Hair loss is a common problem both in males and females. Though an individual hair may appear minuscule and may not be given so much importance, the loss of a bunch of hair in a specific area will cause a visible and noticeable defect. Baldness can lead to anxiety and depression. Hair restoration is the process in which the reason for hair loss is evaluated and managed accordingly.
Reasons for hair loss
Hair loss occurs in both males and females and the most common reason for hair loss is androgenetic alopecia. This is due to the action of the male hormone testosterone on the hair follicles. Though it is a male hormone, a small quantity is produced in females also. This hormone acts on the hair follicle and affects the regular hair cycle, resulting in increased hair fall and thinning of hair. The pattern of hair loss in males will be receding of the frontal hairline with a typical “M” pattern and also hair loss over the crown. The hair loss pattern in females will be reduced density of hair in the crown along with thinning of hair. The hairline is generally not affected in females.
The other reasons for hair loss are
- Nutritional deficiency: Iron, Biotin, Calcium, etc
- Hormonal imbalance
- Chemotherapy and certain medications
- Infections of the scalp
Hair transplantation is a surgical means of hair restoration which involves implantation of hair in the area of hair loss/decreased density of hair. It is done by harvesting hair follicles mostly from the back or side of the head and planting them in the desired area called the beneficiary site. The action of testosterone in inducing hair loss is differential and the hair in the back is the least influenced. This is the basis for using the Back hair for hair Transplantation. The planted hair follicles will start to develop hair and will keep on growing for a lifetime. In patients with reduced hair in the donor site, beard hair or body hair can be used. A similar procedure is done for transplanting hair in eyebrows, mustaches, and areas of scars.
You may require additional sessions to achieve the full head of hair you desire. Sessions occur several months apart to allow each transplant to fully heal.
The methods we practice are customized for each client’s needs and growth type.
Hair transplant procedure is done by transplanting hair follicles from one area, usually the back of the head to the area of baldness.
The patient is asked to have a shampoo bath before coming to the hospital. The hair is trimmed on the scalp before the procedure.
Hair transplants are typically done under local anesthesia. The anesthesia is given by a few injections (with fine needles) in the skin over the head (scalp). Then the hair follicle is harvested from the previously marked area. The hair follicles are transplanted to the previously marked are using fine holes using needles or special punches. There are 2 methods of hair transplantation based on the type of the harvest of hair follicles
|Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)||Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)|
|Each follicle is separately harvested using a special punch.||A strip of skin with hair is harvested from the scalp. Then individual hair follicles are harvested from the skin on a back table|
|Multiple punctate scars , usually not noticeable||Long transverse scar present . more noticeable|
|Generally takes a little longer duration for the procedure||Total duration is relatively shorter|
|Comparatively lesser hair follicles done||More hair follicle transplantation done at a single since the entire skin strip is utilised|
|Less pain , no sutures||More pain, requires suturing to close the wound and later suture removal|
|FUE procedure can be repeated later||Generally ,FUT cannot be repeated since there is existing scar and tension in scalp. FUE procedure can be done in a patient who underwent FUT|
|Recommended for patients with shorter hair styles ,requiring lesser follicles and demand a less invasive procedure||Recommended for patients with longer hair styles and requiring more hair follicles.|
- Being an invasive procedure, all sterile precautions and safety measures are strictly adhered to.
- The procedure is done under magnification which increases the success rate.
- A cold environment is maintained for the hair follicle from the time of harvest to implantation. This increases the survival of the hair follicles.
- A different position is maintained for graft harvest and implantation depending on the donor site and the recipient site.
- This is a long procedure that can range from 4 to 8 hours. Since the procedure is done under local anesthesia, the patient is given a bladder break and a short meal during the procedure.
Receiving a hair transplant can improve your appearance and self-confidence. Good candidates for a hair transplant include:
- Men with male pattern baldness
- Women with thinning of hair
- Anyone who has lost some hair from a burn or scalp injury
- Post-surgical scar ex-lip scar after cleft lip repair
Hair replacement isn’t a good option for
- Women with a widespread pattern of hair loss throughout the scalp
- People who don’t have enough “donor” hair sites from which to remove hair for transplant
- People who form keloid scars (thick, fibrous scars) after injury or surgery
- People whose hair loss is due to medication such as chemotherapy
Your scalp may be sore, and you may need to take medications following hair transplant surgery, such as
- Pain medication
- Antibiotics to reduce your risk of infection
- Anti-inflammatory medications to keep swelling down
Most people can return to work 2to 3 days after surgery.
It’s normal for the transplanted hair to fall out two to three weeks after the procedure. This is called “shock loss” caused by the trauma of surgery. This makes way for new hair growth. Most people will see some amount of new hair growth 8 to 12 months after surgery.
You will be prescribed additional medications like minoxidil, and finasteride after the Hair Transplantation procedure. You may also be advised of PRP therapy. These medications/procedures also help slow or stop future hair loss.
Side effects from a hair transplant are usually minor when all the safety precautions are followed and usually clear up within a few weeks.
They can include:
- Swelling of the scalp
- Bruising around the eyes
- Crust formation of the scalp where hair was removed or implanted
- Numbness or lack of sensation on the treated areas of the scalp
- Inflammation or infection of the hair follicles, which is known as folliculitis
- Shock loss, or sudden but typically a temporary loss of the transplanted hair
- Unnatural-looking tufts of hair
Typically, people who’ve had a hair transplant will continue to grow hair in the transplanted areas of the scalp.
The new hair may appear more or less dense depending on:
- Density of follicles in the transplanted zone
- Hair caliber or quality
- Hair curl
- Existing hair loss
Patients are given medications/ supplements to improve the quality of the existing hairs and also prevent hair loss. It’s important to discuss the expected outcome with your surgeon and develop realistic expectations.
In this procedure, blood is withdrawn from the patient. Then it is subjected to a few maneuvers and the plasma with increased platelets & growth factors known as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) are separated from the patients’ blood. Under aseptic precautions, the PRP is injected onto the scalp. Studies have shown that PRP causes stimulation of the hair follicles and strengthens the hair. PRP injections work better in male patients with low or moderate-grade androgenetic alopecia. PRP therapy doesn’t produce any new follicles but stimulates the existing follicles. It is usually repeated after 3-4 weeks. It is necessary to perform at least three injections of PRP for visible results. PRP along with hair transplantation produces better results.