What is a Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a surgical transplant of hair from other parts of the body to the top of the head. Hair transplants are not for everyone and can be considerably expensive. However, when other forms of treatment for hair growth fail, hair transplant surgery may be a suitable alternative.
How it Works
Hair transplant surgery works by using the permanent fringe hair around the back and sides of the scalp. This area of hair, especially in those suffering from male pattern baldness, is called donor dominant hair. Donor dominant hair has the ability to grow on any balding area where it is transplanted.
Hair transplant surgery is an outpatient procedure and patients undergo local anesthesia before the surgery begins. After the anesthesia has been administered, the transplant surgeon removes follicles and hair growth from the donor dominant patches on the body and divides them into individual grafts. Grafts may contain from one or two hairs (micrografts) to six hairs (minigrafts). Once the grafts have been prepared they are inserted underneath the skin of the balding area and left to grow new patches. The procedure last around six to eight hours at a time, and in most cases needs to be spread out over more than one visit until the entire area has been covered.
There is a small amount of scarring that will occur at the donor site where the original hair has been removed. However, the rest of the hair at the donor dominant hair site usually covers these scars and makes them nearly impossible to see. Scabbing may also occur at the bald areas where hair has been transplanted. This scabbing will disappear in one or two weeks.
Hair transplant surgery does not have immediate results. After the surgery has been done, the hair will fall out of the follicles. This does not mean the surgery has failed, it is merely part of the process. One to three months after the surgery, normal hair should start regrowing at the sites of the grafts. Additional treatments will result in thicker hair.