What is it?
A Hair Transplant is a process in which the doctors surgically move the hair follicle from the donor site to the receptor site of your body. The hair follicle is basically a mammalian skin organ which produces hair. It is mainly used in curing male pattern baldness. It can be used to restore any type of hair, whether it may be eyebrows, eyelashes or anything. It can even be used to fill in scars from accidents or previous surgeries etc.
How is it done?
Like any other surgery, this is split into three important steps:
1. Pre Operative assessment
The surgeon or hair doctor will do a detailed analysis of the skin scalp and will decide the donor site and other important aspects and will plan the surgery accordingly. Pre operative folliscopy is also done to determine the density of the original hair. This analysis is used to later compare the transplanted hair with the original ones and proper assessment of the newly grafted hair.
2. Harvesting Methods
The hair harvesting is the trickiest part of the surgery. The hair follicles need to be carefully extracted as the hair grows at an angle from the skin. And they need to be removed at the corresponding angle.
There exist two major types of grafting
i) Strip Excision harvesting
It is the most widely used technique. In this technique a part of the scalp is removed along with the hair follicles. These skin tissues are then gently and carefully are separated from the follicle. This follicle is then inserted in the receiver site. It generally leaves a linear scar in the area from which the hair follicle is extracted.
ii) Follicular unit extraction (FUE)
In this technique the surgeon removes only the follicle using very fine techniques with high precision. It is more time consuming than the strip surgery method due to the high level of accuracy involved. It has several advantages over Strip surgery like
- It does not require large area of tissues to be removed from the skin, which leaves a linear scar.
- It doesn’t leave virtually visible scars as individual follicles are removed.
- It gives more natural results.
- But it comes with some major cons too like
- Increased time for surgery
- High prices for the procedure
3. Post Operative process
– Use of semi permeable dressing to cover the grafted area which allows seepage of blood and tissue fluid. This needs to be changed daily at least.
– Shampooing also needs to be done as prescribed by the doctor to prevent formation of scabs. These scabs increase the risk of losing the hair follicles.
Thinning of hair due to “shock loss”, that is, the loss of almost all the transplanted hair due to their relocation is the common side effect of a Hair transplant surgery.
There are several important advantages and disadvantages associated with the transplant for example:
– The process doesn’t use any sort of chemicals which might potentially damage your hair
– No hassle or special treatment is required to maintain the transplanted hair.
– It might be an all good process, but the recovery time is in months.
– If hair loss is genetic then the person might still lose his/her hair after the transplant.
However, it helps the person in developing self confidence and the transplanted hair does not require any different maintenance.