When it comes to hair loss, there are few truly effective treatment options. Topical treatments like minoxidil can regrow some hair, but tend to lose their effectiveness over time. And they don’t help at all when you’ve already lost most of your hair. Once the hair follicles have died, they will not grow hair again.
The same is true for oral medications like finasteride. Fortunately, a hair transplantation procedure can help when all other options have failed.
How It Works
What makes a hair transplant procedure unique is that it involves the transfer of actual hairs and hair follicles from a site on the head that is already growing hair. After a short adjustment period, in which transplanted hair may actually fall out temporarily, the hair begins growing as normal at the site of transplantation.
Hair Transplantation Cost
The cost of a hair transplant varies widely, depending upon factors like:
- Geographic location
- Skill of the surgeon
- Type of procedure used
- Amount of hair being transplanted
The cost of a hair transplant procedure can range anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000. The largest single factor in determining the cost of a given hair transplant procedure is how much hair the patient will have transplanted.
Hair Transplantation Overview
The procedure consists of four parts: removal of hair strip or hair groups, hair follicles preparation, preparing the recipient area, and the actual transplantation of the hair follicles.
Your surgeon will first mark the area of your desired hairline. They will perform your procedure under local anesthesia.
Hair transplant surgery can take anywhere from four to six hours. The way that the surgery proceeds depends upon the method being used for your individual hair transplant.
If your surgery involves the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) technique, your surgeon will cut a skin strip from the donor site, which is then divided into hair groups. They would then suture or staple the wound at the donor site.
If your hair transplant procedure is performed using the FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) method, your surgeon will shave the donor site bald before beginning.
Typically, the complete head is shaved. Your surgeon will then extract as many as 15 follicular groups per square centimeter. Hair at the donor site will remain full. The micro-scars that the procedure causes should heal very nicely within a few days.
Next, your surgeon will prepare the recipient area using small tubules that will be attached using a drill or laser. The tubules’ angle will correspond to your natural hair growth direction.
The skill of your plastic surgeon will come into play when creating grafts at the hairline, as a lack of skill and artistic talent can lead to an artificial-looking result.
The final step is the actual insertion of the hair grafts, using tweezers, into the tubules.
Hair Transplantation Recovery Timeline
The following is what you can expect in the weeks and months after a hair transplant procedure:
Although a hair transplant is not major surgery, it is still surgery that will cause some degree of swelling and inflammation. If this is uncomfortable for you, it can help to apply a cold compress to the area.
One Week Later
In some ways, this is the most critical period, and the one in which you may feel the most uncomfortable. After the third day, you can begin washing your hair gently using a very mild shampoo.
It is common to experience some minor bleeding and itching during the first few days.
Ten Days Later
During this period, you should experience some significant healing of your treated area, and the redness will begin disappearing. You can keep washing your hair gently to remove any dead skin cells or residue.
‘Shock loss’ is an expected development common to most hair transplant recipients, involving the natural growth cycle of hair follicles. All hair follicles pass through various phases in which they fall out, go dormant, and then go through a growth phase before repeating the cycle all over again.
Following a hair transplant, the trauma of the surgery will cause some of your hair follicles to go into a dormant phase, causing them to fall out. But don’t panic. This is completely normal following a hair transplant procedure. This phase can last up to two months before regular hair growth resumes. But you may not notice that your hair has begun growing again until up to four months after your hair transplant.
You should be observing some significant hair growth by now. Keep following all of your provided aftercare instructions to achieve quick and effective results.
Your hair should be growing rapidly by now, with individual hair strands becoming stronger and thicker by the day. The coverage of the hair can reach up to 100 percent. You can comb your hair using a brush, and trim it.
Avoid exposing your hair and scalp to extreme hot or cold conditions.
By now, you should have achieved your treatment goals. Both the transplant and donor area should be fully recovered. You can now take pride in a vigorous, healthy looking head of full hair that you can style any way that you choose.