The first hair transplant procedure in the US was done in the 1950s by Dr. Norman Orentreich. Since then, hair transplant procedures have evolved, giving better and more natural-looking results. And specialists are working on existing procedures to improve them further.
If you are new to this industry, you probably have reservations about hair transplant procedures. There is a lot of information (fact and fiction) about these procedures. However, as a new patient, you may have trouble wrapping your head around all the details of these types of procedures.
Luckily, we are here to help. The information below answers the most commonly asked questions about hair restoration to empower new patients with accurate information. Therefore, if you have begun your journey to restoring your follicles, here are the answers to some of the most common questions about these procedures.
1. Is hair loss my fault?
This is a common question for people who start to lose their hair. The answer depends on the type of hair loss you experience. Androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male or female patterned baldness, has a genetic cause. No evidence proves this condition is related to skin conditions, shampoo use, nor frequent washing.
On the other hand, some types of hair loss are a result of hair products, medication/treatment side effects, scalp infections, and even stress from a regular hairstyle. Again, a trip to an expert will help you discover the root of the problem.
2. Where does the donor hair come from?
The donor follicles come from you. The surgeon will examine your hair loss pattern then extract donor follicles from areas without thinning or hair loss. The donor follicles cannot come from another source. Your body would reject donor follicles from others, making the procedures unsuccessful. Most surgeons extract hair follicles from the back of the head because it is least likely to thin or fall out.
3. Am I a candidate for hair transplant procedures?
If you have concerns about your hair loss, you are well on your way to being a good candidate for hair transplant procedures. The best candidates are those who have suffered hair loss for five years and beyond. This is because the surgeon can quickly determine the patterns as it has a solid foundation that will not change in the years to come. Plus, you have to be above the age of 18. Additionally, the ideal candidate is anyone without severe medical conditions, like any medication treatment or symptoms that can affect your desired results.
4. Will I feel pain during and after the transplant?
This is a significant concern for new patients because, after all, the procedures are surgical. It is important to note that this is a safe and minor surgical procedure. It is not painful as harvesting and transplanting all occurs under local anesthesia.
Patients feel some discomfort during the administration of the anesthesia, but everything is painless after that. You won’t feel a thing during the harvesting nor the transplanting. After the procedure, you may experience some mild discomfort or pain. However, you can manage this with over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen. Additionally, your doctor can prescribe something stronger if you need it.
5. How long does the procedure take?
You will need multiple treatments over time. Furthermore, harvesting and transplanting happen on different days. Overall, your treatment spreads over several months for two or three procedures. However, each procedure lasts only a few hours, about three or four, depending on the extent of the work. The number can be higher if you get additional services.
6. How long before I can go back to work?
Most people resume their normal activities in the next few hours after the procedure. This is a minimally invasive procedure, so you do not have to worry about bed rest and weeks without movement. Some people quickly go back to work some hours after the procedure. The longest you can take before resuming your schedule is two days. After that, you can go through your day comfortably, as you did before.
7. Is there any scarring?
If you are worried that it will be too obvious that you got a hair transplant, you shouldn’t. Technology has advanced over the years, and this has birthed minimally invasive procedures with barely any scarring. FUT patients will be left with a thin line scar from the donor area at the back of the head. You can easily cover this up if you grow your hair longer. FUE procedures leave unnoticeable scarring like pinpricks, so you can wear your hair short, and people will not notice.
8. Will the hair transplant really work?
Yes, they do! After 6 to 9 months, you will notice new hair growth. Because the follicles came from areas with minor loss, or no thinning, the new hair is thicker and fuller. Some people record as high as 80% regrowth of the transplanted hair in just a matter of months. And best of all, the growing hair looks natural and attractive.
9. Will I keep losing hair after the transplant?
The transplanted hair will fall out, but the follicles will remain and promote growth. It will grow well and stay on your head. You may notice hair loss in areas that did not receive the transplant. But in a few months, you will notice hair growth in the transplanted areas. Therefore, you can expect a full head of lovely results that will stay there for years to come.