People want to look their best, and just about everyone without a full head of hair feels they could look better. Both men and women can experience baldness, and most of those individuals long for a way to regrow hair that’s been lost. Hair transplants can make that wish a reality.


In the past, hair transplants using plugs were obvious, and few people were satisfied with the results. Today’s transplants look far more natural, which means no one, not even your barber, needs to know you’ve had a hair transplant.


Before undergoing a transplant, it’s important to understand what’s involved and how the process works. The first step is to contact a hair transplant expert.


Who Should Consider a Transplant?


Not everyone is a good candidate for a hair transplant, so it’s vitally important to discuss your specific situation with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Here are just a few of the types of situations where a hair transplant should be considered.


  • The most common hair transplant candidates would be men with male pattern baldness.


  • Women also suffer from thinning hair and pattern baldness and should consider hair transplants.
  • Patients who have suffered head injuries resulting in hair loss are also encouraged to explore hair transplants.


Again, these are the most common candidates for a hair transplant, but anyone with hair loss that’s causing a loss of self-esteem should consult a transplant expert to determine if a hair transplant makes sense.


What’s Involved in a Hair Transplant?


There are two types of hair transplants. The first, and least-expensive, option is FUT, or follicular unit transplantation. During this type of procedure, the surgeon removes a long, thin strip of scalp containing healthy hair. That strip of hair is then divided into small sections that are inserted in areas where the patient lacks hair.


The second type of hair transplant is more complicated and, as a result, more expensive. It’s called follicular unit extraction, or FUE. Small sections of hair are removed and moved to areas of the scalp where they are needed. This strategy eliminates the long, thin scars commonly experienced with FUT. Patients electing this type of transplant should also expect their procedure to take longer.


Once the procedure is completed, patients will be provided with aftercare instructions to reduce any chances of issues developing during the healing process. Pain medication will generally be prescribed to keep the patient comfortable until the transplant sites have begun to heal. In addition, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications will be prescribed as needed.


The stitches required will be removed in one to two weeks, depending on the type of procedure and the patient’s healing progress.


When Do Transplant Patients See Results?


New hair takes time to grow, and the process can take anywhere from six to twelve months. Patients are also cautioned that the transplanted hair will fall out within a few weeks. That’s entirely normal and should be expected.


After transplant surgery, hair growth patterns and long-term results will depend on factors like the condition of the patient’s health, the quality of the transplanted hair, and the type of haircut a patient prefers. To get the optimal results, doctors may recommend anyone having a hair transplant take medications like minoxidil to prevent hair loss in the future.


Getting Your Questions Answered


Any type of surgery includes risks, which means patients considering a hair transplant should discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor before making any decisions. However, as a rule, good hair transplant candidates are unlikely to experience any significant side effects after a transplant if they follow the doctor’s instructions.


If you’re considering a hair transplant, now is the time to schedule an evaluation with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon. That’s the only way to know whether a hair transplant is your best option.