Hair transplantation is the most common and reliable method for surgical treatment of hair loss. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and involves the removal of strips of hair from a donor area, which is often the back of the patient’s head. The strips of hair are cut into micrografts and are inserted into slits created in the areas of baldness on the patient’s head.
The donor area is an area on the back and sides of the head, which has healthy hair follicles. The follicles in these areas are genetically different from the follicles in the balding area, and not predisposed to balding.
The hair in the donor area is trimmed short, and a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. A very thin strip of tissue is removed from the donor area. The donor site is stitched and hair can be combed over the stitches so that the donor site is not visible at all.
The grafts are prepared under a microscope. The donor tissue is very carefully separated into follicular units. The smallest possible amount of scalp tissue is left on each graft so that only very tiny incisions are needed to insert the micrograft. This part of the process must be very precise, in order for the transplanted hair to grow properly. Each follicular unit contains blood vessels, glands, and nerves in a very tiny sac. This entire unit must be kept intact when the excess scalp tissue is removed.
The area receiving the transplants is numbed using local anesthesia. Existing hair in this area does not have to be trimmed or shaved. Tiny incisions are made in this area, in irregular patterns which mimic natural hair growth patterns. The micrografts are inserted into these incisions. Follicular units are placed closer together behind the hairline to create more density.
Immediately after surgery the balding area will be covered with stubble from the new hair grafts. The incisions heal in about one week. It can take up to three months for the new hair to start growing. Once growth begins, your new hair will grow normally and should be cared for in the same manner as the rest of your natural hair.
One session should produce natural looking results, but many patients will require two sessions to achieve their desired thickness and density. Because all hair grows slowly, it can take one year to eighteen months to see the full results.
Old methods of hair transplantation produced a very unnatural look. Today’s methods create a look so natural that even a hair stylist cannot tell there has been a transplant. To get these natural looking results you must use a highly skilled and experienced surgeon.
If you have bald spots or thinning hair, talk to an experienced cosmetic surgeon about hair replacement today.
For more information on hair replacements, try looking in the Facial Procedures Articles.