Hair transplants in their very beginning were originally called hair plugs. While they offered a solution to a problem at the time with no solution other than concealing baldness, it had many downfalls. The modern day hair transplant has been perfected over the years down to a science. Today there are even robots that are able to carry out the procedure but even trained surgeons are just as effective. The modern day hair transplant works because many of the confounding variables have been controlled in the procedure. With the perfection of the procedure a large number of people have seen great results that have left them with a head of hair that is full and natural looking. These results are achieved because hair follicles are taken from the back of the head and placed on top of the head in the bald regions. The hair that is transplanted is an exact match for hair color, size, and hair type, making it nearly impossible to tell it is not natural. Below is a discussion of the common questions and answers for hair transplants and the procedure.
Is it painful?
One of the most common questions centered around the hair transplant is if it hurts. So does hair transplant hurt? The answer to this will depend on pain tolerance and the sensitivity of your scalp. Typically the procedure does cause some discomfort but is almost always done under a local anesthetic that blocks pain receptors in the region the procedure is being done. The most pain a patient feels is typically after the procedure is complete and the anesthetic begins to wear off. Depending on the office they may recommend taking an over the counter anti inflammatory and painkiller to allevi\ate the postoperative swelling, pain, and discomfort. In the days that follow the soreness typically wears off and the procedure ceases to cause pain for most individuals. For those with extremely low pain tolerances the physician may prescribe pain killers or recommend another option. While it is obviously a disadvantage to have to endure pain, it is worth it because of the lifelong results that a hair transplant provides.
How long does it last?
Hair transplants are the only truly permanent solution to balding. The reason the solution is permanent is that the procedure implants working hair follicles into the scalp. These hair follicles will grow, stay in, and continue to grow like your natural hair because it is your natural hair. The procedure initially will not give you a full head of hair but as time goes on and the follicles begin producing hair the bald spots will disappear and a full head of hair can be appreciated for years to come.
How does it work?
A hair transplant utilizes a fairly simple process to work. The transplant procedure consists of two different procedures. The first is the harvesting of healthy hair follicles. These hair follicles are taken from the back of the head where it won’t be visible after the operation. Each individual hair follicle is extracted and placed into a solution that ensures the follicle remains alive and adequately hydrated. Once a sufficient number of follicles has been harvested the implantation begins. In the implantation procedure the follicles are strategically implanted into the balding regions on top of the head. This is accomplished by creating small incisions into the scalp and placing the follicle into the incision site. This is repeated for each follicle until all of the follicles have been implanted into the scalp. With all of the follicles implanted bandages are carefully placed over the implantation sites and the extraction sites for a couple of hours until the blood clots and forms scabs. From here the patient simply follows the post operation procedures of gentle and frequent cleanings, not smoking, and not wearing tight fitting hats.
How long is a typical recovery
A typical recovery is typically only a month but in this time many changes to the site occur. Immediately following the procedure the region may experience soreness and swelling. After the first week this begins to subside and by the time a month has passed the hair from the follicles begin to shed. After the shedding of the hair the follicles typically grow new hair anywhere from 2 – 6 months after the operation. 1 year from the procedure is typically when the real results of the procedure can be seen.
Overall hair transplants are a great solution to consider for those that suffer from premature balding. The procedure has been performed for thousands of patients, many of which have resulted in fantastic results. Seeking out a consultation if you are interested in the procedure is a great first step. In the consultation the doctor will be able to give you a clearer picture to what realistic results would look like for you and your specific case of balding, They will also be able to answer any and all questions surrounding the procedure, recovery, and results.