Some hair loss will happen to two in three U.S. men at 35. According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 85% of people will have “significantly thinning hair” by the time they’re 50. A lot of people belong to this club. In the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion, they say that no matter how much or little your hair is falling out, it will make you feel self-conscious and maybe even hurt your self-esteem, even if you don’t have a shiny bald spot right now.
There are many ways to get back some of the hair you’ve lost over time and in life. Hair transplants are options that people can use to get new hair. There is a lot of information below that can help you decide if getting a hair transplant is right for you, so read on if you’re thinking about it!
What is the difference between a hair transplant and a hair graft?
A hair transplant is a decorative method that takes hairs from one part of your scalp and moves them to another part of your scalp. This is called the “donor site.” You can get hair transplanted by taking hair from areas of your scalp that aren’t affected by male pattern baldness and going it to thin or bald spots.
A hair transplant is a good idea because only a tiny amount of hair on your head is affected by DHT, the hormone that makes you bald. DHT-resistant coats can be moved from the back and sides of your head to the front of your head to make your hair thicker and fuller.
In the beginning, hairline transplants were done with “plugs,” which were groups of several hair follicles in clusters. It worked, but hair plugs looked terrible because they were put together in groups of three or more, sometimes with a noticeable gap between each “plug,” according to an article in the journal, Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigative Dermatology. This made each “plug” look less natural.
There are a lot more complicated ways to get hair now. There are two ways for doctors to get hair from the scalp: FUE and FUT. They can then transplant the follicles in groups of one to three for the new hairline to look and feel natural. An expert’s hair transplant will look and feel like a natural hairline if you have enough donor hair and the ability to grow hair on the parts of your scalp that need it.
Types of Hair Transplants
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is the two most common ways to get hair transplants (FUE). Each method comes out about the same, but a few differences exist.
Transplantation of FUE hair
When it comes to hair restoration surgery, FUE is a newer method. It removes individual follicular units or individual hair follicles and moves them to a new place. According to a Magazine of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery story, the surgeon uses micro punches to remove the hair from the scalp without leaving scars.
FUE is suitable because it doesn’t leave a big scar. People who have light hair might not be able to completely cover a traditional “strip method” hair transplant scar. Instead, it makes hundreds of tiny spots much less noticeable after healing.
Transplanting FUT Hair
Getting healthy hair from a donor area on your head is called FUT, and it usually takes place near the back of your head, where it isn’t as noticeable. Hair from another person is moved to where there is less of it on the scalp and then attached. FUT is better because, according to an article in the World Journal of Plastic Surgery, transplanted hairs have a better chance of living than hairs transplanted using the FUE method, which is better.
Because of this, FUT leaves a more prominent scar on the back of the head, which can be seen with some short or shaved haircuts. Because both procedures depend on the surgeon or dermatologist who does them, it’s also important to note that both methods can be very successful or very bad. On the other hand, FUE takes a lot longer than FUT, and it’s usually best for small areas of treatment. As long as the hair on the back of your head is dark and thick, both procedures will look the same in the hairline and crown area.
What Is the Process of Hair Transplantation?
There is no need to stay in the hospital for FUT or FUE hair transplant surgery. Local anesthesia will generally be utilized to numb your scalp, but you’ll be awake during the surgery and will be able to move your head.
The American Academy of Dermatology says that the procedures can take four to eight hours. Some transplants may take more than one day. The healthy hair is removed and transplanted to the area that needs it. After the surgery, you may be bandaged and given instructions on caring for the wound at home.
What Does Hair Transplantation Cost?
Estimates range from $1,000 to more than $15,000 or even more. The cost of hair transplant surgery isn’t set in stone, but there are a lot of factors that go into how much it costs. These include where you live and where your surgery is, whether you choose FUT or FUE if you have to journey for your surgery, who you choose as your surgeon, and how complicated your case is.
There is an excellent chance that your security company will not pay for hair transplant surgery because it is usually seen as cosmetic. However, it may be possible if your hair loss is because of a sickness or injury. If you’re thinking about getting hair transplant surgery, the best thing to do is call your insurance company to see what they cover.
Recovery time and after-surgery care
People also have to deal with material costs when they have surgery. You’ll need to be careful when you remove your bandages at home because they can get stuck to your wounds. You’ll also have a lot of swelling at the source of your hair loss and on the pieces of your scalp where the hair has been transplanted. You might get steroids from your plastic surgeon to lessen the effect that steroids have on your body.
A few days later, you can gently wash your hair. You’ll likely be told not to wear pullover shirts for a few weeks. Even after surgery, your doctor may want to start you on a topical minoxidil regimen. You’ll want to follow their advice very closely because any product that comes into contact with skin could irritate the surgical site.
There are two variants of surgery that can take a long time to recover from FUT and FUE. Expect your surgical areas to heal in two to three weeks with FUT procedures. You can also move back to your regular activities in the same amount of time. In FUE, your surgical sites can be healed in one to two weeks, according to an article in the Magazine of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. Then, you can go back to your normal activities.