What is Hair Transplant Surgery?
Hair transplant surgery is a procedure performed under local anaesthetic with minor sedation, where small, naturally-occurring groups of hairs (follicular units grafts), are taken from the back of the scalp (the area where the hairs have naturally lower levels of DHT) and replanting the graft in the areas of thinning or balding. This surgery can be performed on men and women.
Grafts either have one, two or three hairs in them, in their natural groupings. The degree of balding or thinning of a person’s hair determines how many grafts will be needed. As the hairs are taken in their natural groupings the result of a hair transplant is undetectable and looks completely natural.
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How does it work?
Hair transplant surgery only works by using a person’s own hair therefore making it impossible for it to be rejected. The best way to understand the concept of a hair transplant is to think of your scalp as a garden, taking the plants from the back garden and replanting them into the front garden, where they grow the same way they would have previously. The replanted hair is ‘permanent hair’ and can be treated exactly the same way as the rest of your hair. The hair can be straightened, dyed, curled and styled. Hair transplant surgery is suitable for treating male hair loss and female hair loss.
What is FUT?
FUT, Follicular Unit Transplantation, is by far the most popular method of hair transplantation. We take a strip of hair-bearing skin from the back of the scalp (the strip method). The area is then stitched up with a special type of closure that allows the hair to grow back through the thin scar and make it virtually undetectable in almost all cases. The grafts (small skin grafts of naturally occurring groups of hairs) are then cut from the strip of skin and replanted in the area/s of thinning or balding.
The skill of the surgeon plays heavily on the results, as careful design of the shape of the hairline, the angle and direction of the hairs and careful planting of the grafts must be made to ensure that the resulting hair looks natural and grows in the right direction as well as matching up with the original hairline and hair growth.
What is FUE?
FUE, Follicular Unit Excision, is an alternative method of follicular unit hair transplantation. A type of hole punch is used to cut the hair grafts from the back of the scalp. The grafts are extracted one-by-one and the planting of the grafts is exactly the same as FUT. Follicular Unit Excision has gained popularity in recent years, particularly for men who wish to wear their hair very short.
FUE has often been referred to as scar-less surgery. It should be noted that this is incorrect. With FUE you are left with many punch hole scars as opposed to FUT where you are left with one fine linear scar concealed at the back of the scalp. For areas of thinning or balding, FUT is still the most common method of hair transplantation.
What happens after my hair transplant?
Hair transplant surgery is a walk in, walk out procedure, generally performed in one day. There is no real downtime and you leave the clinic without bandages. The day after the procedure small crusts will appear on the grafts and these will gradually shed between 7 to 10 days after your procedure. It is normal for some of the hairs in the grafts to shed completely and then start growing again as normal on your next hair cycle, between 12 to 15 weeks. Hairs grow at a rate of 1 cm per month so visual results start to appear between 4 – 8 months and then full results are visible at 12 months. Hair transplantation is extremely successful and more than 90% of the hairs will survive the transplant.