Hair Transplants Around the World: How Does This Popular Hair-Restoring Procedure Work?

If you are unfamiliar with hair transplants, you may be surprised to learn just how many varieties of hair loss treatments there have been in the lead-up to today’s expert procedures. While medications and topical treatments can sometimes be effective, the most noticeable and long-lasting hair restoration is achieved by undergoing a hair transplant. While facilities and bedside manners may be different depending on the clinic, most modern hair transplants fall under two categories.

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What Types of Hair Transplant Are Available?

The two main types of hair transplants are similar but have slightly different methods. Each harvests healthy hair follicles from donor areas of the scalp, but the way these are harvested depends on whether you are undergoing FUE or FUT. Follicular Unit Extraction, FUE, is much less invasive than Follicular Unit Transplantation, FUT, because it removes the hair follicles individually rather than by taking a thin strip of scalp from the head. FUE, therefore, leaves much more minor and less visible scarring and results in little pain or discomfort during recovery.

What Is the Process?

Not everyone who wants a hair transplant also likes to think about the details of the surgery, as this can be off-putting. However, you may be curious about the method and science behind the procedure. Now you know a bit more about the two main types of hair transplants, you may still be pondering this question: how does a hair transplant work

As briefly mentioned already, the first step is to harvest individual hair follicles from parts of the scalp that are able to grow hair. These are usually at the sides and back of the head. The area of the scalp that will receive these transplanted follicles is prepared by small holes being punctured into the skin.

These holes are created to help the newly planted follicles grow in the same manner as the rest of the hair so that the final results are as natural as possible. It can take up to eight hours to complete the transplant session since each follicle is removed, checked, and implanted into the scalp to ensure a realistic look.

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When Do Hair Transplants Not Work?

For people experiencing thinning hair or pattern baldness, a hair transplant is often the most efficient way to restore your hair. However, if hair loss is a result of an underlying condition, then a hair transplant may not work. For example, people with alopecia may not have sufficient donor sites on their scalps to extract follicles from. If you are unsure about the possible cause of your unwanted hair loss, speak to a medical professional who can give you more specific advice.

What Is Hair Transplant Recovery Like?

Especially with FUE, recovery is relatively pain-free and straightforward. The clinic will give the patient shampoo to use on their hair and other tips on how to make sure the transplanted hair stays healthy. For FUT, recovery can take slightly longer since there is a larger incision that usually requires sutures and bandaging. 

Hair grows back to cover this scar – but with FUE, no scars are visible at all. After a week, the patient will be able to eat and exercise as normal. A month or two after the procedure, the newly transplanted hair will shed, but this is normal. The follicles will continue to produce new hairs, and the patient’s full head of hair is now ready to grow.

While hair transplant surgery might seem daunting or frivolous at first, it is a fantastic way to restore hair and confidence.