Hair replacement or hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that involves transplanting hair follicles from a donor section of the scalp into an area of the scalp that has hair thinning or hair loss. Both men and women can benefit from this cutting-edge treatment, and as it continues to improve, the results are only getting better.
Here’s what hair replacement can do: increase hair volume and hair density, restore the hairline, and boost the confidence of the patient. If you hate looking at yourself in the mirror because of the way your hairline looks, a hair transplant just might be what you need. By choosing a highly skilled hair replacement surgeon, you too can enjoy the benefits of hair replacement.
In this article, we will talk about some of the things you should know about the process of hair transplantation.
Hair and Scalp Evaluation
Any plans to undergo a hair replacement begin with a consultation. We cannot stress enough the importance of consulting a highly qualified hair transplant surgeon who can assess your type of hair loss, your hair loss pattern, and the possible donor area, and determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. The doctor will also discuss your expectations and goals, and make sure you both are on the same page.
The Donor Area
All hair grafts are taken from donor areas, which are typically the back or sides of the scalp, where the hair follicles are more resistant to hair loss, and in some cases, in other parts of the body. The follicles are harvested and transplanted to the recipient area.
The hair transplant surgeon can use two different techniques to perform a hair replacement, which are FUT and FUE:
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): Also known as strip harvesting, this technique involves removing a thin strip of tissue from the donor area that contains hundreds of hair follicles. The strip is divided into individual follicular units, which are small groups of hair follicles. These units are transplanted into the recipient area.
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): In this technique, individual hair follicles are extracted directly from the donor area using a small punch tool. The follicles are then transplanted into the recipient area. FUE does not require a linear incision and leaves tiny dot-like scars that are less noticeable than the scar from FUT.
The Hair Transplantation Process
The process of transplanting the hair follicles goes something like this:
- The donor area is trimmed, and local anesthesia is administered to numb the scalp.
- With FUT, a strip of the scalp is surgically removed and sutured. With FUE, individual follicles are extracted using a punch tool. The harvested follicles are carefully dissected into individual units.
- The hair transplant surgeon makes tiny incisions or slits in the recipient area, following the natural hairline of the patient. The prepared follicular units or follicles are then carefully placed into the recipient site.
- To boost the results of hair transplant surgery, the doctor may recommend ACell + PRP therapy, which involves making small injections into the upper scalp layers, from the hairline to the crown of the head.
- The doctor will provide instructions for aftercare, including how to cleanse the scalp, manage any discomfort, prevent infection and other complications, and ensure you get the best outcomes from the surgery.
Recovery From Hair Replacement
There is downtime associated with hair replacement surgery. The transplanted area may have scabs and redness initially, which usually resolve within a week or two. Full recovery and regrowth can take several months. After a few weeks, the transplanted hair follicles will shed their hair.
New hair growth typically starts within three to four months, and it gradually thickens and matures over the following months. The transplanted hair will grow like your natural hair, and you can style, cut, and groom it as desired. Hair transplantation can provide significant improvement, but individual results vary.
Transplanted hair usually continues to grow naturally and does not require any special maintenance. However, it’s important to follow a healthy lifestyle, take care of your scalp, and protect your hair from damage.
Hair Replacement Surgery in Tacoma, Seattle, and Spokane, WA
For over 25 years, Dr. Robert Niedbalski at Northwest Hair Restoration has been treating patients with hair loss. He is one of the most experienced hair transplant surgeons in the Pacific Northwest and is highly skilled in the use of the most advanced techniques in hair replacement.
At our hair loss clinic, we also offer a range of nonsurgical hair restoration options, including ACell + PRP therapy, to give you the most beautiful outcomes from your treatment. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Niedbalski, call our office today at (253) 572-2949 or use our convenient online form.