1Will I lose the transplanted hair after transplant
No, the hair which has been transplanted is what we call ‘baldness-resistant’ and so will not fall out. There are patients who experience a form of hair loss after surgery called ‘thermal shock’ which is basically, a reaction to the surgery. This is perfectly normal and new hair will grow as normal. However, a few years later as you grow older, a small percentage of hair fall will occur.
2What is hair transplant
This is a surgical procedure in which hair is removed from one area of the head and implanted into another. Hair is taken from the back and sides of the head – which is known as the ‘donor site’ and is then inserted into the bald area of the head – known as the ‘recipient site’. It involves the harvesting of units of hair follicles or small grafts which are then placed in the area of the scalp where there is hair loss. These follicles will grow new hair over a period of a few months.
3Am I suitable candidate for hair transplant surgery?
If you have noticed that you have a significant amount of hair loss then you may be a candidate for a hair transplant. Those people who are very young orin the early stages of hair loss are usually advised to wait until this has advanced further. A hair specialist would monitor the progress of the hair loss until it reaches a stage that treatment is needed. They usually consider someone with five years of male pattern baldness or a Type 3 or more on the Norwood scale. If you are suffering from male pattern baldness then be aware that this is irreversible even if you undergo surgery. It will not ‘cure’ the problem of baldness so you may require several sessions in order to hide the bald area. Your surgeon will discuss this further with you.
4How long does hair transplant surgery take?
This depends upon the type of procedure and the extent of the hair loss. Some procedures can take as little as three hours whereas others as much as ten hours. Some patients require more than one session so you could be looking at 1-2 days of treatment (@ 8 hours per day)
5What is male pattern baldness?
The medical name for this is androgenetic alopecia. This is a form of baldness in men which is caused by genetics and is often passed down through several generations. What happens is that a man inherits a gene for baldness which combined with a hormone derivative of testosterone called ‘dihydrotestosterone’ (DHT) shrinks the hair follicles. This weakens them and stops the growth of new hair. Over time, the remaining hair starts to thin and eventually falls out which is not replaced. This process usually starts in the early thirties although it can start when a man is in his twenties and progresses until middle age. It starts with a receding hairline and spreads from this over the top and towards the back of the head. The remaining hair around the back and sides forms a distinctive ‘horseshoe’ pattern and is used as the donor site for transplantation.
6What should I do after the procedures over?
You will be given a set of instructions from your surgeon on what to do after your surgery. These will include taking time off from work to allow your scalp to heal, washing your scalp 48 hours after surgery and avoiding sun exposure. If you are a smoker then don’t start again until a month after surgery to enable your scalp to heal properly. Scabs will form over the transplanted hairs but it is important that you avoid rubbing or picking at these. These scabs will fall off naturally after a week or so.
7When will my new hair grow?
It will be three months before you notice any hair growth. Your new hair will be very fine to begin with but don’t worry, this will thicken over time and look the same as your other hair. This will result in a full grown head of hair which will continue to grow as part of the normal hair growth/loss cycle. For full growth it would take 8 to 11 months.
8What is ‘Follicular Unit Extraction?’
Also known as direct extraction: this innovative procedure involves the removal of follicular units, one by one, before inserting them into the recipient area. On the plus side this is a minimally invasive procedure which produces great results. On the negative side, it can be a long, drawn out process which is costlier than the traditional FUT process.