Are you worried about thinning hair or your balding head? Hair Loss can occur due to a number of reasons and it may lead to baldness. It is more common in men than in women and the pattern could vary from person to person. Among the various surgical and non surgical methods available for hair restoration most people feel hair transplantation is the best as it provides a more natural look. It is a surgical procedure that involves transplanting hair follicles from the scalp at the back of the head to fill an area with thin or no hair. The hair from the ‘donor site’ is genetically resistant to balding and it grows permanently even when transplanted to the ‘recipient site’ or balding region.
The transplanted hair continues to grow like your normal hair and requires no special maintenance. They can be groomed exactly like your natural hair without the fear of losing them. Apart from restoring hair on the scalp it can be used to restore eyelashes, beard hair, eyebrows, chest hair and pubic hair or scars from a trauma or accident.
Patients above 21 years of age can undergo a hair transplant. There is no upper limit and people at the age of 80 years also get it done provided you are healthy. Men who have lost hair in the front and top portion and women suffering from hair loss may go in for the procedure.
Different techniques are available for hair follicle harvesting and each one has its own benefits and limitations. Proper extraction of hair follicles is the most important thing irrespective of whichever donor technique is used. Strip technique, FUE technique are some of the most common methods used nowadays. The procedure is carried out in the doctor’s office under the influence of a local anesthesia.
In the Strip technique the scalp is cleaned and the donor site is made numb. Using a scalpel a strip of scalp with hair follicles is removed from the donor site and the wound is sewed. The strip of scalp is divided into several (500 -2000) grafts containing an individual hair or a few hairs each. Next the recipient site is cleaned and made numb and a number of slits or holes are made. These grafts are placed in each of these holes and sewed. This process may take anywhere between 4-8 hours depending on the extent of area covered.
Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE involves removing 1-4 hairs from the donor site and replacing it in the recipient site by using very tiny punches under the effects of an anesthesia. The procedure involves a single long session or multiple small sessions and is more time consuming and expensive. But the process provides a more natural look when compared to strip technique.
Post Operative Care
After hair transplant surgery, the doctor may prescribe pain medications and antibiotics or anti inflammatory drugs. Your scalp may be very tender at this stage and you might have to wear a surgical dressing over the scalp for a couple of days. You can resume your normal duties in a couple of day’s time. New hair can be noticed within a few months and most people attain 60% of new hair within 6-9 months time.
As with any surgical procedure, hair transplant is also associated with some risks such as bleeding and infection. Other risks include scarring or new hair that does not look natural. You may also experience inflammation/ infection of the scalp when the new hair starts growing. This can be treated using antibiotics.
However the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks associated. It gives you a permanent natural look for the rest of your life when compared to other techniques like hair weaving, bonding, extensions etc. that may damage your existing hair.