Losing hair can be quite traumatic and there are people, who will, at the first sign of hair loss, start considering a hair transplant. What most people do not realise is that a transplant is not meant for everyone – you need to be an ideal candidate for a transplant and only a surgeon will be able to tell you whether you can get a transplant or not.
If you are considering a hair transplant, the first thing that you need to do is find a good surgeon, who will be able to offer you with the right advice – starting with whether you can get a hair transplant or not. When you meet a surgeon, they will put you through an examination, wherein they will check your scalp and hair. This exam is supposed to allow them to understand whether your hair loss has stabilised, whether you have a clearly defined recipient area and whether you have a sufficiently large donor area. It will be based on the assessment of all these factors that a doctor will be able to suggest whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure or not.
When you go to meet a transplant doctor, there will be mainly two types of transplants that will be suggested – FUE and FUT. While FUT or Follicular Unit Transplantation is a better choice when you need a really large portion of your scalp covered, FUE is a procedure that ensures minimal scarring, because there is no incision. The type of procedure that is most suited for you, will be something that your doctor will help you decide.
If you have a large recipient area, it would mean that you need a lot more grafts, and for this FUT would make sense. In this procedure, a strip of the scalp is removed from the donor area, and the grafts are removed and then implanted into the recipient area. Once the hair starts to grow in, the linear scar should get hidden underneath. However, the FUE is a more suitable procedure for people who might have a diffused hair loss – FUE removes grafts individually and they are placed into the recipient area immediately. There are no scars, because the grafts are removed via micro-punches, which leave nothing more than prick marks. These will get very easily hidden underneath the new hair growth.
Perhaps the most important thing that you need to remember when you are considering a transplant is that it is not a decision you should make lightly. Here is how you should go about planning your transplant:
- Your first step needs to be to talk to a doctor, who will examine your scalp, help you decide the procedure based on the recipient and donor areas and create your new hairline. A hair transplant is basically a reallocation of hair that is already present on your head. Hair will be taken from the back of your head and placed into the areas where there is thinning. The donor area has hair that is genetically designed not to fall out, which is why it is able to take root anywhere on the scalp. However, it is important to realise that hair will not start growing within days – on an average, it takes anywhere between 3 to 5 months for new hair growth to become visible.
Image Source: AK Clinics
- In the hands of a good surgeon, you have little to worry about, because they will ensure that the new hairline frames your face properly. When you start to face hair loss, your facial appearance will also change and for many people, this is when they start to look a lot older than they actually are. The new hairline needs to be designed in such a way that it brings the youth back to the face. The way the new grafts are placed is extremely important because they need to be placed naturally and, in a manner, that it frames the face properly.
- While planning a transplant, several factors need to be taken into consideration – the texture of your hair, the natural curvature of the hairline, the number of follicles being used and the angle at which the grafts are inserted will all play a role in the final look. The hairline needs to be planned not as per the immediate requirement, rather, what you would want your hairline to look like in the years to come. It is also important to keep the hairline looking extremely natural, and this is something a good surgeon will keep as a high priority.
- The planning of a hair transplant needs to go beyond the immediate – what if another hair transplant is required a few years down the line? An experienced surgeon will keep all this in mind and ensure that he or she leaves sufficient grafts in the donor area for a future procedure, should one be required.
- The extraction of the grafts also need to be planned well in advance, and this process will be dependent on which procedure has been chosen for you. If you are undergoing an FUT, then a strip of the scalp will be removed, and grafts will be removed from that strip. However, with FUE, the extraction and implantation are almost simultaneous procedures. The angle at which the grafts are extracted and not causing injury to the grafts is just as important.
- Perhaps the most important step in the entire transplant procedure is the graft placement, because if this is not done properly, you can be certain that your hair will not look natural. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, you will have little to worry about, because they will design your hairline, keeping in mind your natural hairline and what you would want it to look like in the years to come. They will mark out the entire hairline first and then the entire transplant procedure will be based around that marking. For this procedure to be a success, there are 4 main aspects that need to be kept in mind – a) the angle at which the follicle is being extracted b) the direction of your natural hair, c) ensuring that you are able to attain maximum density, without compromising the donor area and d) proper alignment of the hair that are being implanted.
The main idea behind a transplant needs to be restore hair and eventually confidence – for this the hairline and everything associated with it, needs to be planned properly.