work on the transplant area.
Whether the surgeon uses FUE or FUSS, they’ll move forward by preparing the grafts for the area you’re aiming to fill in.
They clean and numb the area again, then they use a needle or scalpel to create holes (thousands of them) for the hair. After this, they place each graft into the holes one by one.
How Long Does a Hair Transplant Take?
The exact length of your procedure will vary depending on the size of the area in which you’re having hair transplanted. On average, though, it takes between four and eight hours to complete.
In some cases, it also takes more than one procedure to completely fill in the area or to help the hair look thicker.
How Much Does the Procedure Cost?
It’s important to know upfront that a hair transplant is not a cheap procedure. It’s rare for insurance policies to cover it, and it can easily set you back thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t get a hair transplant done if you really want it. Just be aware that it’s more expensive than a lot of other hair regrowth options.
This is especially true if there’s a possibility you’ll need multiple procedures to get the head of hair you’re after.
What’s the Recovery Like?
The recovery period after a hair transplant lasts between two and five days for most people.
Your scalp will be tender afterward, and your surgeon will likely prescribe pain medication to help you feel more comfortable as well as antibiotics to help reduce your risk of infection. You’ll also need to keep your scalp covered with bandages for a couple of days after the procedure.
Two or three weeks after your surgery takes place, your transplanted hair will fall out. You shouldn’t be alarmed when this happens, though, as it’s all part of the process.
Within the next couple of months, you’ll start to notice new hair growth. It takes about six to nine months for you to see significant hair growth.
To help speed up the process, your surgeon may recommend you use a topic hair growth drug, such as Rogaine. However, many people who have undergone hair transplants report mixed results from this approach. It won’t hurt, but there’s also not a guarantee that it’ll yield significant improvements.
Who Should Get a Hair Transplant?
Some people are better candidates for a hair transplant procedure than others.
The success of the surgery will depend on a lot of factors, including the thickness of hair in the donor area as well as the type of hair loss you’re experiencing. If you’re struggling with male pattern baldness, which is characterized by high levels of male hormones, you’re a better candidate for this procedure than others.
Your donor hair should be healthy, too, and not in the process of falling out (miniaturization).
Choosing the Right Transplant Provider
One of the keys to having a successful hair transplant is choosing the right transplant provider. According to this provider, it’s a good idea to work with someone who specializes in hair transplants and other, similar cosmetic procedures.
As a general rule, a specialist will have more experience and be more comfortable guiding you through the procedure. They’ll also have an easier time determining whether or not you’re an ideal candidate.
In addition to consider the surgeon’s specialization and experience, look up reviews from their past patients, too. Have people, in general, had success working with them? Are they happy with their results?
Ask to see before and after pictures as well. This will help you get an idea of whether or not they perform the kind of work you’re looking for and will help you see your desired results.
Schedule Your Hair Transplant Today
Now that you know more about what happens during a hair transplant procedure (as well as who’s an ideal candidate for one), are you ready to move forward?
Do you want to undergo this procedure and have a full head of hair once again? If so, keep the tips listed above in mind to ensure you work with the right transplant provider.
Don’t forget to check out the health section of our site today as well. It’s full of tips and tricks that will help you find a great medical professional and get prepared for your procedure.