Thinking About Getting a Hair Transplant? Here's Everything You Need to Know
Concerned about your receding hairline? Are you considering getting a hair transplant? Hair loss is a very common condition that affects men and women. Almost 50% of women and 60% of men experience hair loss worldwide. While most cases are due to aging, other factors like genetics, trauma, stress, lifestyle, or certain medical conditions also cause hair loss.
Over-the-counter drugs and topical treatments like Finasteride and Minoxidil are commonly used to address hair loss. However, for more permanent results, many opt for a hair transplant to restore their locks.
A hair transplant is a popular hair restoration method in which hair follicles are surgically removed from a donor area on the scalp and transplanted on the balding area. If you are considering getting a hair transplant, consult with your doctor first, to make an informed decision.
What is the eligibility to get a hair transplant?
To check whether you are eligible for a hair transplant, your doctor will access the type, pattern, and severity of hair loss to get a better understanding of the condition. The doctor will also check the quality and quantity of donor hair available, as well as the size of the balding area that needs to be treated. The donor hair is usually taken from the back of the head, where the hair growth is comparatively dense.
Your doctor will also ensure that your health condition is good enough to undergo a hair transplant. Though the surgery is minimally invasive, there are certain risks involved. The doctor will make sure you have a realistic expectation of what a hair transplant procedure involves and what it can accomplish.
Which are the most common hair transplant procedures?
The most popular hair transplant methods are Follicular Unit Extraction (FUT), Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), and DHI (Direct Hair Implantation). Depending on the quality and quantity of your donor hair, the size of the balding portion, and your hair loss type, your surgeon will recommend either of these hair restoration methods to be most suitable for you.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
In this hair transplantation method, the surgeon shaves off hair from the donor area, typically at the back of your head, and begins extracting individual hair follicles with a microneedle. This is a minimally invasive procedure, as it does not involve any skin grafts and leaves no linear scars. The surgeon makes minute incisions from where each hair follicle is extracted one at a time. These individual follicles are then transplanted into tiny incisions made on the recipient area. This method of hair transplant is preferred more compared to FUT, as it is minimally invasive.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
In this method, the surgeon removes a long strip of scalp from the donor area and dissects it into as many as 500 to 2,000 follicular units. Each unit comprises a single strand of hair or a cluster of hairs. These units are then transplanted into tiny incisions punched on the recipient area. The portion of the scalp from where the strip is extracted is sewn back together.
DHI (Direct Hair Implantation)
This technique involves less pain and scarring as compared to FUT and FUE, and requires only the donor area to be shaved off. The surgeon will extract individual hair follicles from the donor area and load them into a specially designed, pen-shaped tool called a DHI implanter. With the help of the implanter, the follicles are directly implanted into the balding part of the scalp. DHI offers a more natural look and is always performed by a highly experienced and certified surgeon.
Hair Transplant FAQs
Is anesthesia used during the treatment?
The treatment is typically carried out under local anesthetic. Many clinics also use sedation to help patients feel relaxed during the procedure. The patient thus is unlikely to feel any pain or discomfort during the surgery.
What is the recovery procedure?
Once the surgery is over, the bandage on the donor area is removed within 1-2 days. If you have any stitches, they will be removed within a week to 10 days. Post-surgery, you may notice your scalp to be tender or swollen, for which your doctor will recommend medication. You may also be advised to take antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication, to avoid infection and ease the swelling.
Besides following all instructions given by your doctor, maintain a healthy diet that strengthens your new hair follicles. A nutritious diet also helps shorten the recovery time. The following nutrients cultivate hair growth:
- Zinc – Promotes tissue repair, hormonal balance, and cell proliferation.
- B-Complex Vitamins – Vitamins like B7 and B12 play are imperative for healthy structure, quality, and growth of hair.
- Iron – Strengthens hair and enhances hair texture. Transports nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles and scalp.
Other essential nutrients include Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A.
What precautions should one take after getting a hair transplant?
Post-surgery, you will be able to resume your normal activities within 2 to 5 days. However, you must take all the required precautions and follow these aftercare tips to ensure successful results.
Avoid exertion or any sort of strenuous activity such as sports, running, or working out, for at least 2-3 weeks after the surgery.
- Avoid washing your hair for a few days post-surgery. Also, avoid steam baths and saunas for 2 months.
- Avoid being exposed to direct sunlight for 2 months.
- Over the first few weeks, use mild shampoos to wash your hair.
- Do not comb over the grafts for at least 3 weeks.
- Keep following up with your doctor to ensure your incisions are healing well.
How much does a hair transplant procedure cost?
The cost of getting a hair transplant can vary depending on the size of the balding portion, the method of hair transplant you opt for, the qualification on the surgeon, and where you are getting it done. Considering these factors, the cost of hair transplantation is about $4000 to $15000.
Looking for the best hair transplant treatment in New Jersey? Visit our expert surgeon at the New Jersey Hair Restoration Center to learn more about the most suitable treatment options for you!