Are you losing your hair? Do not worry, and you are not alone. 25 percent of men start going bald when they get to 30 years. But it's not a hopeless situation, the hair transplant surgery can help you win combat any hair loss, whether its chest hair, beard and mustache hair, head, eyelashes or eyebrows.
This procedure is all about moving hair follicles from one area that has sufficient hair growth to an area where hair loss has occurred. Dermatologists usually refer to an area with enough hair growth to a "donor area" and a bald region as a "recipient area."
To be considered as an ideal candidate for a hair transplant, many factors come at play. Here is a list of what can qualify you for surgery:
- Good healthy
- A donor area
- People who lost hair due to injury or a burn on the scalp
- Reasonable expectations
The Hair transplant surgery has come a long way, having been pioneered by a Japanese dermatologist in the late 1930s. It has evolved with technology over the years, becoming better and much safer.
Nowadays, there are two main methods which can be used to approach hair transplant surgery. The first one is known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) —this method involves harvesting single hair follicles from the donor area to the recipient area. The second technique is referred to as Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), and its different from the first one in that hair follicles transplanted as a small group.
Both techniques have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, but they are similar in that you cannot tell if someone has had a transplant. Scarring is inevitable, whether you have FUE or FUT procedure.
But, experienced dermatologists usually minimize visible scarring by hiding it under the hair. This is why we always emphasize and recommend that you choose a knowledgeable and experienced to get delightful results.
Suppose you are hesitant and you do not know which procedure is best for you, you can always book a consultation and talk to one of our expert dermatologists.
What will happen after the hair transplant surgery?
What happens after the transplant is not uniform, every patient is unique, and the transplanted hair tends to grow at a different rate. To some patients, hair growth will be quick, but for some, it may take a few more weeks.
Soon after the surgery, a process which will take a few months begins and here is what you can expect:
In the first three days after the surgery, the transplanted hair grafts will be working on regaining their blood supply.
Immediately after the surgery, your scalp will be very tender. The chances are that your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to take for several days. Some patients may also be advised to take an anti-inflammatory drug or antibiotics for a number of days.
For two consecutive days after the surgery, you will be walking around with a bandage around your forehead. This is done to avoid swelling on your face.
Expect the transplanted hair to begin to fall out 2 to 3 weeks after the operation. Suppose you do not notice this, do not be alarmed, it happens. Only a small percentage of patients do not shed their hair post-transplant. A few months later, you will begin to notice new hair growing in the transplanted area. In most cases, people tend to notice about 60% of new hair growth 6 to 9 months post-surgery.
But this is not always the case with every patient. Even after the surgery, some patients may still be recommended to take hair-growing drugs such as minoxidil (Rogaine) so as to quicken hair growth.
How long does the recovery time?
First week after the surgery, you have to take it easy and avoid any activities that may destabilize the transplanted hair. Take it easy and allow the transplanted hair follicles to regain blood.
Most patients return to work and to resume their normal routines 2 to 5 days post-surgery (on the advice of the doctor), but complete recovery takes about 6 weeks.
Important tips about recovery
One of the most common misconceptions of the hair transplant surgery is that the success of the procedure solely depends on the expertise of the dermatologist. In reality, patients also have a significant role to play.
As soon as the patient walks out of the surgeon's office, what he/she does during the recovery period will contribute to the success of the surgery. This is why most surgeons recommend patients to follow the given instructions carefully.
After the surgery, patients are usually given a list of dos and don'ts, here are some of them:
- For 3 consecutive nights after the surgery, the patient should elevate his head to 45 degrees when sleeping so as to avoid swelling.
- You can also avoid swelling by applying snow on your forehead for 15 minutes every 2 hours. Obviously, this is required of patients who had a transplant in the winter season.
- Avoid doing any vigorous, sexual activities, or going to the gym for at least ten days.
- 3 to 5 days post-surgery, do not take aspirin, eat ice cream, or drink any alcoholic drinks.
- In the 2nd or 3rd day after the transplant, you can gently touch the roots of the hair when bathing but avoid uprooting them and do not pour hot water.
- Suppose you want to comb your hair, do it gently and avoid moving the transplanted hair.
- Do not use hair dryers for 2 weeks after the surgery.
- If you want to curl, cut or dye your hair, you can use it after the flakes which will be around the planted hair roots have fallen off.
This content is created and published by Flymedi Medical Editors in August, 2019.