By Olivia |
IF you are battling hair loss, you may have considered hair implantation as an option to restoring your lost locks. Here are some things you need to know before deciding if hair implants may be right for you.
Modern Hair Implantation
Hair implants used to trigger many a bad joke because, frankly, the technology of years ago which used large hair plugs left people looking like human doll heads. Or worse!
But nowadays, surgical hair restoration, commonly called hair transplant surgery, hair grafts, or hair implantation, is more advanced and refined, using tiny plugs, called follicular units, capable of achieving a completely natural look.
Hair Implant Surgery
In this surgery, hair follicles are harvested – removed – from one part of the head and transplanted into balding areas. The procedure itself is usually an outpatient service done under local anesthesia.
A thin strip or two of scalp is cut out of the back of the head as remaining hair in this area tends to resist androgenic balding. The resulting opening is stitched closed, and the so-called donor strip is then prepared to be transplanted.
Using microscopes, technicians painstakingly divide the scalp tissue into what is called follicular unit grafts. These will contain as little as one strand of hair up to as many as four strands. This imitates the way hair naturally grows and is key to achieving a natural looking result.
When these hair grafts are ready, tiny holes are made into the areas affected by hair loss. The follicular units are placed into these incisions with consideration given to hair density and the direction of hair growth.
Are You a Candidate for Hair Implantation?
Typically, most candidates for this hair restoration technique are men who are experiencing male pattern baldness. In this type of hair loss, follicles are sensitive to a type of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which causes the follicles, over time, to shrink, producing poor quality hair, and eventually die. But the back of the head and sides tend not to be affected, and so a man with male pattern baldness is left with the stereotypical smooth crown and a wreath or horseshoe shape of hair.
Hair transplantation also requires that the patient have enough remaining hair. After all, this procedure does not cause hair growth – it simply moves the hair you do have from one place to another. Therefore you have to have enough hair that is resistant to DHT to redistribute in a more pleasing way.
After Hair Implantation Surgery
Several weeks after having the procedure, the strands from the transplanted hair plugs will begin to fall out. But the follicles will begin to produce new hair usually within three months. The hair that does emerge from the graft sites, however, will be thin and colorless. In fact, it can take more than a year for the transplanted hair to produce normal hair, so surgical hair restoration is not an instant hair loss solution, by any means. But it is permanent. If you are interested, see a hair implantation professional for a consultation.