Hair transplants have gained popularity in recent years as a surgical solution to hair loss. It is a cosmetic procedure where hairs are taken from a healthy donor area of the scalp and surgically implanted into an area of balding.
It sounds like a daunting procedure, but it is performed under local anaesthetic and is a day surgery, so you will not need to spend the night in your clinic.
As with any medical procedure, there is a reasonable recovery period to be expected, and the full results of your hair transplant can take anywhere between 12-18 months to be seen.
It is most common for men to opt for this treatment - around 84% of procedures performed are on men.
With all of this in mind, let’s get into the details and questions regarding hair transplants!
The procedure - an overview:
There are two main types of procedures for a hair transplant, Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and Follicular unit extraction (FUE). Both follow the same idea, but one is usually more suitable than the other depending on the patient and for the best outcome, be sure to consult your physician.
FUT involves removing a thin strip of skin from the back of the head, which contains many hair follicles. The donor hairs are then separated into smaller follicular units of 1-4 hairs and then implanted into tiny cuts on the area of the scalp that has experienced balding.
The donor area of the scalp is closed with stitches, leaving a thin, linear scar that is usually unnoticeable.
FUE involves shaving a donor patch of hair, usually at the back of the head too, but unlike FUT, the follicular units are removed 1 by 1. These are then implanted individually into tiny cuts in the target area. As the follicles are gathered from random parts of the back of the head, it can help to achieve a more natural finished look, as there is no noticeable thinning in the donor area.
How much does a hair transplant cost?
The price of a hair transplant varies greatly, and in the UK can be anywhere between £3000-£15000+!
Many factors contribute to the price of your procedure. Such as the severity of hair loss, which procedure you opt for, the amount of hairs that are transplanted, the quality of the clinic you visit…The list goes on!
It is not uncommon for people to travel abroad for the procedure, namely to Turkey, as it is less expensive than in the UK.
Hair transplant recovery:
As I briefly covered earlier, there is a process of recovery from a hair transplant.
The medical recovery takes around two weeks; any bandages are removed from the wounds after 2-5 days, but you are not advised to touch the area or the grafts. Your scalp will likely feel tight, swollen, and achy for the first part of the healing process.
From around day 6-7, you can gently clean the grafts by hand and from day 10 any stitches are removed.
The next stage of the process sounds alarming; at around 2-3 weeks all of the transplanted hairs will fall out, but this is just part of the natural hair cycle!
Your new growth will then begin, with complete results visible at around 12-18 months.
How long does a hair transplant last?
Providing the graft is successful, and 95-98% are, the hair will continue to grow permanently in the area of implantation! This means that although the initial procedure is costly, the likelihood of it needing to repeated is extremely low.
Hair transplant before and after:
Possibly the most exciting part of your transplant will be seeing the results, so here are a few before and after shots: