Hair transplant seems to be the latest fad not only for people who are prematurely losing their mane but also for those who want to enhance their hairline or get attractive hair. Hair loss is quite common in over 60 percent of men and about 10 percent of women. Though balding is a key concern for people and hair transplantation is one of the most commonly done cosmetic surgeries performed on men these days. But do you wonder if hair transplantation is a safe and lasting process? Or if it results in unwanted tissue changes in one’s body?
To define it, hair transplantation is a type of surgical process in which some of your hair is moved to fill some area that has thin or no hair at all. Transplants are being done in the U.S. since the 1950s, but in recent years, the techniques have evolved a lot.
The latest techniques where follicular clusters of hair are picked up are permanent. This process is known as Follicular Hair Transplantation (FUT) which is mostly done in two ways, that is, strip harvesting or follicular unit extraction (FUE). In the case of strip harvesting, the surgeon takes skin strips that have good hair growth and plants them on the thinning or balding areas. Whereas, in FUE, hair clusters are manually removed along with their roots and then planted at the hairless site.
Most of the surgeons these days adopt Strip harvesting as it leaves a minute or slim scar at the donor site and assures a quick recovery within two weeks.
Steps of the hair transplantation procedure:
- Preparation for the process of hair transplant
The first step of this surgery involves removing the hair follicles from the back of the head and relocating them to the balding areas.
- The donor area is trimmed
Before beginning the surgery, the hair from the donor area or from where hair would be taken is trimmed.
- Anesthesia to prepare for the surgery
After trimming the hair in the donor area, local anesthesia is given there.
- The donor area is suturedThe next step is to surgically remove the tissue in the donor area which contains the bald resistant hair follicles. Then after this procedure, the donor area is sewed or sutured.
- The sutured donor area is covered with combed hair
The sutures given in the donor area are covered by combing the patient’s hair over them. These sutures are typically removed after ten days of the hair transplant surgery.
- The donor tissue is clipped into follicular unit grafts
Using microscopes, the surgical technicians check the donor tissue and then dissect and make the follicular unit hair grafts.
- The balding area is prepared
The balding area is now prepared for the surgical procedure. No trimming or removal of any hair is needed in this area.
- Incisions made in the balding areas
Now, tiny incisions are made in an irregular pattern in the balding or the recipient area and the Follicular Unit Grafts are positioned there.
- Grafts are positioned as per their densities
To begin with, just one and two smallest grafts are positioned in front of the hairline and about three to four denser ones are positioned behind.
- Post the hair transplantation surgery
After the hair transplantation surgery is over, some very tiny incisions with short hair can be seen on the patient’s operated area.
- Closing the surgery
These incision marks get healed naturally and the marks or redness disappears within a week.
Do hair transplants work?
Though hair transplant is usually more popular and successful as compared to over-the-counter hair restoration medicines or products. However, you should consider the following factors before deciding on this procedure:
- Between 10 to 80 percent, transplanted hair usually grows back fully in approximately three to four months.
- However, just like regular hair, even the transplanted hair would thin over time.
- People who have dormant hair follicles (sacs that mostly contain hair underneath the skin but no longer grow any hair) have a chance of having less effective transplant surgeries; but a study conducted in 2016 shows that if one gets plasma therapy done, then there are up to 75 percent or more chances that the transplanted hair would fully grow back.
Hair transplants might not work for everyone. You should go for it if your hair has thinned due to an injury, or you are balding and want to restore your hair.
Mostly hair transplantation is done using your existing hair, hence, it is not very effective for treating people who have:
- Extensive thinning and baldness
- Hair loss because of chemotherapy or some medication
- Thick scalp scars due to some injury
Recovery after hair transplant surgery
FUT and FUE procedures could take several hours to multiple days to complete. This partially depends on the amount of work the surgeon is performing. You could also go home on the same day as the procedure.
Once the surgery is completed, the surgeon removes the bandages carefully. Initially, that area might be swollen, but your surgeon may inject triamcinolone there to reduce the swelling.
You could feel slight pain or soreness at the transplantation area and also in the area from where hair has been taken from. For a few days, you could be prescribed some:
- Medication for pain like Ibuprofen
- Antibiotics to avoid infections
- Anti-inflammation medicines like some oral steroid to reduce the swelling
- Medicines like Finasteride (Propecia) or Minoxidil (Rogaine) to aid in hair growth
Post-surgery care tips
Here are some aftercare tips to keep in mind after a hair transplant surgery:
- Do not wash your hair for a few days after your surgery. Use mild shampoos for the initial few weeks.
- You can join work or usual activities in three days.
- Do not use a rough comb or press a brush over the new grafts for 3 weeks or so.
- Do not wear any caps, hats, pullover shirts or jackets till your doctor allows you.
- Avoid exercising for about a week.
Do not press the panic button in case some hairs fall out. This is normal and part of the process. Transplanted hair usually does not grow much or also don’t seamlessly match your hair around it in the initial few months.
What is the cost of hair transplants in Hyderabad?
If you are looking for a hair transplant in Hyderabad, FUE is the most commonly available treatment. In this method, donor hair is harvested or extracted from the back and sides of the patient’s scalp and then transplanted or placed in balding areas. It takes anywhere between 7 to 10 days to heal and the little scars are generally covered under the hair and are barely noticeable.
On an average, hair transplants in Hyderabad where around 1000 hair grafts are done, may cost between INR 35,000 to 45,000. On a maximum, this could go up to INR 70,000 or USD 1000. More extensive FUE treatments in which 3000 hair grafts are done might cost about INR 1,40,000 or $2000 in Hyderabad but this is much lower than what you could end up paying anywhere in the United States or Europe.