One cannot help but admire a woman with thick, smooth flowing tresses or a man with gorgeous hair. A good hair day helps you walk out of your house in the morning with confidence and in style. So it is only natural to feel concerned over hair thinning or loss issues. If you have been experiencing major hair loss or balding, you may want to consider a hair transplant procedure. An effective transplant procedure will prove to be more economical and require less maintenance in the long term. It is important, however, to consult an expert doctor and get their opinion before committing to the process. In this post, we’ll discuss FUE hair transplants, FUT hair transplants, and which method may be right for you.
What is Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant procedure is a type of surgery performed with the objective of resolving hair thinning/loss issues. While hair transplant as a technique has been around for more than half a decade, advances in medical sciences have fine-tuned the procedure to adapt to a variety of individuals belonging to different ethnicities, skin types and genetic profiles, greatly maximising its success rate.
FUE Hair Transplant
Current hair transplant procedures are mainly of 2 types: Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) or Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). FUE is a far more advanced technique than the FUSS and we will focus on what this method entails in this post.
During an FUE procedure, the scalp of the back of your head will be shaved clean by the performing surgeon. Local anaesthesia will be given to numb the region(s) before putting the scalpel to it. Then, individual hair follicles will be extracted to be later transferred to areas where hair growth needs to be induced. After this, tiny and precise incisions will be made to insert the prepared follicular grafts to the thinning areas of your scalp. The whole procedure will be completed in a few hours and the recovery process can begin soon afterwards.
How Long Does It Take To Look Normal After FUE Hair Transplant?
The FUE transplant method is a simple outpatient procedure and many patients return to work and normal routines within a week if not the very next day itself. However, there are certain precautions that need to be taken to ensure a sustainable recovery after the process:
- Painkillers might be necessary for the first few days after the surgery as your scalp will be tender and you may experience some discomfort. Surgeons also prescribe antibiotics/anti-inflammatory medicines in certain individual cases.
- There may be some swelling on parts of your scalp. Care must be taken to not lean your head too forward until the swelling subsides. Sleeping on your back is recommended. In most cases, the swelling disappears within 1-2 days.
- Once the swelling is taken care of, it is recommended that you wash your hair every day after the surgery until the doctor instructs otherwise. This is to prevent crusting and facilitate a speedy recovery. Crusting (if any) usually disappears within 10-15 days.
- It is essential that you consume plenty of water and have rich, fibre-heavy foods.
Since FUE is a minimally invasive surgical operation, there will hardly be any open wounds. The minor wounds and the subsequent rashes will completely heal in a matter of 8-10 days.
It is very common to experience a phenomenon known as ‘shock shedding’ after 2-3 weeks of the surgery. During this period, most of your transplanted hair will fall off. You may experience thinning and hair loss in several areas of your scalp. This is a natural, expected outcome of the procedure and may last as long as 1-2 months. The hair that grows back after the shedding period will exhibit renewed vigour. You can expect this new growth phase to start within a few months of the surgery. Within 9 months or sooner, most of your hair growth will be completed. Some clients are prescribed the Minoxidil (Rogaine) drug to facilitate better hair growth. Within a year, you can expect to have a brand-new look and a lush, fecund scalp.
While side effects are usually minor bleeding or itching and disappear within a few days, it is vital that you follow all the instructions of your doctor/surgeon post-operation to minimize risks. Many surgeons instruct patients to abstain from smoking and consuming alcohol, as it may have a negative impact on your hair growth and the recovery process.
In most cases, a hair transplant is a one-time procedure with very low maintenance requirements. Hair will continue to grow on the donor as well as the transplanted regions of your scalp. The new hair quality and density may vary depending on scalp laxity, follicle density, hair calibre etc. Before you invest in the procedure, please spend sufficient time with your doctor to understand your needs and set realistic expectations.
Benefits of Hair Transplant
The benefits of getting a hair transplant done are plenty and if you are looking forward to undergoing the procedure, you may already be aware of its advantages. Nevertheless here are our top 3 reasons that may help you validate your choice.
- Sustainable and Cost-Effective
In the long term, opting for a hair transplant procedure will add up to be a wiser decision. Instead of spending on multiple hair products which change every time you visit a new dermatologist, a transplant surgery will not just be a one-time procedure from which you can recover easily but also a one-time expense.
- Low Maintenance
This outpatient procedure has most clients go back to their regular life activities in a week. After the initial recovery period, you might as well forget about the procedure you have just undertaken because there are no expected callbacks or prolonged medication to follow. Life goes back to normal, the only difference is that you have a head full of hair now.
- Natural Look
It is often disconcerting to see somebody with a botched cosmetic job. Natural-looking solutions are always more appealing to the eyes and the mind. An effective hair transplant surgery facilitates natural hair growth, eliminating any inorganic visual effects.