Understanding the Art and Science of Hair Transplantation

Similar to all cosmetic procedures, hair transplants combine art and medicine. It is really fascinating how machines and the outlook of a doctor can create an almost natural-looking hairline without any pain or complications. Because everyone has a different hair type and facial structure, a doctor needs to assess these aspects to determine the right placement that won’t make the new hair look artificial or unnatural. 

Deciding to go through a hair transplantation process is a major decision, which must be founded upon research and study. If you haven’t made up your mind yet, this guide will help you do so.

How Does It Work?

As you may already know, a hair transplant procedure is a process in which a surgeon will move hair to a bald section of the scalp. Usually, hair is moved from the back or the side of the head (areas in which balding is rare), and place the hair retrieved from these areas to the top of the head. Of course, a surgeon must sterilize the area from which hair will be removed then administer a local anesthetic, but if you’re worried, you can request to be sedated for the whole duration of the surgery. As long as you don’t have certain allergies or any scalp condition, there is nothing to worry about.

Types of Hair Transplantations

Mainly, there are two practiced techniques for hair transplantations: the follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and the follicular unit extraction (FUE). Both of these techniques have their pros and cons. Of course, you’ll get to choose between those two, but considering that there might be a vast discrepancy in prices, it is wise that you learn more about the cost, as this will be a determining factor in your final decision. The prices may vary by location, so whether you live in Toronto or Sydney, be sure to look up the average cost of both operations before making a decision. To understand the FUT and FUE better, here is more information about the two procedures.

FUT Transplant

FUT, which is also known as follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) is initiated with a scalpel with which a surgeon uses to remove a piece of the patient’s scalp (surgeons usually remove a piece of the scalp from the back of the head). This strip is normally from 6 to 10 inches long, which should make it stretch from ear to ear. 

Once this step is done, the surgeon will close the back of the head with stitches. The removed strip is split into pieces and used on the area in which hair should be transplanted. A blade or needle is used to make small holes in the balding area. The final step is grafting or puncturing the holes with the hair removed from the scalp strip. While it’s effective, the downside for this procedure is scarring, which can be very thin and hidden at the back of the patient’s head, but still very much there. FUT costs more and might cause some swelling in the scarred area, which is why it’s not commonly favored.

FUE Transplant

FUE techniques are different from FUT transplants, as they involve shaving the hair and removing the follicles one by one, which are then implanted in the balding area in a similar fashion to how they are implanted in the FUT process. Given that the hair is transplanted without using a scalpel to remove a part of the scalp, this means that the patient won’t have to suffer from terrible scarring afterward. Some people even say that grafting in FUE is way gentler and has fewer side effects than it does in the FUT process. In addition to this, a surgeon will be able to transplant about hundreds (maybe even thousands) of hairs in the affected area per treatment session, which means that it might take about three to four sessions to fully transplant hair into the balding area with each session taking about four hours or more. After you’re done with your sessions, you’ll have only 10 days to fully recover. Considering that the cheaper option does not involve scarring, a lot of people would opt for FUE transplants.

Who Should Get a Hair Transplantation?

Hair transplantations is a process in which art and science meet. It is also a great method to boost one’s self-esteem and appearance. However, there are only a few people who should get hair transplants, like men with baldness, women with severely thinning hair, or anyone who suffered a scalp injury. On the other hand, hair transplants aren’t good for people who don’t have donor hair patches that can be used for transplantation or people who have suffered hair loss due to medication.

Learning more about hair transplantation is a must in order to decide whether or not you need one. In any case, it is important that you consult a surgeon first before taking any steps to know whether or not you qualify for a hair transplant, and which method is best for you.