Over half the population—both men and women—experience some form of hair loss. Over-the-counter products, like minoxidil, can help combat the problem in its early stages. As the issue progresses, many turn to their doctors for help restoring their lost locks.
Surgeons, like Dr. Nader Ronaghi at Newport Hair Clinic, offer hair transplants to restore fullness to those bothered by their thinning hair. During these procedures, hair gets moved from where it is thickest on the patient’s body or head, to where it is needed most on the scalp.
In this guide, we will discuss hair transplant options and how to find a hair transplant specialist in your area.
What Types of Hair Transplants Are Available?
Doctors first performed hair transplantation in 1939 using single strands. Plugs of large bunches of hair soon followed. After, to improve the appearance of hair transplants, surgeons began using mini- and micro-grafts. Although medical advances are constantly being made to enhance hair transplant procedures, your options today include:
FUT Method of Hair Transplantation
During the Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) procedure, your surgeon at Newport Hair Clinic will take skin and hair follicles from where your hair is fullest, generally the back of your head. The follicles then get separated and prepared for the transplant.
At the same time, a doctor—such as Dr. Ronaghi—makes little holes in the area where your hair is thinning. Once complete, the doctor then places each follicle individually.
The more grafts required, the longer the FUT procedure takes to complete. Additionally, patients who undergo this procedure will need to take care of two incisions while they heal, and may have a scar on the back of their heads.
Hair transplant surgeons typically recommend FUT to patients who require a large number of grafts. The fullness that results from the FUT procedure allows you to grow your hair out to cover the scars from surgery.
FUE Technique of Hair Transplantation
Follicular Unit Extraction, or FUE, addresses some issues associated with FUT. During the FUE procedure, Dr. Ronaghi harvests hair follicles without removing any additional tissue. These individual follicles then get placed directly into tiny incisions made in the affected area.
Though FUE takes longer to complete than FUT, this procedure lessens the need for post-procedural care as well as the amount of discomfort patients experience. The amount of post-operative downtime is decreased, too.
Hair transplant surgeons recommend the FUE procedure to younger patients who require a small amount of grafting and like to keep their hair short.
How to Find the Best Hair Transplant in Newport Beach
When deciding to undergo a hair transplant options, doing research to find the best surgeon to do the procedure is essential. In addition to reading about the surgery online, you should look into the doctor’s background, and ask questions during a consultation. Before you undergo FUT, FUE, or any other hair transplant procedure, make sure to have answers to the following:
References and Background
Experience, training, and reputation matter. Like Dr. Ronaghi, reputable surgeons post bios online that include where they went to medical school and got their training. Doctors who perform hair transplant options also provide before-and-after pictures, along with patient success stories. It doesn’t hurt to ask for names and contact information to follow up on yourself.
Additionally, be sure to inquire about:
- The number of procedures the doctor has performed
- Complications encountered and how these were handled
- Instrumentation and devices used
- Accolades and awards
- How the doctor stays up to date in their industry
A surgeon is only as good as their medical faculty. When looking for a hair transplant in Newport Beach, look for knowledgeable, friendly, and educated personnel. Though Dr. Ronaghi does the majority of the work, he and his hair transplant team pool their expertise to best complete each procedure.
When looking into a hair transplant in Newport Beach, your initial consultation should include:
A hair density check to determine the scope of the procedure
Determination of candidacy for hair transplantation
Elimination of underlying conditions
Before undergoing hair transplantation, be sure you know:
- The cost of the surgery and post-operative care
- Downtime required
- Additional procedures needed
- When to expect to see results
Be sure to ask about post-operative care and what to do if complications arise, as well.
When Is the Best Time to Get a Hair Transplant?
The best age for a hair transplant varies from person to person. It’s vital to consider several factors. These include:
Every strand of your hair grows from a follicle and lasts up to six years before falling out. Then, a new hair grows and the cycle starts over again. Genetics, hormones, and the environment affect the length of this cycle and often cause it to decrease. Because of this hairs may only last a few months or weeks before falling out.
Additionally, the new hairs might grow smaller and thinner than their predecessors. Eventually, some of your hair follicles shrink and stop producing hair.
Most surgeons refuse to perform a hair transplant before you turn 25. In fact, many request that you wait an additional ten years, and hesitate to do the procedure until the age of 35 when hair loss has stabilized. Dr. Ronaghi can get the best idea of the pattern of your hair loss and density once you are at least 35. Waiting enables him better insight in order to distribute your hair for the best overall effect.
Another reason doctors prefer to wait to perform hair transplants is that, although it may seem like your hair is receding, your hairline is actually maturing between the ages of 18 and 29. Additionally, the longer you wait to undergo the procedure, the less damage there will be to your healthy hair.
To determine your eligibility for a hair transplant, Dr. Ronaghi examines a cross-section of your scalp and diagnoses its ability to grow hair. In areas where your hair is thinning, Dr. Ronaghi measures baldness by the amount of light that reflects off your scalp.
A successful hair transplant depends on two factors:
- Pattern – Your hair loss must conform to a pattern.
- Light Reflection – The less light that reflects off your scalp, the less likely the doctor will be able to perform a successful hair transplant. Like most surgeons, Dr. Ronaghi uses what is known as the Hamilton-Norwood scale.
This scale is based on one of several common patterns of male baldness observed over many decades. This offers reference points to help diagnose the extent of your baldness, so that the doctor is better prepared to discuss treatment options, and can measure how effective these treatments will be.
The different stages are:
- No significant hair loss or hairline recession
- Slight recession around the temples as the hairline matures
- Clinically-significant balding begins to appear, causing hairlines to resemble an M-, U-, or V-shape with some bare and sparsely-covered spots
- The hairline remains the same, with significant hair loss on the top of the scalp known as the vertex
- All or most of the hair on the vertex is lost, leaving only a band of hair on the sides of the scalp
- The ring of hair gets narrower and sparser
- The areas balding on the temples join the balding areas on the vertex, and the band of hair around the top of the head disappears
- Fine hair is all that remains and is only around the sides of the head
A less common progression is known as the Norwood classification. Patients who don’t have a strip of hair in the middle of their scalp will be diagnosed by Dr.Ronaghi with this pattern of baldness. Instead of having a bald vertex, your hairline recedes from front to back.
The price for hair transplant surgery often runs in the thousands of dollars. Since it is considered a cosmetic procedure, most insurance companies won’t cover the costs. In addition to saving up and discussing a payment plan, you should prepare for post-procedural downtime and any possible complications.
While most patients feel well enough to resume regular activities a day or two after surgery, most take a week or two off from work. This additional time allows for the visible indications of surgery to dissipate, including:
- Swelling to subside
- Scabs to fall off
- Hair to begin growing in
The additional time away can help quell fears of others noticing the hair transplant options, as well.
How to Get the Best Results From Your Hair Transplant
The one factor that contributes the most when it comes to achieving the best results from a hair transplant is patience. The newly-implanted hair goes through stages. It’s not uncommon for results to take up to a year to become fully visible.
Expect your transplanted hair to fall out anywhere from two to eight weeks after surgery due to trauma from the procedure. Around the third month or so after your hair transplant, your hair may look even thinner than before surgery.
Dr. Ronaghi often prescribes medication after hair transplants to slow down hair thinning and loss.
Another important component in getting the best results from your hair transplant is listening to your surgeon and following all post-operative instructions. These include:
- When and how to wash your scalp
- How to use styling products
- When to resume exercising, including swimming
- When you can wear a hat or cap
More than just keeping you comfortable, these instructions also help keep the newly-transplanted grafts from becoming dislodged.
Hair Transplant Options FAQ
How Successful are Hair Transplant Options?
Hair transplants have better results than over-the-counter products in producing modest changes in hair fullness. To be considered successful, at least 95% of the hair transplanted must become a permanent part of a patient’s hairline—and the more detail-oriented the surgeon, the better the results.
Is Hair Transplant Permanent?
The hairs transferred during a hair transplant resist dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone responsible for hair loss, and continue to grow for the rest of your life. It often takes up to a year to achieve noticeable, natural results. Medication and additional procedures can help maintain the desired look.
How Much Is a Hair Transplant?
Hair transplant costs fluctuate depending on several factors, including the surgeon and the number of follicles needed. Considered a cosmetic procedure, and therefore not usually covered by insurance, a hair transplant can cost anywhere from $4,000-$15,000. This figure doesn’t account for recovery or complications.
Is It Painful to Have a Hair Transplant?
Administration of local anesthesia before a hair transplant helps eliminate most of the pain from the procedure. Post-operative symptoms, including tenderness and mild pain, usually respond to over-the-counter pain medication. Following doctor’s instructions after surgery also helps minimize discomfort during the healing process.
Do Hair Transplants Look Natural?
Choosing the right physician is the best way to ensure your hair transplant looks natural. Since there isn’t an approved medical specialty for those that perform hair transplants, any doctor can perform the procedure. However, surgeons with extensive hair transplant experience yield the least conspicuous results.
What Are the Disadvantages of Hair Transplants?
As with any surgical procedure, complications can arise, including:
- Scalp swelling
- Eye bruising
Good health and having an experienced surgeon can mitigate poor outcomes. Other risks include grafts dying or not taking which can result in a patchy, unnatural look and the need for additional surgery.
How Can I Thicken My Hair?
Ways to thicken hair include:
- Using sulfate-free thickening shampoo and conditioner
- Using dry shampoo to add volume
- Getting high-quality extensions
- Cutting your hair shoulder-length or shorter
- Switching where your part falls
- Adding defined curls
- Minimizing the use of heated styling tools
- Doing a deep cleanse using a clarifying shampoo once a week
Can You Lose Transplanted Hair?
The average person sheds 50-100 hairs daily. Procedural trauma causes transplanted hair to fall out a few weeks after surgery. It takes up to a year for new growth to become noticeable. DHT, the hair loss hormone, continues to affect non-transplanted hairs after surgery.
Why Do Men Go Bald?
Androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, is an inherited condition that results from dihydrotestosterone. When older hairs fall out, DHT causes shorter, thinner hairs to replace them. Male pattern baldness generally starts at the temples and proceeds around the crown of the head.
What Type of Hair Transplant Is Best?
To determine which hair transplant method is right for you, ask your physician for a recommendation based on your needs. Both the FUT and FUE methods take hair from the back of your head and place it where your hair is thinning to offer natural-looking results.