Losing hair for one reason or another can affect your appearance and self-esteem. If you are looking for a lasting solution for hair loss, hair restoration can help. Fortunately, you can regain confidence and youthful looks at The Gael Center. Read on to learn about this transformative hair treatment.
What Is Hair Restoration?
Hair restoration is the process of stimulating new hair growth to a thinning or balding area. It may involve transplanting healthy hair follicles to a thinning or balding area, a receding hairline, or an area of the scalp that has gone completely bald. It may also refer to restoring natural hair with regenerative treatment and hair growth medications to create a more vital, healthy, and youthful look. Hair restoration is also known as hair transplant or hair replacement and is ideal for those who have tried other hair loss treatments without success.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Hair loss comes about due to various conditions, which include:
- Male pattern baldness (also known as androgenic alopecia), which is genetic
- Hormonal changes
- Medical conditions
- Radiation therapy
What Is Hair Transplantation?
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure in which the hair follicles are taken from the back of the head or sides of the scalp that has good hair growth (donor areas) and transplanted on the front or crown of the scalp (recipient area) that is thinning or bald using the latest technologies and techniques. Once transplanted, the hair will continue to grow permanently.
Types of Hair Restoration
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) Or ‘Strip’ Method
In this procedure, a linear strip of healthy hair is harvested from the back of the scalp where the hair is more abundant (donor area) and implanted in the thinning or balding area (recipient area).
Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)
This is a method of extracting or harvesting follicular units one by one and then transplanting them to the thinning or balding area. In FUE, an instrument is used to make small circular incisions in the skin around follicular units, separating them from the surrounding tissue.
ARTAS iX System or ARTAS Robot
This is a physician-assisted automated method to harvest and implant hair. The ARTAS system is an image-guided robot that automates the labor-intensive process of extracting hundreds of grafts in a session.
Good Candidates for A Hair Transplant
Receiving a hair transplant can improve your appearance and confidence. Men and women of all races can be good candidates for hair transplants. Hair replacement is a good option, and factors to be considered include the following:
- Enough healthy hair on your scalp that can be transplanted to the area that needs hair
- The ability to grow hair on the thinning area of your scalp
- Men with male pattern baldness
- Women with thinning hair
- Anyone who has lost some hair from a burn or scalp injury
Hair Restoration Areas
Hair loss treatment can be performed in several areas. Modern techniques can increase the quantity of hair in the following areas:
Consultation for Hair Transplant
The process starts with a visit to a physician for a consultation. During this visit, the doctor will take a basic medical history, assess the number of hair roots available for transplant, evaluate the level of hair loss, and predictable future hair loss.
Preparation for The Hair Transplant Procedure
After you have reserved the surgical date, you are directed not to take vitamins, and alcohol, including those found in power drinks or strenuous workouts, starting ten days before the procedure. This is because they tend to thin the blood, and chemically sabotage platelets necessary for clotting, making a hair transplant performance difficult. Avoid anything that undermines the blood’s ability to clot.
Procedure for Hair Transplants
Hair transplants typically occur in a medical office under local anesthesia. They must be performed by a licensed physician and a team of qualified medical technicians equipped with a dedicated transplant hair procedure room and adequately sterilized instruments. Procedures include:
Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) or Strip Procedure
During the procedure:
- Experienced medical technicians will begin cleaning the scalp with antiseptics.
- They will then comb the hair up in the back of the head and hold it in place with medical tape.
- A local anesthetic will then be applied
- A small strip of the skin will be shaved under the swept hair (donor area) and disinfected
- The surgeon will cut out a strip of the skin from the back or side of the head, extract individual hair follicles, and then close it with stitches before moving to the next section.
- The surgeon next separates the removed portion of the scalp into small sections using a magnifying lens and sharp surgical knife.
- These follicles are then inserted into the balding parts of your scalp.
The surgery works best at covering a receding hairline caused by male pattern baldness.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Procedure
The FUE procedure involves the following:
- This is a sutureless method of hair extraction. On the day of surgery, the entire donor area is trimmed.
- Each individual follicle unit is extracted from the back of the head using local anesthesia and with the help of special micro punches.
- The extraction is done randomly with less noticeable thinning in the harvested area.
- The extraction is done through microscopic circular incisions on the scalp
- The hair roots are implanted in the bald area.
There are two types of FUE hair transplants procedures:
A manual FUE transplant is done by a physician using a handheld device to extract individual hair follicles.
A Robotic FUE procedure uses a robotic hair transplant device guided by the physician, who also maps out the desired donor area. The ARTAS robot carries out the actual harvesting.
What Is the Recovery Process?
Following a hair transplant surgery, you may experience tenderness in the scalp, and you may need to take medications such as:
- Pain medications
- Antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection
- Anti-inflammatory medications to keep swelling down
After surgery, do not wash your hair for at least 24-48 hours, as this may damage the new follicles. Avoid excess sun exposure, and keep rigorous exercise at a minimum for the first or two weeks of recovery. Take care not to pick at the healing scalp to avoid infection and irritation.
It’s typical for the transplanted hair to fall out in2-3 weeks after the procedure. This makes way for new hair growth, and you should start to notice new growth within a few months.
What Is the New Outlook?
The new hair may appear more or less dense depending on the following:
- The density of follicles in the transplanted area
- Scalp laxity, or how to lose your scalp skin, is
- Hair caliber
- Hair cut
Your new hair growth may become visible four months after your transplant. It will continue to thicken over 12 to 15 months and will continue growing similarly to the donor area. This will finally result in your head having thicker, fuller hair.
For more information and to know whether you can benefit from hair restoration, contact The Gael Center today or schedule an appointment online.