If you have thinning hair, you may be looking into hair restoration surgery, and you're not alone. Hair loss affects millions of men and women in the United States. Until recently, there have been no completely effective treatments for thinning and balding. However, there are now viable options and surgical procedures available that can replace lost hair.
If you are considering hair restoration, you should first learn if you are an ideal candidate. A great candidate for hair restoration surgery would have healthy hair on the sides and back of the head. These areas are used as donor areas for the grafts. However, those with well-defined baldness, thinning hair, limited hair loss due to scalp injuries, or repeated cosmetic procedures are also generally good candidates.
Below we’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions at hair consultations. Read below to learn more about hair restoration surgery.
Are Hair Transplants Permanent?
The hair transplanted during surgery will remain and grow for the rest of the patient’s life. This hair can be cut, styled, or shaved. After all, it’s the patient’s own hair.
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
This depends on which hair restoration option you are undergoing. With some options, only one procedure is needed, and a follow-up session may be required. With other options, multiple sessions at various intervals may be required. However, most patients can achieve a full, natural look with a minimum number of procedures. Most successful candidates for micrografting and hair transplantation need one or two appointments, usually several months apart. Each office procedure lasts approximately three to four hours.
Is the Procedure Painful?
Most patients report very little or no pain. The procedure is minimally invasive, and a local anesthetic is used, so discomfort during the process is eliminated.
Will I be Awake During the Procedure?
Yes, patients are awake during the surgery. A local anesthetic is used to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible. Many will pass the time by listening to music or watching television while healthy follicles are moved from the back and sides of the head to the areas of need.
What Happens During the Procedure?
During hair restoration surgery, a small strip of hair-bearing scalp is removed from the back and sides of the head. This area is carefully chosen, so it will be hidden amongst the remaining hair.
The surgeon will then microscopically divide the harvested strip of the hair-bearing scalp for replacement in the balding areas. These grafts may be processed into a variety of different sizes, depending on a patient’s specific needs and scalp conditions. The grafted hairs grow much like normal hair and are virtually undetectable. Follicular groupings containing more hairs will be used to obtain a denser hairline.
To complete the restoration, the surgeon carefully checks that the newly placed hairs will grow together in a specific direction to form a hairline that is virtually undetectable, along with increased overall hair density.
The surgery takes, on average, six to eight hours. The length of the procedure depends on several factors, including how many grafts are being transplanted.
What is the recovery time?
There’s really no downtime associated with the procedure. Although patients can go back to work right away, many opt to take a day or two off before returning to work. Most patients need only a few days to recover, and over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken for any discomfort.
You will receive detailed instructions about how to care for your scalp after surgery. Among other restrictions, you will need to forgo strenuous exercise for several days. The donor and recipient areas are generally back to normal within 5-7 days. Most patients can return to work 24 to 48 hours after their hair restoration. Follow-up visits at four to six-month intervals are scheduled to monitor progress and assess results.
When Does the Hair Start Growing?
In the two to three weeks after surgery, the transplanted hair will shed. After that, you will notice new hair growth in three to four months. By six months, most patients see about half of their total growth, and within nine months, most patients will see 60 percent of expected new hair growth, with the balance filling in within the one-year mark. It takes about 18 months to see the final result of your hair transplant surgery.
If your hair is thinning, Nashville Hair Clinic can help! Contact us today at 615-257-1496 for a comprehensive evaluation. Let us help you achieve your hair goals in 2020.