African author Joanna M.
Joanna M.
Hair
09 / 2020

Different types of hair transplants

hair

Introduction

For many, losing their hair is not only distressing but also results in loss of self-confidence, self-identity, and self-esteem. Imagine living most of your life with luscious curls or locks. How disheartening would it be to watch your hair fall off before your eyes? If this sounds all too familiar, Alopecia is probably the culprit. It's a condition that affects the scalp or other parts of the body.

For the most part, people suffering from the condition experience gradual hair thinning, sudden loose hair, circular bald spots, and full-body hair loss. For lack of better words, having hair is 'awesome'. So, it's no surprise that many people seek hair transplant surgeries to resolve their hair loss issues. If you are thinking about doing a hair transplant, consider me your hair transplant plug for today. I'll tell you all you need to know before you take that decision.

Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss

Androgenetic Alopecia, also known as male pattern balding and female pattern hair loss, is an extreme form of scalp hair loss. It's equally the most common type of hair loss out there. Nevertheless, Alopecia is more common in men, even though some women also experience it. The condition can be temporary or permanent, depending on the causative factor. Generally, Alopecia caused by genetics is irreversible, but it can be managed by slowing down the loss or replacing the lost hair. 

What Causes Male Hair Loss

Let's put it to you point-blank; if you have a family history of baldness, then you are likely to go bald. The male sex hormone, androgen, is associated with male pattern baldness. What happens is that there's a gradual weakening of the growth cycle of your hair. All hair has a growth cycle, which ensures that lost hair essentially grows back. 

When your hair growth cycle begins to weaken, your hair follicle will start to produce shorter and lighter hair strands. You will notice a receding hairline, and over time, the growth cycle will end, resulting in baldness. It does not affect the hair at the lower back of your head because this hair is resistant to balding.

Apart from genetics, certain health conditions and medications can cause baldness. This type of hair loss comes with symptoms such as breaking hair, rash, peeling of the scalp, and a patchy hair loss. Medical conditions such as alopecia areata, scalp infections, malnutrition, cancer, and thyroid disease may also be reasons for hair loss. 

If you are on medication for ailments such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease, and depression, it can also contribute to hair loss. Certain hairstyles such as cornrows, braids, and tight ponytails can also explain why you are losing your hair.

What Causes Female Hair Loss

Female hair loss is also caused by androgens, the same hormones responsible for hair loss in males. Hair loss occurs when the growing cycle of the hair slows down. This slowed down process makes the appearance of new hair grow slower than usual. When this happens, the hair follicles shrink and produce thinner and finer hair, reducing your hair's bulkiness. One of the reasons for female hair loss is genetics. 

So, you can inherit it from your parents or other close relatives. Even though women don't usually go utterly bald as in men, hair loss in females is observed throughout the head and usually begins at the part line. There may also be a receding hairline when female pattern hair loss sets in.

Apart from inheriting hair loss from your parents or other relatives, it is possible to experience hair loss through other means. For example, problems with your endocrine can cause female hair loss. Pregnancy, malnutrition, anaemia, certain skin conditions, and autoimmune diseases are also possible causes of hair loss. Sudden hair loss can also result from stress, surgery, and intense weight loss. 

Then there are hairstyles such as cornrows, braids, and tight ponytails; they also contribute to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Again, harsh hair treatment procedures such as heat, chemical treatments, and dyeing can contribute to hair loss.

Types of Hair Transplants

Hair transplants are a popular option for people seeking a solution to their hair loss issues. It is the process of moving hair from a donor site to a thinning or bald area on your head. The procedure is usually done through a dermatological by a plastic surgeon after he cleans and numbs your scalp. 

There are two major types of procedures when it comes to extracting hair follicles for a transplant. These are the Follicular unit extraction (FUE) and Follicular unit transplantation (FUT). 

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

FUE is also known as the gold standard for hair transplantation. In this technique, the back of your hair is where the hair follicles will be harvested. Single hair follicles are often removed from the donor site of your scalp using a unique cutting tool. The number of hair follicles removed will depend on the size of the bald or thinning area and the density of the desired transplant. 

The surgeon will then make tiny holes or incisions with a specialized tool at the recipient site and place the harvested hair follicles one by one in the small holes. After the procedure, your head will be bandaged or gauzed for a few days. These hair follicles will grow natural-looking healthy hair to fill the previously bald or thinning area after some time.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

For the FUT procedure, the surgeon will make a 6-10 inch incision with a scalpel at the back of your head. This is to obtain a strip of skin and close up your scalp with stitches. This strip of the scalp becomes the source of graft for your hair transplant. To successfully carry out the transplant, the surgeon will first have to divide the graft with a surgical knife into tiny parts, That'll be about 500 to 2,000 micrografts, depending on the severity of your hair loss, hair type, and quality. 

The micrografts will then be embedded into the bald or thinning site, using a unique technique. With time, you will notice natural-looking hair growth in the previously bald or thinning hair sites.

Conclusion

Anyone can experience hair loss due to several factors. To many, it is a very distressing stage of life. Some people choose to take a step ahead of their hair loss pattern by seeking treatments such as hair transplants. For every hair loss case, it is essential to select the appropriate transplant technique, whether FUT, FUE, or others, to achieve the desired results. Before you opt for a hair transplant, it is essential to do thorough research to guide you in making the right choice. 

It is also important to double-check any modifiable risk factors; make sure that your hair loss is not due to some behavior or practice. Before you go ahead, consider whether taking decisions such as giving up an addiction, medication, a medical procedure or even choosing the right diet will return your hair into its normal state.

Hair Transplant FAQs

Is Hair Transplant Permanent?

The results from your hair transplant are usually long-lasting and permanent. That's why hair transplants are considered the most effective choice for fixing your hair loss. If you use the appropriate hair surgeon and techniques, your hair transplant can last a lifetime. It is essential to know how to choose the right surgeon for your hair transplant surgery. 

Your surgeon should be someone who understands hair loss and has had enough experience performing hair transplants. However, for people experiencing thinning hair, hair transplants may not be able to permanently deal with it.

What is the Success Rate of a Hair Transplant?

If you are considering a hair transplant, one crucial thing to know is how successful the outcome is likely to be. Most hair transplants have a success rate of 80-90%. For the most part, 80-90% of all hair transplants will grow within 3-4 months. 

Most expert surgeons have reported a success rate of over 90%. A hair transplant's success rate depends on several factors. Some of them are the training and expertise of your hair transplant professional, your age, the area of baldness, the cause of baldness, and the technique used for the transplant. In general, FUE has a higher success rate as compared to FUT.

Which is Better: FUT or FUE?

Whether you get an FUT or FUE depends on the density and distribution of the hair in your donor area. Both methods of hair transplantation have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your personalized diagnosis.

If your hair requires a large number of transplants, FUT is the best option for you. What's more? You don't need to shave before the surgery. This will make any scars from the surgical process easily concealable with your existing hair. Due to the shorter time used for a FUT process, FUT is usually less expensive when compared to an equivalent FUE process.

If you choose an FUE, the significant advantage is that you can get away without having linear scars on your scalp. This situation is ideal for people with short hair and those who want to do a snappier job. Another reason why you may want to consider an FUE is the fact that it's best suited for a relatively fewer number of grafts.

Even though FUE is the gold standard for hair transplant, FUT is best suited for some situations. It is best to consult your surgeon for a case by case and personalized analysis to determine what method will best ensure you achieve the required results.

What is the Latest Technology for Hair Transplantation?

FUE remains the gold standard for hair transplantation. This method was further developed into the advanced FUE, which uses the latest technology for more efficiency. The advanced FUE hair transplantation technique uses a particular device to extract individual hair follicles from the donor site one at a time. 

It transfers these follicles directly onto the scalp. The device avoids the slit incisions that usually come with the traditional FUE, thereby reducing trauma and blood loss. Most professionals prefer Advanced FUE over traditional FUE because it is minimally invasive, faster, yields excellent results, more hygienic, and has a quicker recovery rate.

Why Does Itching Occur After Hair Transplantation?

If you experience an itchy scalp after a hair transplant, don't worry, it is a regular occurrence. After you get your hair transplant, tiny holes from the surgery will be left on the scalp. As part of your body's natural healing process, the skin cells work towards shutting the wounds. As the wounds heal, they form scabs on your scalp. 

As it is with scabs on any part of the body, these scabs interfere with your scalp's regular breathing pattern, and that's what makes you itch. As your new hair begins to grow, the movement of your hair follicles may also cause itching. It is always tempting to alleviate an itchy scalp by giving it a good scratch. If you have had a hair transplant recently, it is best to resist the urge to scratch your scalp as this can result in infection and lower yield of hair growth. Instead, use the right medication for your itchy scalp.

How to Wash Your Hair After Hair Transplantation?

You may not be able to wash your hair immediately after a hair transplant. But anywhere after 48 hours is a good time for your first wash. Apply the prescribed lotion or moisturizer with the tips of your fingers, using gentle circular motions. Allow the lotion to soak for about 20-25 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Be sure to use low pressure if you are washing your hair with a shower. 

After rinsing out the lotion, apply your prescribed shampoo and gently massage, taking extra care not to remove the new hair grafts. Rinse out the shampoo with lukewarm water under low pressure. To dry your hair, use absorbent paper towels as a regular towel can cause damage to your grafts.

Factors Based on Price of Hair Transplant

Hair transplant costs between $2,000 - $15,000. The cost of hair transplant depends on several factors. One primary factor that determines the cost of hair transplant is the surgeon's experience and expertise. Similarly, the quality of work is dependent on the expertise and experience of the doctor. 

If you patronize a fully equipped clinic with the latest technology for your hair transplant, expect to shell out a lot more than you would at a moderately equipped establishment. Another determining factor is the type of procedure used. DHI hair transplants are generally more expensive than other techniques. The location of the clinic, post and aftercare services, tests and medications are other determining factors of how much you are likely to pay.

Is Hair Transplant Safe?

Yes, hair transplants are usually safe when a certified and experienced surgeon performs them. Scientists are developing the current procedures to make it safer through intensive research and development. It is normal to have some apprehension, as you will have with other surgical procedures. There is no doubt that all surgical procedures come with risks, but with the right precaution and personnel, rest assured, your hair transplantation will be a safe and sound procedure.

Finding a Right Place for Hair Transplant Surgery

Your hair deserves the best treatment. So, when it comes to finding the right place for your hair transplant surgery, there should be no doubts about your service provider. It's best to do thorough research to ensure you are getting quality and precise results for your hair. 

Some of the factors to consider are the certification of the facility and its medical professionals. Certified facilities and professionals put a label of credibility on the facility. It also gives a sense of competence, proficiency, and qualification to the professionals handling the delicate task on your scalp. 

Other factors you may want to investigate is how experienced your medical team is, especially the surgeon. Also look at the satisfaction rate of previous patients, the types of procedures used, their past legal history, etc. 

Is Hair Transplant Haram?

According to Islamic teaching, any artificial attachment to the hair is haram. However, most Islam scholars agree that hair transplant is not haram. Their reason being that the hair is taken from the same source as transplanted. 

Besides, the transplanted hair is not an artificial attachment but a natural source of the hair. In effect, hair transplant in Islam becomes haram if the transplanted hair is from another person. Also, if the hair used for the transplant is artificial, then it's haram.

How Much Does Hair Transplant Cost?

Your hair transplant cost usually depends on several factors, such as the availability of qualified hair transplant surgeons in your locality, the surgeon's expertise, the type of surgical procedure, and the extent of the post-care treatment. Typically, hair transplants cost anywhere between $2,000 to $15,000. Depending on your healthcare provider, this cost may include consultation, travel, accommodation, surgery, medication, and post-care services.

Hair Transplant as a Form of Holiday

Every year, thousands of people embark on medical tourism for several health reasons. Hair transplant surgeries are one of the popular reasons for these travels. As a result, countries that benefit from medical tourism can boost their tourism revenues. 

When you travel for a hair transplant surgery, your health care provider may provide you with an all-inclusive package. For the most part, the all-inclusive package covers your travel, accommodation, meals, surgery, a tour, and post-care services. You can take advantage of these services to have a health-filled vacation!

Recovery Period After a Hair Transplant Surgery

After your hair transplant surgery, your scalp will become sore and tender due to the teeny holes (or slits) incised on your scalp to take out the transplant grafts. You will have to wear a bandage for a couple of days. With your prescribed pain killer, your wound should get better in a few days. Most doctors will also prescribe antibiotics to avoid post-surgical infection caused by bacteria. In 2-5 days after the operation, you may be able to return to work.

What is the Difference between Hair Transplant for Women and Men?

When it comes to hair transplants, the procedure for men and women is different because of the pattern of hair loss. Males lose their hair starting from the hairline and then at the top of the head. Hair is usually left at the lower back of the head, which is what is used as donor grafts for the hair transplant. With men, either the FUT or FUE method can be used for the hair transplant. 

For female hair transplantation, the procedure is quite different due to the hair loss pattern. Hair is lost from the parting and results in thinning and loss of hair density. Unlike it is with men, the hair at the back of the hair is not resistant to hair loss, so, it's an unsuitable donor site for hair transplants. Since hair from the frontal part of the head is not affected by hair loss in females, hair transplants in females aim to restore the volume of hair at the top and back of the head. In this case, most hair surgeons prefer the FUE method.

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