Temporary Hair Restoration
Hair root may become inactive due to different reasons. To learn more about hair structure and types of hair loss, you can check our guide on hair loss and prevention. For a hair follicle to grow, it needs nutrients from the blood. Once the hair root becomes inactive, it loses its ability to attach to the bloodstream. This causes the hair follicle to fall and never grow back.
It is natural to lose up to 100 hair follicles every day. When the hair follicle is healthy and the papilla (hair root) is transmitting the necessary supplies, this stage is called Anagen Phase. When the hair follicle falls, it enters the Telogen Phase. This phase could last for 100 days until the hair follicle starts to grow again.
When hair loss is permanent, it means that the hair root never leaves the Telogen Phase and never enters the Anagen Phase. This could mean permanent balding.
There are temporary solutions to balding as well as a permanent solution.
The temporary solutions for hair loss are as follows:
- Minoxidil (Rogaine)
What Is Finasteride and How Does It Work?
Finasteride is one of the two FDA approved medications to stop hair loss and promote hair growth. Finasteride is only available in a tablet form and it requires a prescription.
This medication was meant to cure benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in the beginning. Finasteride blocks an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. Briefly, enzymes are catalyzers that go into reactions that take place in the human body. These reactions can’t occur if the enzyme responsible for the reaction isn’t present.
With Finasteride, the doctor initially aimed to block the specific enzyme that was part of the Testosterone conversion. As covered before in the hair loss and prevention guide, DHT is a hormone that is generated from Testosterone and it usually has a positive impact in the body. However, DHT attaches the hair root and prevents the papilla to transmit the nutrients from the blood to the hair root. This is a strange problem as DHT actually feeds all hair follicles in the body except for the hair follicles on the scalp.
By blocking the conversion of Testosterone, the doctor aimed to prevent the prostate from growing. However, he observed that while his patients had their prostate smaller, their hair also started growing back or hair loss slowed down/stopped.
When it was observed that the patients’ hair loss stopped or their hair started to grow back, it was revealed that with Finasteride blocking DHT, thin and weak hair follicles were able to stay healthy and grow thicker. This positive change in thickness may result in a denser scalp. However, there is no evidence of Finasteride triggering the inactive hair roots and helping them to reattach the bloodstream.
Although Finasteride promises a great solution for hair loss, the medication’s effect is temporary (Webmd). Finasteride prevents DHT conversion from Testosterone but when the medication isn’t taken, the body reverts back to default and starts converting more Testosterone into DHT. Eventually, that DHT attached and deactivates hair roots, and thus, hair loss strikes back.
How Long Does It Take To See Results After Starting To Use Finasteride?
It may take up to 6 months until individuals start to notice changes. The reason for that is, as explained before in hair growth cycles, it takes 3-4 months for a hair follicle to move from the Telogen phase to Anagen Phase. You can find more information about the hair structure and hair growth cycle in this guide. Therefore, once Finasteride starts to prevent DHT to attach and block the hair root, it takes at least 3-4 months for the hair root to produce a new hair follicle and that follicle to grow long enough that it is visible on the scalp. For this reason, it is essential to be patient and use the drug daily at the right dosage.
There are two drugs made of Finasteride, the 1mg (Propecia) and 5mg (Proscar). Proscar is the drug sold for the prostate problem and Propecia is the drug sold to combat hair loss. Although these two brands are identical in structure, since hair loss is an aesthetic problem, marketers found out that people were willing to pay much more for its fix. Therefore, even when Propecia and Proscar have the same active agent, Propecia is much more expensive than Proscar.
Since these two drugs are the same, a cost-efficient method is buying 5mg Proscar which is cheaper than Propecia. Then, a 5mg tablet can be broken into 4 equal pieces. Depending on the country you live in, you could save up to 90% by using Proscar instead of Propecia and save money (Essential Clinic).
Finasteride Side Effects
Finasteride has many potential side effects however, there are three that are most commonly a problem to the individuals (Mayo Clinic):
- Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- Inability to have or keep an erection
- Loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
Some patients choose to stop using the drug because of these side effects. According to a meta-analysis conducted by the American Urological Association Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) guidelines committee, the rate of decreased libido was 5 percent in men taking finasteride, compared with 3 percent in men given a placebo (Drug Watch).
In most cases, the side effects are expected to kick in as soon as the individual starts taking Finasteride although there may be exceptions. If you started using Finasteride and you have low sexual desire or having difficulty with having an erection, you may want to quit using the medication. In most cases, the side effects of the drug will disappear shortly after individuals stop taking it.
What Is Minoxidil and How Does It Work?
Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is the only FDA approved topical spray and one of the two FDA approved medications in the market for hair loss and regrowth. It is sold as a solution and foam and there are two versions of Minoxidil: 2% for women and 5% for men.
Unlike Finasteride, Minoxidil works from outside by applying on the scalp. Although it is not clear how Minoxidil works to stop or slow down hair loss since it is a vasodilator it might be triggering the blood vessels on the scalp to widen and carry more oxygen & nutrients to the hair follicles through the hair root to help them to continue to grow and maintain their health (WebMD).
Does Minoxidil Only Work On The Crown Or Can I Use It On My Hairline & Temples?
Although it is advised on the product itself that Minoxidil is intended for the crown, it may help improving hair health on the temples and hairline.
One study from 1986 suggested that Minoxidil was highly effective on the scalp. According to this study, 53% of the 81 participants had significant hair regrowth on their crown after using it for 1 year. 95% of the participant assessed Minoxidil’s effectiveness as moderate-excellent. It was concluded based on this study that Minoxidil could potentially help individuals who experience male pattern hair loss significantly (Topical minoxidil for male pattern baldness). More information about this study can be found here.
As can be seen from both studies and many more, Minoxidil could help individuals to stop hair loss and potentially promote hair regrowth on the scalp regardless of area.
According to ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons) data, %73 of the surgeons recommended Minoxidil use after surgery to potentially improve hair density overall.
ISHRS reports indicate that its surgeons perceive Minoxidil as an excellent post-surgery medication as it doesn’t have any known side-effects and it is safe to use.
Can Or Should I Use Minoxidil and Finasteride Together?
Most individuals use Minoxidil and Finasteride together in their regimen. With Minoxidil potentially improving the density of blood vessels on the scalp and Finasteride blocking DHT internally & protecting the hair root, there may be a strong synergy between the two medications. However, it is essential to note that the effectiveness of each medication could be different for every individual as genes and many other factors come together when hair loss occurs. Therefore, it is recommended to use these medications with care and be prepared to experience no visible outcome.
I Experience Dryness and Itchy Scalp, Should I Stop Using Minoxidil?
Some brands that use Minoxidil use alcohol as one of the ingredients. Some individuals experience dryness on the scalp and it may cause hair loss rather than restoration. Alcohol is a volatile chemical which means it is easy for alcohol to evaporate. When that happens, it may leave the area dry and this could cause hair follicles to fall. If you notice dry skin, redness, or itchy skin, it is advised to find a product that contains Minoxidil but no alcohol.
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)
What is plasma and what are platelets?
Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood. It is mainly made of water and proteins, and it carries red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets to feed the necessary tissues. Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are blood cells that cause blood clots and other necessary growth healing functions. They are crucial for cell production and repairs in the body (Redcrossblood.org).
What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and what are PRP injections?
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is a method of helping the cells to repair themselves and improve their healing capacity by injecting patients’ own blood, high in platelet concentration. This therapy can be used to assist in the recovery of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints.
The preparation of PRP involves taking the blood of an individual and using a centrifuge, getting an amount of blood that is very rich in platelets. After that, these injections are used in the damaged or diseased area. The platelets feed the area with growth and repair factors that increase the speed and quality of the healing.
PRP injections are prepared by taking anywhere from one to a few tubes of your own blood and running it through a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. These activated platelets are then injected directly into your injured or diseased body tissue. This releases growth factors that stimulate and increase the number of reparative cells your body produces.
So, briefly, it can be concluded that PRP therapy involves 3 stages:
- Collecting the patient’s blood
- Separating the blood into three layers
- Injecting the platelet-rich layer into the body tissue
PRP therapy follows the same steps when applied for hair restoration purposes. The idea is to feed the scalp with platelet-rich blood to improve the healing capacities of hair follicles and promote hair growth.
Is PRP therapy on the scalp effective and permanent?
The results of PRP can be very impressive as the method is highly effective in nature. Since the cause of hair loss is due to hair roots lost capability of growing or repairing follicles, this method can immediately and effectively get results.
However, the results are not permanent since PRP treatment feeds the area when applied. Without the rich platelets in the scalp, hair roots lose the ability to grow and maintain healthy follicles. Therefore, the solution is limited to consistent PRP sessions which can be costly in terms of finances and time.
Here are some studies on PRP (PRP For Hair Loss, Healthline):
- A 2014 study of 11 people with androgenic alopecia found that injecting 2 to 3 cubic centimeters of PRP into the scalp every 2 weeks for 3 months could increase the average number of follicles from 71 to 93 units. This study is too small to be conclusive, but it shows that PRP may be able to help increase the number of hair follicles that can actively support healthy hair.
- A 2015 study of 10 people receiving PRP injections every 2 to 3 weeks for 3 months showed improvements in the number of hairs, the thickness of those hairs, and the strength of the hair roots. This study helps provide extra support to the findings of other PRP and hair loss studies. But 10 people is still too small a sample size to be conclusive.
- A 2019 study compared two groups of people using different hair treatments for 6 months. One group of 20 used minoxidil (Rogaine), and the other group of 20 using PRP injections. Thirty people finished the study and results showed that PRP performed much better for hair loss than Rogaine. But the study also found that your level of platelets can affect how well your own plasma works for hair loss. A lower level of blood platelets may mean that PRP isn’t as effective for you.
PRP Potential Side Effects
PRP therapy could have some side effects however since the treatment only involves the patient’s blood, it can be seen as a very safe procedure.
Here are some potential side effects of PRP therapy (PRP Hair Treatment Succes Rate, Healthline):
- Blood vessel injury on the scalp
- Nerve injury
- Infection at the injection site
- Calcification or scar tissue where the injections are done
- Side effects from the anesthesia used during the procedure, such as muscle aches, confusion, or bladder control issues
What Is The Cost Of PRP Therapy For Hair Restoration?
PRP therapy can range between 3 to 12 sessions depending on the demand of the individuals (Medical News Today).
PRP therapy cost depends on the country and the clinic/hospital price policy. Usually, the range is between $200 (Turkey) to $3,000 (UK, US).
It is recommended to check the prices of different clinics and find the most cost-efficient spot.
Permanent Hair Restoration
When hair loss progresses fast and the temporary hair restoration methods can’t match hair thinning speed, it is common for patients to start looking into a more permanent solution to the problem. Although most individuals continue temporary treatments such as Minoxidil and Finasteride, the only way to fill the bald areas on the scalp is by moving hair from dense areas.
The procedure of moving thick hair to the bald or balding areas is called hair transplantation. The donor hair is harvested from the body where there is sufficient and thick hair that can be used in the scalp.
Typically, surgeons choose to use the hair from the back of the head where the hair roots don’t lose their sensitivity and are not prone to adverse effects of DHT hormone. When transplanted, the hair from the back of the head remains in the new area and rarely falls. There is no clear explanation for why the hair in that area is more resilient than the rest however, most men never lose the hair at the back of their heads.
Although uncommon, some surgeons choose to use beard or hair from armpits or pubic areas to use on the scalp however, it is very unlikely for these procedures to give optimum results as the donor hair is different than the hair on the head. Usually, patients who suffer from non-androgenic alopecia related hair loss have the hair from non-scalp sources. In some cases, individuals that have no hair left on the scalp due to androgenic alopecia choose to get hair transplants with donor hair from the body.
Is Hair Transplant Surgery Permanent?
The hair transplant procedure is 100% permanent meaning once you have the surgery, you can’t undo it. However, the transplanted hair has a lifespan and could fall in the future although it is very unlikely as long as the individual is healthy and doesn’t suffer from extreme conditions or diseases (Is Hair Transplant Permanent, Healthline).
What Are The Types of Hair Transplants?
Although there are many different names in the industry now, for the last 20 years, there were only two types of hair transplants conducted by hair surgeons in the world: FUE and FUT.
Any other name in the market is a slight variation of these techniques and usually, these are used for marketing purposes. For instance, Robotic Hair Transplants or ARTAS is a popular method in North America at the moment. However, although this method utilizes robotic assistance to improve the outcome of the surgery, the technique is still FUE. Another example would be, No-Shave Hair Transplants. This method allows the patient to keep the length of hair that isn’t used in the procedure as a cosmetic preference. Although it is different in a way, the technique used to transplant hair is FUE.
Therefore, it is important for individuals to learn about both techniques and determine which one would be better for them.
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation)
Follicular Unit Transplantation was the first procedure that involved moving hair follicles as units. There were some attempts in the past before the 90s to transplant hair plugs but these had very poor results due to unnatural looks. When doctors started harvesting the hair as units and then transplanted, the results were much better.
In FUT surgery, the doctor cuts a strip of the scalp that contains the hair roots from the back of the head that has a rectangular shape. The size of the strip depends on how many hair follicles are needed in the bald area. Typically, the strip size doesn’t go over 2 centimeters or 0.75 inches (FUT Hair Transplant, Hairline).
The problem with the balding area is that the hair roots aren’t attached to the blood supply anymore and therefore, can’t maintain or grow hair. With the FUT technique, hair roots that are sensitive and can attach to the bloodstream are moved to the bald area. After a year, the transplanted hair attaches to the blood supply and starts receiving the nutrients it needs to grow and maintain hair.
The step by step FUT procedure:
- The doctor will determine the hairline and draw it. Then, the area of hair extraction will be marked.
- Local anesthesia will be applied to the scalp.
- If your hair wasn’t shaved prior to the procedure, it will be.
- The donor hair will be taken by the surgeon through a cut of a strip from the back of the head.
- The hair follicles in the strip will be processed for the next stage.
- Once the area of strip is closed and disinfected, the surgeon will start planting hair follicles to the bald areas.
- The area will be cleaned and the procedure will be completed
Typically, it takes at least 6 months for hair follicles to root in and start growing. The full results are visible after the 1-year mark. The hair transplant surgery timeline will be shared in the latter part of the article. You can click here to jump to the hair transplant timeline section.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)
Follicular unit extraction or FUE hair transplants are different than the FUT technique in terms of harvesting the hair, the first stage. The planting of the harvested hair follicles is similar to the FUT.
It was observed that although FUT was a successful technique, it didn’t look natural enough, especially on the hairline. The surgeons believed that it was due to the extraction method of FUT. As mentioned earlier, the FUT method involves the doctor cutting a rectangular strip from the back of the head and these follicles are processed and used to cover bald spots on the scalp. The issue is, moving hair follicle units together has a dense result but doesn’t give the surgeon ability to create a natural hairline.
Another problem was the scar the use of the FUT technique left on the scalp. When the hair is short, the scar is visible and this wasn’t favored by individuals, limiting them to long enough hair to cover the mark. To solve these problems, the FUE method was found.
Here’s how the FUE procedure works:
- The doctor will determine the hairline and draw it. Then, the area of hair extraction will be marked.
- Local anesthesia will be applied to the scalp.
- If your hair wasn’t shaved prior to the procedure, it will be.
- The surgeon will start harvesting hair follicles using a micro punch tool from the back of the head.
- The hair follicles will be processed for the next stage.
- The area will be cleaned and the procedure will be completed
What Are The Differences Between FUE and FUT?
It is important to acknowledge that both methods have advantages over the other and it is not possible to say one is better. There are some glaring trade-offs of each technique.
There are different angles to look at to determine which method would be a better choice for your situation. Here are some factors to consider while making a decision:
- Natural Look
- Procedure Experience
- Surgeon Quality
- Post-Surgery Scar
Advantages and disadvantages of FUT
Advantages of FUT:
- More affordable than FUE
- More density
- Relatively shorter procedure
Disadvantages of FUT:
- A linear visible scar at the back of the head
- Less natural look especially with hairline
Advantages and disadvantages of FUE
Advantages of FUE:
- Natural hairline
- No scar
- Lower pain
Disadvantages of FUE:
- Longer Procedure
- More Costly
- Less Density
FUE method is more costly because the extraction of hair follicles takes longer and needs more craft and concentration from the surgeon. This enables the doctor to harvest the hair follicles gradually and one by one. The extracted hair follicles are in a better condition than the follicles harvested with the FUT technique. This helps the planted hair to be thicker and healthier in the future. However, it takes longer to harvest hair follicles because it has to be done one at a time and with utmost care. Therefore, the procedure is longer than FUT.
Since the hair follicles are extracted individually, there is no linear scar on the back of the head and patients can have their hair at any length they prefer. Also, without the linear scar, there is less pain during and after the operation.
When all the ups and downs considered, it is impossible to say one method is superior to others and that’s the reason why both techniques are used by the surgeon all around the world. In the end, it depends on the individual’s needs and situation as well as the quality of the surgeon. Although FUE seems to have more natural results, a very experienced and capable surgeon may achieve better results with FUT than a surgeon with FUE. Therefore, it is essential to select a surgeon who has an impressive record and excellent results.
Receding Hairline Surgery (Norwood Level 3-4)
Typically after the age of 20, in some cases even earlier, individuals start experiencing receding hairline. The hair starts to fall from the sides of the forehead and this is the first level Norwood Scale. Usually, patients become aware of hair loss problem for the first time and start looking for more information on how to stop or slow down hair loss.
It is very common to see people starting to use medication such as Finasteride to attempt to cease hair loss. Although it is a temporary fix, it may still be very helpful to slow down hair loss and keep the hairline as perfect as possible.
However, in many cases, hair loss progresses and the hairline starts moving up or becomes a V shape. Naturally, this causes some irritation to individuals and they decide to take a more permanent step towards hair restoration.
Potential Problems With Receding Hairline Surgery
Bald Spots Forming After Surgery
When the patient starts contacting clinics to get a better idea of the situation and why options he has, it is important to indicate if hair loss continues or stopped. If hair loss ceased, then it is important how long it has been since. When the patient sets a date for a hair transplant surgery, if hair loss is still in progress, it may lose bald spots after the surgery or in a few years. Although there are some options to hide the balding between the transplanted and original hair, it can be a messy and painful process. That’s why it is vital to have the procedure after at least 6 months hair loss stopped.
Insufficient Donor Hair Supply
Every individual has a limited number of donor hair (4,000-5,000) that can be used for hair transplants. Some individuals have very thick and dense hair at the back of the head. Some don’t have much dense or thick hair. It is a mentally difficult process to accept hair loss. It can be crucial to understand that currently there is no way to bring hairline back to the original state.
However, if the patient insists or the clinic fails to guide him properly, there may be too many donor hair follicles used during the procedure to create a dense and natural-looking hairline. This creates a significant risk. As the individual continues to lose hair in the next years, a gap may start forming between the original and transplanted hair. This gap might be covered with a second procedure however if the patient’s remaining hair isn’t eligible for another surgery or the number of follicles isn’t sufficient to cover the area, there isn’t a permanent solution left to cover the area. This may cause discomfort.
How Many Grafts Needed For Norwood 1-2-3-4 Level Transplants?
Although there is a range for each level, it still depends on the individual’s head shape and hair loss pattern. The hair loss patterns are to outline how hair falls due to androgenic alopecia. Each individual may experience a slightly different variation of the pattern. This means, there would be a different number of grafts needed for each person.
How Many Grafts Needed For Norwood Level 1 Hair Transplant Surgery?
Typically, surgeons choose to decline to conduct a procedure on Norwood Level 1 patient. It is too early and it wouldn’t probably justify the time, effort, and cost. In theory, such a procedure would require around 200 grafts. Most surgeons would recommend waiting for hair loss to progress and reach Norwood Level 2 or 3.
How Many Grafts Needed For Norwood Level 2 Hair Transplant Surgery?
When a patient reaches Norwood Level 2, hair loss can be observed more easily and the procedure could be worth the time and effort. However, most surgeons would prefer to wait until hair loss progresses to Norwood 3. If the patient insists on having a procedure, around 1,000 grafts would be needed for the procedure.
How Many Grafts Needed For Norwood Level 3 & 3 Vertex Hair Transplant Surgery?
Depending on the hair loss pattern, anywhere between 1,000 to 2,500 grafts would be needed.
It is important to note that, if the patient goes through the surgery here and 2,500 grafts are used during the procedure, there are at most 2,500 grafts left for the next stages.
The first risk is, although the patient still has the maximum amount of donor hair left in the back, it could be inadequate to cover the new bald spot, especially if the patient reaches Norwood Level 6-7.
The second risk is, even if the patient has the required number of hair follicles left in the back of the head, these follicles could be too thin and not suitable to be used.
In both cases, there aren’t any alternatives that would fix the situation and the patient may have to leave with permanent discomfort.
That’s why it is recommended to plan the next stages in the beginning. It is crucial to talk to the surgeon about every possibility and prefer a more conservative hairline (requires fewer grafts) to keep more donor hair for the future.
How Many Grafts Needed For Norwood Level 4 Hair Transplant Surgery?
Similar to Norwood Level 3 hair transplants, Norwood Level 4 hair transplants can be risky for some individuals. Depending on the hair loss pattern, anywhere between 2,500 -3,500 grafts would be used.
Just like Norwood level 3 hair transplants, if the patient decides to have a more natural hairline, most of the donor hair supply would be used and this would leave insufficient number of grafts for any potential procedures in the future.
Therefore, it is essential to plan carefully with the surgeon and make sure there is enough hair supply left for future surgeries.
Norwood Level 5-6-7 Hair Transplant Surgery
When hair loss progresses to Norwood Level 5 and beyond, the main goal of the surgery is not to have the most natural-looking hairline but to have a balance between where the hairline begins and how dense the bald area becomes.
Compared to receding hairline surgeries, the main difference is the surgeon has to make sure there is a balance between hairline depth and density of transplanted hair.
This could be the reason why anything beyond Norwood Level 4 is considered to be a bigger surgery with a higher risk.
It is very common to see pictures of patients who went through surgery and the results aren’t looking good. The main reason for that is, even when the patient’s scalp characteristics and hair thickness aren’t good enough, the procedure is conducted. The reason for poor results isn’t the difficulty of the procedure, it is the ineligibility in the first place.
Norwood Level 5 Hair Transplant Surgery
It is important to note that, although hair loss is at an advanced stage, there is still a lot of hair that could fall in the future. That is why it is important to remember this and plan accordingly.
A Norwood Level 5 patient would typically have somewhere between 3,500 to 4,250 grafts used during the procedure.
Norwood Level 6 Hair Transplant Surgery
This type of hair transplant surgery would require anywhere between 4,250 to 5,000 grafts.
Norwood Level 7 Hair Transplant Surgery
This type of hair transplant surgery would require the maximum number of donor hair follicles used. It would be something more than 5,000 grafts.
Is White or Grey Hair Suitable For Hair Transplants?
There are no restrictions of hair color in hair transplants. It is a very straightforward equation, the more balanced the number of hair follicles of each color are, the better the results. If you have white or grey hair, or your hair color is changing at the moment, that is not a problem.
As long as the donor hair is thick and the scalp characteristics are suitable, surgery can be conducted. If you have close numbers from each color, then your surgeon has more freedom to create a more natural look.
Hair Transplant Surgery Timeline
To help you with understanding the timeline from the moment you decide you will get hair transplants, this section was prepared.
Here is the hair transplant timeline:
- Research Stage
- Choosing Clinic
- Before Surgery
- Surgery Day
The first step is to learn more about hair loss and hair restoration methods. It is essential to determine the cause of hair loss before taking any action because if hair loss is caused by a temporary condition, this could cause problems.
Similarly, if the type of hair loss could cause the transplanted hair to also fall, then it would be a waste of time, effort, and resources.
If the hair loss type doesn’t restrict the patient from hair transplant surgery, then it is critical to read about hair transplant methods, FUE, and FUT in detail to understand the pros and cons. Reaching clinics to ask questions and get free consultation could also be useful in terms of having different opinions about hair loss and what the best strategy would be to regain the old looks.
Choosing A Clinic
Once there is enough knowledge and understanding of the process and hair transplant techniques, it is time to choose the clinic and surgeon.
It is vital to make sure you have good communication with the clinic and can ask any questions you may have. Transparency is crucial. Not asking the questions could cause problems before and after surgery. It is essential to ask anything about pre/post-surgery, finances, accommodation and etc.
Typically, your clinic provides you with the necessary information. We respect each clinic’s methods and therefore recommend following them strictly.
It can be beneficial to relax and not to think about the procedure. It is vital to stay away from reading more information prior to your procedure since it can cause stress and cold feet.
A couple of notes that usually apply to all patients:
- Shave your head before the surgery
- If you are using Finasteride or Minoxidil, continue
- Don’t eat too much or fatty foods before the surgery
- Have a painkiller the night before the procedure if you have trouble sleeping
The Day of Surgery
Every person is different but usually, the procedure will be a little difficult. Although anesthetics help to reduce the pain, there will be pressure on the scalp and this could cause discomfort. If you need a break or feel nauseous, talk to your doctor.
Usually, there will be a lunch break and patients tend to feel much better after having some food and resting for a bit.
It is advisable to limit the number of graft harvested to 2,500 to 3,000 grafts per day otherwise, it could be too painful and cause a lot of stress.
Your doctor will explain to you which medications to take, what to do, and when to take shower. It is natural to feel exhausted and resting after a long day will be helpful.
If you had a FUT surgery, the aftermath is a little different. Since the procedure requires extracting a linear strip, you will have a bigger wound. Sleeping might be uncomfortable first few days because the scar is on the back of your head. It just takes a week or so for your scar to heal enough that you can return to your normal sleeping ways.
The planted area will be bleeding from time to time depending on the surgery. In the first few days, the anesthetics might be leaking from the micro scars. That is normal. After the bleeding and leaking stops, your healing process will be less discomforting.
It is important to note that when hair follicles are transferred with the hair transplant surgery, the hair roots won’t attach to the papilla immediately. Therefore, transplanted follicles will fall after 3-4 weeks of surgery. This could be psychologically difficult for some individuals however, it is part of the process. It takes 3 months for hair roots to attach papilla, start receiving the necessary nutrients and oxygen to begin hair production, and hair follicles to enter the anagen phase. That’s why it typically takes up to 6-7 months to see hair visible on the scalp.
In most cases, it takes more than 12 months to see the full results and therefore, it is recommended to be patient until that point and wait if the hair grows slowly.
If there is still poor or no hair growth after 15 months, it is advised to communicate this to the clinic and seek help.