Hair transplant is the latest craze not only for those who have lost their hair to untimely fall but even for them who want to alter their hairlines or acquire an attractive mane. But are hair transplants really safe and successful? Is it a lasting process or does this procedure result in unwarranted tissue changes in body?
Steps for hair transplant
It is a surgical process that involves removal of hair follicles from any site in the body like face or legs and planting them on the hairless portion. This process is also used in transplanting hair in lashes and brows. The latest techniques are permanent and they pick up follicular clusters of hair. This process is called Follicular Hair Transplantation (FUT) which can be done in two ways, strip harvesting and follicular unit extraction (FUE).
In strip harvesting, skin strips with good hair growth are planted on balding areas and in follicular unit extraction hair clusters with their roots are manually removed and planted at the hairless site.
Strip harvesting is what the surgeons are mostly adopting these days. It leaves a slim scar at the donor site and promises recovery within two weeks.
FUE can be done in a single or several settings. It is a manual and time taking process but gives very natural results and leaves behind no marks. However, it is not a cost-effective process and is time-consuming both for the doctor and the patient. However, use of robotics has reduced the time in this process and simplified it immensely.
Here are the steps:
1. Preparation for the hair transplant
In the initial step of Hair Transplant Surgery, hair follicles from the back of the head are removed and relocated to the balding areas.
2. Donor area trimmed
Before the surgery is started, the hair in the donor area are trimmed.
3. Donor area prepared for surgery
Once the hair in the donor area are trimmed it is given local anesthesia.
4. Tissue in the donor area removed and the Donor area sutured.
The tissue in the donor area that contains the bald resistant hair follicles is then removed surgically and the donor area is sutured.
5. Combed hair over sutured donor area
The sutures in the donor area are hidden from the patient’s hair that are combed over them. These sutures are removed almost ten days after the hair transplant surgery.
6. Donor tissue trimmed into follicular unit grafts
Microscopes are then used by the surgical technicians to view the donor tissue for dissecting and preparing follicular units hair grafts.
7. Bald recipient area prepared
Once the local anesthesia is given to the patient, the balding recipient area is prepared for the surgical process No trimming/removal of hair is required at the top of the recipient area.
8. Incisions made in the balding areas
Follicular Unit Grafts are placed in the tiny incisions that are made in an irregular pattern in the recipient area.
9. Grafts placed according to their densities
The smallest grafts (one and two) are placed in front of the hairline and three and four (denser than one and two) are placed behind.
10. Immediately after the Hair Transplant Surgery
After the hair transplant surgery, tiny incisions with short hair would be visible on the patient’s operated area.
11. Closing of the Hair Transplant Surgery
The incision marks heal naturally and the redness in the recipient area vanishes itself within a week.
Hair transplant is a non-invasive procedure and is on several occasions done on an outpatient basis. Mostly patients are allowed to shampoo after two three days although the scalp needs to be protected from sun and infections for a while after the surgery. The patient is generally put on antibiotics for a few days.
Must know facts about hair transplant:
1) The transplanted hair behaves like natural hair and sheds between two to four weeks of transplant. The roots thereafter start sprouting hair naturally and continue to do so for a lifetime.
2) Use of local anesthesia makes it a painless procedure and the patient can go home the same day.
3) Hair transplant is different from non-surgical hair restoration in which a pre-chosen base is fixed on scalp with dexterity.
4) Hair transplant does not mean you will have a luxurious crop of hair as the result varies from person to person and has also some link with a person’s natural hair quality.
5) Every case of baldness does not have a solution in hair transplantation. It entirely depends on case to case basis.
6) The cost of the procedure depends on the number of grafts. The more the number of grafts, the higher the cost.