Hair transplants, also called hair transplantations, are a way to use individual hair follicles from another part of the body, to be implanted in thinning or bald spots on your head. The donor site where hair follicles are harvested can be from your own body or another person. Hair transplants are most commonly done on men for male pattern baldness, but women get it done too. Aside from getting the transplants on your head, you can also get it done on your eyebrows, eyelashes, chest hair, beard hair, or public hair. Hair transplants continue to advance as they now use 1-4 hair follicular units so that hair transplants appear natural.
Methods of Hair Transplant Procedures
The hair transplanting procedure uses hair follicles that are first harvested, in one of o ways. The first way to do a transplant is called strip harvesting. This is done by removing a piece of scalp from the head and temporarily suture the scalp together during the harvesting process. The hair follicles are then transplanted into that strip of scalp skin, which is then transplanted back onto the scalp in the areas where the hair is thinning or on the bald spot areas. The recovery period for strip harvesting is about 2 weeks and generally has more pain and discomfort. The other method is called follicular unit extraction, also known as FUE harvesting. This is done by removing hair follicles from the donor site, using tiny punches that are 0.6mm to 1.25mm in size. Each follicle will be inserted into the scalp using a micro blade. The recovery time for an FUE is shorter at about 7 days which considerably less scarring and pain following the procedure.
The Transplant Procedure
During the consultation and before the procedure is performed, the surgeon will look at your scalp and discuss which method is going to work best for you. You will need to refrain from medications about a week before your scheduled surgery date and avoid things such as drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. You will most likely take an antibiotic to help prevent infections from the procedure. Local anesthesia is common for this surgery even though it is an outpatient procedure. .The surgery lasts several hours once you go under. Shortly after the transplant procedure is completed, you will wake up and receive post-operative care before being sent home. You will have a semi-permeable dressing over the wound which will be changes once or twice a day. You will be instructed to keep the surgical site away from direct sunlight and to avoid shampooing for 2-3 days.