Getting a Hair Transplant: Is it the Right Choice for You?
For the right candidate, a hair transplant can significantly improve quality of life and sense of well-being.
But is it right for you?
We’ll let you know here.
Have you been considering a hair transplant? You’re not alone.
By the age of 50, nearly 85% of men will experience significant hair loss.
If you’re experiencing permanent hair loss and are tired of combing over stringy hair to patch up bald spots, a permanent procedure is worth looking into.
Below, we dive deeper into the facts. What does a hair transplant entail? What factors might affect this procedure? And what makes an ideal candidate for this surgery?
Read on to find out!
The Hair Necessities
Nine out of ten balding men say hair loss is their main concern.
Considering most men experience some hair loss throughout their lifetime (a quarter of them before the age of 21), it’s a valid worry!
Hair is important to our self-esteem and self-expression.
As part of a sociological study, it was found that hair is a measurement of beauty and, because of this, also a measurement of success. Research shows that attractive people are more likely to succeed, including getting better grades in school or being asked out on more dates.
The importance we put on hair, or lack thereof, can also be seen economically. The surgical hair restoration industry is a billion-dollar business, not including hair growth formulas such as Rogaine.
Why are so many people losing hair?
Causes of Hair Loss
The average adult has roughly 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on their head and loses up to 100 strands a day.
Genetics can play a role in hair thinning, as well as stress and not taking proper care of your mane.
By age 60, nearly two out of three men will experience hair loss. In most cases, male pattern baldness (MPB) is the suspect, which is caused by a combination of genes and male sex hormones.
It’s also important to remember that there’s an excessive use of chemicals in certain cosmetic products like shampoos, conditioners, and soaps.
To prevent this, or to at least minimize the risk, consider switching to organic foods and products. And limit the use of hot rollers and styling gels, which can have negative long-term effects.
Sometimes, a change in diet or brand is not enough, and more drastic measures are needed.
How do you know whether you qualify for a hair transplant procedure?
If you’ve been losing your hair for more than five years or have progressed to a No. 3 or higher on The Norwood Scale, you’re an ideal candidate for hair restoration surgery.
If you’ve lost your hair due to trauma or burns, or from other cosmetic procedures, such as a face-lift, this surgery will also benefit you.
When considering hair transplants, it’s important to be realistic. Understand that hair will not grow back in a day—regrowth usually takes a few months.
While there is no hard cut-off age, a lot of doctors prefer candidates to be older than 21 before committing to the surgery.
It’s also important to recognize whether your hair loss is temporary or permanent.
Some factors that can affect temporary hair loss are stress, certain medications, trauma, illness, and pregnancy.
Now that you have a better idea of whether hair transplants are the right path for you, let’s dive into what these procedures entail.
Hair Transplant 101
Simply put, hair transplantation is a surgical process that moves hair from a place where you have hair to a place where you don’t.
Contrary to popular belief, hair transplant procedures are not limited to just the scalp.
Hair transplant procedures have been in the United States since the 1950s. And with the advancement of technology, they’ve come a long way.
In fact, three-fifths of men surveyed could not accurately determine which subjects had had a transplant and which had not.
There are two types of hair transplant procedures: follicular unit strip surgery, also known as follicular unit transplantation (FUT), and follicular unit extraction (FUE).
The difference between the two is the method by which hairs are extracted.
Follicular Unit Extraction
In FUE, hair is taken from what is called the donor site. Popular donor sites include the side or back of the head. These areas usually have a good amount of growing hair follicles.
The place where you’re adding hair is called the recipient site.
Doctors say that after FUE, more than 95% of transplanted hair is able to take root and grow in its new location.
Follicular Unit Transplantation
In the FUT procedure, a 6- to 10-inch strip of skin is taken from the patient and then dissected into several individual hair follicle units.
Patients can expect to see hair growing back naturally in just 8 to 10 months. This type of transplant is permanent.
In both cases, the process takes about four to eight hours, and can be done right in the doctor’s office.
Because anesthesia, incisions, and a lot of detailed work is involved with these procedures, it’s important to find a well-qualified specialist.
Finding the Right Specialist
Like anything else, choosing the right person to perform this surgery is crucial. It’s important to know what to look for.
First, do your research. Make sure the doctor is licensed and specializes in what you’re seeking.
You can take this a step further by calling your state medical board to make sure no complaints have been filed against them.
Referrals also go a long way.
By asking a doctor for the names and phone numbers of some previous patients, you can get an honest opinion about their experiences. If you go this route, ask to be put in touch with patients who have similar hair and skin characteristics as you.
Whether you’re balding beautifully or unevenly, there are many solutions for hair loss.
For more information about whether hair restoration is right for you, feel free to reach out to us here.