A head full of hair has been associated with male virility and feminine beauty ever since humankind was formed. To some extent, the density of our hair also communicates our sexuality, social status and even a level of personal responsibility via how much control we have over our hair. And when hair loss begins to hit some of us hard, all those layered meanings become valueless.
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Undoubtedly we all lose control over our hair, but still, we have control over how we present ourselves to the rest of society. If we look beyond the societal norms of beauty, it might seem impossible to ignore the importance of hair. But since hair is an integral part of how you look in the mirror, losing it seems like losing our visual representation of ourselves.
Many circumstances contribute to hair loss, including hormonal changes, several medical conditions, genetics, chemotherapy, etc. Regardless of the cause of hair fall, if you find it hard to cope emotionally, you should seek professional help to regain your lost hair. If you think that gaining your lost hair can drastically change your overall physical appearance and losing it is upsetting you, there is no shame in admitting that.
And now that you have decided that you do not want to go any longer with permanent hair loss and would likely grow it back, a hair transplant is the best treatment option.
This article provides you with all the necessary information you should know about hair transplants, such as how it is done, the risks and benefits of hair transplants, the cost associated with hair transplants, and more. So without further ado, let’s dive in and learn about the beautiful treatment option that can grow a full head of hair.
What Is Hair Transplantation?
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure in which the hair follicles are transplanted from one part of your head to another where the hair is receding or thinning. The part of your head from where the hair follicles are collected is known as the donor site, and the part of the head where those follicles are transplanted is known as the recipient site.
Primarily hair transplant is used to treat male pattern baldness. A minimally invasive procedure is used to transplant the grafts containing hair follicles from the donor area to a balding scalp.
Hair transplantation is not only done to restore hair on your head, but it is phenomenal in restoring eyebrows, eyelashes, pubic hair, and beard and also to fill in scars caused due to surgery or accident such as previous hair transplants or facelifts.
There is a common misunderstanding about hair transplantation. People think it is like skin grafting. But in reality, both are different. In skin grafting, the grafts contain the skin and the hair follicles, but that is not the case in hair transplantation.
Generally, our hair grows in groupings of 1 to 4 hairs; some modern techniques named harvest transplant hair follicular units in their usual groups. Modern hair transplantation is way more advanced in achieving a natural appearance by impersonating original hair orientation. And that hair transplant procedure is called follicular unit transplantation. The donor area of hair transplantation can be harvested in 2 different ways: follicular unit extraction and strip harvesting.
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What Is The History Of Hair Transplantation?
Hair transplantation is a cosmetic procedure that originated in the USA. Dr Norman Orentreich performed the first hair transplantation to treat male pattern hair loss in 1952. During that time, this technique was not the most commonly used by doctors. And Dr Norman, in his approach, took a large bunch of grafts to harvest dozens of hairs from the back of the scalp and then transplanted them to the front of the scalp, especially the area where the treatment was getting done.
Since hair transplantation was comparatively a new technique at that period, there is nothing to compare it to. And hence many patients have resulted in an unnatural appearance of dozens of circular hair tufts surrounded by large spacious rather than the standard spacing between individual hair follicles of a human’s natural hairline.
In 1990 doctor Bobby Limmer first pioneered the modern hair transplantation procedure and used follicular unit transplantation for the very first time. Modern hair transplantation is also based on transplanting follicular units in which natural hair follicle groups grow in groups of a few hairs. Follicular unit transplantation also involves a strip exemption on the posterior scalp and dissecting the strip into individual follicular units using a stereo microscope.
During the extraction, the transplant surgeon carefully created the recipient site to carefully transplant the follicular units using a specialised scalpel. Nowadays, no sutures are required, and a person’s body’s clotting factors help hold the hairs in place.
The other technique is called follicular unit extraction, in which individual follicular units are manually collected from the posterior scalp or with a motorised instrument and then transplanted into the recipient sites.
What Is The Procedure Of Hair Transplantation?
Hair transplantation is a multi-step procedure, and we will take you through them individually.
Preoperative Planning And Assessment
The first step of hair transplantation is an initial consultation with a surgeon or trichologist who analyses the patient’s scalp, discusses that desired goals and expectations and advises them on the best approach. The surgeon blatantly discusses with the patient the likely result to expect and sets a realistic goal for the treatment.
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A preoperative test is done to know the density of hair so that it becomes easy for the patient and surgeon to assess the postoperative results of newly transplanted hair grafts accurately.
Some doctors may also prescribe minoxidil and vitamin applications after the operation for better results.
Before the surgery, the doctor suggests the patient avoid using certain medications that result in intraoperative bleeding or poor grafting for several days. Alcohol consumption and smoking can also contribute to poor graft survival; therefore, the patients are restricted from both.
Occasionally, post-operative antibiotics are prescribed to prevent graft infections or wounds.
A hair transplant is an outpatient procedure performed in the surgeon’s clinic with mild sedation or local anaesthesia. However, sedation and anaesthesia are optional.
As the first step of the procedure, the patient’s scalp is washed, and then an antiseptic agent is applied to the donor scalp being transplanted.
There are several techniques for harvesting hair follicles, and the surgeon might choose one, considering each patient’s possible advantages and disadvantages. Alongside proper harvesting, proper extraction of the hair follicles is also necessary to ensure the transplanted hair’s viability and avoid any repercussions, such as cutting off the hair shaft from the hair follicle.
Since the hair follicles typically grow at a slight angle to the skin surface, the transplanted tissue should also be removed at a corresponding angle.
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Two common ways to extract donor grafts are follicular unit extraction and strip excision.
Follicular Unit Extraction:
In follicular unit extraction, separable follicular units with a few hairs are removed under local anaesthesia. This micro removal technique uses tiny punches of between 0.6 mm to 1.0 mm. The surgeons use small micro blades or fine needles to puncture the sites to receive the grafts, placing them in a decided density and pattern, and angle the patch in a consistent fashion to make it look like a realistic hair pattern.
After the surgeon is done with placing the hairs, the technicians generally take charge of the final part, which is inserting individual grafts in place.
Follicular unit extraction can be done in one or several small sessions. However, the decision is only taken by the surgeon. Follicular unit extraction is a more time-consuming procedure as compared to strip surgery. And the total time taken in follicular unit extraction varies depending on the speed in harvesting, the characteristics of the patient and the surgeon’s experience. However, it can take a couple of hours to extract up to 200 grafts for a minor scar correction. And two consecutive days are needed to extract up to 3000 grafts. With follicular unit extraction, there are certain restrictions on patient candidacy. And the fox test is run to select the ideal client or candidate for follicular unit extraction.
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Follicular unit extraction is known for giving very natural results. One more mentionable advantage of follicular unit extraction is that it disapproves the need to harvest large areas of the scalp tissues. Hence, there is no involvement of linear incision on the back of the head, and therefore it does not leave a linear scar. Since individual follicles are extracted in follicular unit extraction, ignorable scars remain which are not visible virtually, and the post-surgical pain and discomfort are also minimised.
Since follicular unit extraction does not require suture removal, the downtime is less than seven days.
If we talk about a few disadvantages of follicular unit extraction, FUE includes increased surgical times and higher costs. The procedure is also tricky for new surgeons because it requires a specific skill and expertise, and the physical effort demanded by this treatment is lengthy and arduous. When done by an inexperienced surgeon, the follicular unit extraction success rate can be lower than strip harvesting.
Follicular unit transplantation is another name for strip harvesting, the most common technique for removing hair and hair follicles from the donor site. In this process, the surgeon generally harvests a strip of the scalp skin from the donor area with comparatively good hair growth. A scalpel with chosen blade size is then used to remove the hair-bearing tissues from the strip.
In follicular unit transplants, each incision is planned so that the unbroken hair follicles are removed. The dimension of the excised strip has a predetermined size.
After the strip collection, when it comes to closing the resulting wound, the doctors separate individual follicular unit grafts from the strips, which are generally small and naturally formed groupings of hair follicles.
With a microscope, the surgeon carefully eradicates the excess tissues to avoid damage to the follicular cells that are supposed to be used for grafting. Currently, a new method of closure is being used that results in the finest scars at the donor area, and the technique is known as trichophytic.
The surgeon then uses small micro blades are fine needles to puncture the recipient site to place the grafts in them in a predetermined density and pattern. This method also requires angling to promote a realistic hair pattern.
Strip harvesting or follicular unit transplantation might leave thin linear scars in the donor area, typically covered by the patient’s hair. The recovery period is around two weeks since the patient needs to go for removing the stitches or staples by medical personnel.
What Are The Applications Of Hair Transplantation?
Several things can be treated using hair transplant, including:
- Androgenetic alopecia
- Reconstruction of the lowered frontal hairline
- Eyebrow transplant
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In some cases where the number of hair collected from the donor area is insufficient, it is possible to opt for a body hair transplantation on candidates who have available donor hair on the back, chest, or legs. In a body hair transplant, the follicular unit extraction method is done and therefore, it requires a skilled and experienced professional. However, there are many factors to consider before identifying if the patient is appropriate for body hair transplantation, such as the difference in textural characteristics between scalp hair and body hair, the growth rate etc.
How To Take Care Of Yourself After Hair Transplantation?
Nowadays, there are considerable advancements in medical science, therefore, wound care after an operation has become a relatively straightforward procedure. Nowadays, doctors use semipermeable dressing in which blood and tissue fluids are controlled, and after hair transplantation, doctors suggest applying semipermeable dressing every day.
The recipient area of the hair transplantation must be kept from sun rays for at least a few days, and the patient must not shampoo their hair for at least two days after the surgery. Some surgeons might suggest that the patient shampoo the day after the surgery. Shampooing is essential to prevent scabs formation around the hair shaft. Scabs increase the risk of losing freshly transplanted hair follicles during the operation’s first week.
In the first week or ten days, some transplanted hair may fall out, which is a common phenomenon. This situation is called shock loss. 2 to 3 months after the operation, new hair will begin to grow from the follicles transplanted, and the growth will be average and continue to thicken through the following year.
Some patients might experience subsequent hair loss in untreated areas, and if the hair loss is on the higher side, one can opt for medications after a discussion with the surgeon.
What Are The Side Effects Of Hair Transplantation?
An experienced surgeon does hair transplantation. Therefore, the risk of suffering from any side effects is rare. However, some minimal side effects may be involved in the process, which cannot be avoided with any procedure and the occurrence of the side effects depend upon the individual characteristics of each patient.
The most potential side effects of hair transplant include:
- Scalp pain
- Hair loss
One must talk to a surgeon or dermatologist if any of the above side effects are experienced to result in high satisfaction following the treatment. We are mentioning again that a hair transplant’s side effects vary from person to person. Therefore if you are fortunate, you can have a trouble-free process while others might experience mild to strong side effects.
Most of the side effects of hair transplantation are temporary. There are some long-term complications the patients should be aware of before going for a hair transplant procedure. Some long-term hair transplant complications are:
Hair Curl: The hair follicles transplanted from the donor area to the recipient site may result in ingrown hair. This could make the hair growth look unnatural compared to the patient’s natural hair. It could also cause subsequent infection in the scalp and irritation.
No Growth In The Recipient Site: In most cases, patients experience hair growth in the recipient area in just a few months. But there are also cases where the patients did not experience any change, or the development was only in patches. In such cases, patients might need to undergo the entire procedure again.
What Is The Cost Of Hair Transplantation In Hyderabad?
It is hard to mention any fixed cost for hair transplantation in Hyderabad since different clinics charge an additional amount based on numerous factors such as the patient’s characteristics, the experience of the surgeon performing hair transplantation, the desired goals of the patient and more. However, the average hair transplant cost in Hyderabad may range from ₹80000 to ₹2,65,000.
Some FAQs And Their Answers You Must Go Through Before Going For Hair Transplantation In Hyderabad
Is Hair Transplantation Permanent?
Hair transplantation is also known as hair restoration, a cosmetic procedure using micro grafting technology to transplant hair follicles from one side of the patient’s head to another. The donor site is decided based on the best area on the scalp with maximum hair growth. The result of hair transplantation is long-lasting and hence considered permanent.
What Is The Success Rate Of Hair Transplantation?
If the clinical studies are believed, there is a 95% success rate of hair transplantation since the implanted grafts are seen to proliferate in the transplanted area. The high percentage of hair transplants indicates a successful treatment module. If you are unsure about hair transplantation, you can talk to a hair transplantation surgeon and discuss their personal experience regarding the success rate of hair transplantation to gain confidence.
Is It Possible For The Transplanted Hair To Fall?
If the graft is improperly handled during the hair transplantation procedure, it may cause the hair follicle to dry out and fall with time. Hair transplantation is an attractive solution for male and female pattern baldness, but not everyone is a suitable candidate. Therefore it is better to talk to a surgeon and know whether or not hair transplantation is appropriate for you.
Which Type Of Hair Transplantation Is The Best?
Since no stitch is included in follicular unit extraction, it is preferable for most people. Moreover, follicular unit extraction has a faster healing time and less discomfort.
Is Hair Transplantation A Painful Procedure?
Though no pain is involved in both hair transplantation procedures, including follicular unit extraction and follicular unit transplantation, the donor and recipient areas might feel a little tender after the surgery has been completed.
What Is The Best Age For Hair Transplantation?
There is no particular age for hair transplantation. Therefore, anyone suffering from baldness or excessive hair loss can go for it. However, the patient has to be above 18 years of age, and it is advisable not to have hair transplantation until you are 25. There is a common misconception that younger men are the best candidate for hair transplantation which is not valid.
Since hair transplantation is a cosmetic surgery requiring specific skills and expertise, it is better to find a suitable surgeon to perform the procedure for you. If you are in Hyderabad and looking for a clinic that offers hair transplantation procedures by veteran surgeons, choose.clinic can help you to choose. We have a list of the most sought-after hair transplant clinics in Hyderabad, and you can find the best one according to your affordability and feasibility from the comfort of your home.