Type of Hair Transplant

Medicine & Surgical Option to Restore and Maintain Scalp Hair
What causes scalp hair loss?

Hair loss can result from many factors. Some of these include thyroid disorders, high fever, diet, childbirth, and certain medications. The most common form of scalp hair loss is termed androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern hair loss). This type of hairloss is not caused by poor circulation, clogged hair follicles, frequent shampooing, or the use of hats or helmets.

Male pattern hair loss is determined by a combination of hereditary factors and male hormones called androgens which include testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The tendency for male and female pattern hair loss is genetically inherited from either side of the family and begins to develop after puberty. Hair on the scalp that is genetically affected by DHT (generally the front and top of the scalp), starts to shrink until it is lost. Whereas hair at the back and sides of the scalp is permanent because it is not affected by DHT.

What can be done about male pattern hair loss?

People with thinning hair now have more options available to them than ever before. Hair restoration surgery offers a permanent, living solution to lost scalp hair. Moderately effective medical treatments are now offered in the form of a pill and a lotion. Cosmetic enhancers include colored creams, sprays, and powders that when applied to the thinning scalp help to camouflage thinning areas, as long as there is still some hair present in the area. Hairpieces and weaves are a non-surgical means to restore hair by covering bald areas of the scalp.

Hair Transplantation

Hair transplantation is performed as an out patient surgery under twilight local anesthetic. You will be discharged 15 minutes after the procedure is completed. The procedure usually last 4-8 hours depend on the amount of grafts being transplanted.

Modern techniques of surgical hair transplantation can restore lost hair and replace or re-shape your hairline with your own natural, growing hair, which need no more care than the ordinary washing, styling, and trimming you have always done. Transplantation can be done today so well that often a barber or stylist cannot even tell that grafts have been placed.

Hair transplantation involves removing permanent hair-bearing skin form the back and/or sides of the scalp (donor area). Then, using magnification, the tissue is dissected into follicular unit grafts (containing 1-4 hairs each). These small grafts are then meticulously planted into the bald or thinning area of the scalp (recipient area) so as not to injure any follicles already existing in the area and at the same exact angle as the other hairs present. The creation of very small follicular unit grafts has enabled the hair surgeon to create very natural, feathered hairlines, which do not have the abrupt, pluggy look that was commonly seen in hair transplants of years past. In this clinic we prefer to transplant exclusively with follicular unit grafts, while others feel that placing the multi-follicular unit grafts into the central areas of the scalp allows them to better create central density.

Depending on the degree of balding in the frontal, mid-scalp, and vertex (crown) areas, 1-3 procedures are performed, with the number of grafts used varying tremendously, based on the area of potential alopecia, the patients safe donor supply, the textural characteristics of the patients hair, whether or not multi-follicular unit grafts are used in addition to follicular unit grafts, and the specific goals of the patient.

Hair transplant surgery today is remarkably well tolerated. Within 24 hours small crusts will form on each graft that are then shed in approximately 4-14 days. The grafted hairs will often start to grow by 10-16 weeks after the procedure and will continue to grow for most, if not all, of ones life. (As men and women age, in many there is a slight loss of hair density all over the head, which would naturally also affect the transplanted hairs)

Who benefits from hair restoration surgery?

Anyone who has experienced permanent hair loss may be a candidate for hair restoration surgery, including:
- men with male pattern baldness
- some women with thinning hair - female pattern thinning
- people with areas of scarring from injuries or hair loss after face lift procedures
- people who want to thicken or restore eyebrows, eyelashes, and beards

What anesthetic and sutures are used in hair transplant surgery?

Hair transplant procedures generally take from 4-8 hours and are performed using local or twilight anesthesia on an out-patient basis. Patients are often awake but feel relaxed as they are given a mild sedative. There is usually little or no pain during the surgical procedure. Nowadays no bandage is necessary on the scalp at the end of the procedure but a small head band will secure the donor to prevent swelling. The donor area, where the permanent grafts are taken, is closed with absorbable and non-absorbable sutures (these are removed in 5-12 days).

What happens after hair transplant surgery?

Hair transplantation is a very safe, relatively minor surgical procedure. Patients are provided with a mild analgesic to relieve any discomfort felt the night following the procedure. Small crusts may form on each graft but you can comb over this area to cover these scabs. These crusts will flake-off by 10-14 days after the surgery. The transplanted hair seen above the scalp will initially be shed, however the roots will remain dormant for 6-12 weeks, at which time the new hairs will all begin to grow. Numbness that may occur in the donor or recipient area usually disappears in 2-8 months following surgery.

Complications are rare. Minor infections can occur around a newly transplanted hair follicle, similar to an infected ingrown hair or pimple, and respond easily to antibiotics. Minor scars that occur in the donor scalp as a result of the removal of donor skin are narrow and can be easily hidden by the surrounding hair. The graft sites in the recipient frontal area heal with almost no visible scarring and are covered by the transplanted hair. Patients may experience mild swelling to the forehead area for a few days following surgery.

What happens after hair transplant surgery?

Patients may have hair restoration surgery at any age. It is often better to start when you are not completely bald so that you can use existing hair to help camouflage the effect of the procedure. However, because hair loss tends to be both gradual and progressive, it is often unwise to start surgical treatment in a patient who is very young. Medical treatments such as Finasteride and Minoxidil may be offered to men with mild to moderate hair loss to help preserve thinning hair in the crown.

Hair transplants can be used to fill-in the front hairline and thicken the front half of the scalp, and medical treatments can be used to maintain hair behind the transplants and to possibly enhance the long-term results of hair restoration surgery. Your hair restoration surgeon will work with you to design an individualized plan to fulfill your specific needs.

How do I know if I am a good candidate?

An ideal candidate is someone with dense hair in the permanent fringe of hair-bearing scalp which is at the side and back part of your head. A patient with light-colored hair and pale skin (as opposed to dark hair and light skin) may appear to have a denser look. Patients with very wavy curly hair may require fewer sessions than someone with straight hair. While hair transplants look very natural, the end result may not achieve the density or total coverage that you had when you were a teenager. Results can vary from patient to patient.

Medical Treatments

What are the new medical treatments available?

For a detailed information of the different medications for hair loss please contact the clinic.