What Is A Hair Transplant? Consolation after hair loss: to replace lost hair, doctors transplant hair roots from denser areas to balder areas during hair transplantation. What Is A Hair Transplant? The loss of hair can be a serious psychological burden for people. Hair transplantation gives convincing results in some forms of hair loss.
Areas of application of hair transplantation
What Is A Hair Transplant? The most important field of application of hair transplant is hormonal hair loss, called androgenetic alopecia by experts. The hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) plays the decisive role here: the hair roots react hypersensitive to DHT and fall out prematurely. This hypersensitivity is laid in the genes. Therefore, hair loss is, so to speak, only a matter of time. In men, in extreme cases, only a ring of hair remains on the back of the head. The hair growing there does not fall out even under the influence of DHT (“DHT-resistant hair roots”). In women, baldness does not arise. Here, the hairs tend to thin out altogether, preferably in the region of the middle vertex.
Less often, patients lose hair as a result of injuries, burns or surgery. Certain skin conditions can also be responsible for permanent hair loss from time to time. These include alopecia areata, the so-called “circular hair loss”, and folliculitis decalvans, an inflammation of the hair follicles. After their healing, bald spots may remain.
What Is A Hair Transplant? Visually, the head hair will appear lighter only if more than half of the hair is missing. In this respect, it is also sufficient for a hair transplant to achieve a density of 50 percent of the original hair density. Hair transplant is also possible in patients who have lost beard or eyebrow hair.
When is the intervention considered?
What Is A Hair Transplant? Hair transplantation is suitable for patients with irreversible hair loss. In the case of hormonal hair loss, doctors usually first make a drug therapy attempt. For women, hormone-containing preparations and the active ingredient minoxidil are in the foreground here. In men, as a rule, medications can only prevent hair loss from progressing further. Finasteride and minoxidil have proven themselves well. Many patients do not want to take medication permanently.
What Is A Hair Transplant? A hair transplant is therefore an option if other therapies fail. However, many doctors advise against too early procedures for hormonal hair loss in men. They recommend a minimum age of 30 to 35 years. The hair loss should have already largely come to a standstill.
Who performs the procedure?
Associations of experts in Germany have formulated the following requirements for doctors who want to transplant hair independently: first, they should have the specialist recognition of an operative specialty. These include surgeons, gynecologists, otolaryngologists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons. In addition, doctors must be well versed in the treatment of surgical, cardiovascular and drug complications. Furthermore, you should have completed the appropriate courses for hair transplant, and worked for a few days with a specialist for hair transplantation as a visiting doctor. In addition, at least one surgical assistant should have experience in the preparation of hair roots.
Preparation for hair transplantation
What Is A Hair Transplant? The patient’s education and informed consent to the operation should be given at least 24 hours before the procedure. First of all, doctors and patients discuss the possibilities and limitations of hair transplant. The doctor also asks the patient about important prerequisites for operability, for example, whether the patient is prone to excessive scarring. In addition, the doctor examines the patient, especially the subsequent area of the operation, and documents the condition before the procedure.
During the procedure, doctors can only skillfully redistribute hair roots. The initial situation therefore often sets limits: for example, it is not possible to cover a large bald head with a small ring of hair at the back of the head with youthful hair density again. As a rule of thumb, if the area of the donor hair measures less than 20 percent of the recipient region, a comprehensive hair transplant is not possible.
The doctors use measurements for hair density and hair mass to describe the condition before the hair transplant. The structure and color of the hair are also important. For example, light hair appears less dense than dark ones. Photos before and after hair transplantation will help to prove the success of the procedure.
How do doctors win the hair roots for transplantation?
What Is A Hair Transplant? Usually, a local anesthesia of the scalp is sufficient for hair transplantation. The addition of adrenaline helps to reduce possible bleeding. Depending on the type of hair root extraction, two techniques are distinguished: in follicular unit transplantation (FUT technique), doctors remove the hair roots with a strip of skin, in follicular unit extraction (FUE technique) as individual hair root clusters, so-called follicular units. One to five hairs grow from one such hair root cluster. In men, the DHT-insensitive hair ring at the back of the head is suitable for hair removal, it is called a “safe donor area”. Even after the hair has been transplanted, they remain insensitive to the hormone DHT. In women, these circumscribed donor areas on the head do not exist. In principle, the doctors can take the hair from the entire occipital region.
The skin strip to be removed is about 1 to 2 cm wide in the FUT technique. Its length depends on how many hairs should be transplanted. The doctors cut the hair short in the appropriate area. After taking the strip of skin with the hair roots contained in it, sew up the wound. The adjacent hairs remain longer and now cover the scar. Surgical assistants often extract large amounts of hair root clusters from the skin strip, which can be transplanted. Hair transplant work with magnifying glasses and microscopes.
What Is A Hair Transplant? In the FUE technique, the surgical staff shaves the back of the head over a large area – depending on the number of hairs to be transplanted. Then a tiny hollow drill first loosens the hair root groups. Then the doctor can pluck them out with special instruments. The procedure can take several hours, but it does without incisions. The tiny scar points are hardly visible afterwards. This is especially important for patients who want to wear their hair very short later. Often, the FUE technique is sufficient if the doctors only need a small number of donor hair with less than 500 to 1000 hair root clusters. With strongly curly and frizzy hair, it is often too complicated technically.
Hair transplantation in FUE technique
How do doctors use the hair roots?
What Is A Hair Transplant? The obtained hair root clusters are stored in a cooled nutrient solution until the next step. They should now find their new place in tiny openings in the skin. The doctors make these openings either with a micro drill (holes technique) or with a tiny knife (slit technique). They thus determine the density and the subsequent direction of hair growth. Here you pay attention to a so-called “randomized distribution” of the openings. This means that the doctors do not simply put the transplanted hairs next to each other, because this could create a pearl necklace effect. Rather, they plant the hair irregularly offset to the front and back, creating an “irregular regularity”. Only in this way you can imitate the natural distribution of hair. An experienced surgical team can transplant 1000 to 1500 hair root clusters in one session. A session usually lasts between three and six hours.
For example, if the bald spot is 50 square centimeters, 500 to 1250 transplanted hair root clusters are necessary, depending on the color and structure of the hair – from ten hair root groups per square centimeter, the result usually looks visually satisfactory, from 25 hair root groups per square centimeter very good. For larger bald spots, two to three sessions may occur.
What Is A Hair Transplant? On a healthy scalp, 98 percent of hair follicles grow. On scars, as well as in smokers and diabetics over the age of 45, it still succeeds in about 80 percent. Men with hereditary hair loss often receive the active ingredient finasteride after transplantation. This drug is designed to prevent the remnants of the original hairiness of the upper head from falling out. In contrast to the transplanted hair, these are still sensitive to the hormone DHT.
How common are complications?
What Is A Hair Transplant? Hair transplantation is considered a low-complication procedure. After the procedure, patients temporarily observe redness, swelling and impaired sensation in the area of the transplanted hair. Small incrustations disappear after 10 to 14 days by regular hair washing with a mild pH-neutral shampoo, whereby hair washing is allowed again from 48 hours after the procedure. Doctors recommend to avoid great efforts and strong sun exposure in the first two weeks after hair transplantation.
What are the chances of success?
If the area with donor hair is sufficiently large, the doctors usually succeed in convincing results. The transplanted hair is usually preserved until the end of life. The patient can wash, cut or dye them quite normally.
However, these successes are not immediately visible. The transplanted hair initially falls out after three to four weeks. This is due to the short-term lack of nutrients that the hair roots are exposed to during removal. Only after three to four months the new hair grows, which then also no longer falls out.
How much does the procedure cost?
What Is A Hair Transplant? In general, the health insurance companies tend not to pay the costs for a hair transplant, because the hair loss does not affect the health of the patients. In the case of injuries, skin diseases and severe psychological consequences, the health insurance companies occasionally make an exception. Depending on the number of transplanted hairs, the procedure will cost from 2000 to 8000 euros.
What Is A Hair Transplant? information. Do not forget to share your thoughts on this subject with us. Be sure to do more research and consult your doctor about your health issues.
How long do hair transplants last?
About six months after a hair transplant, the transplanted hair takes on a natural appearance and continues to grow throughout life.
How successful is a hair transplant?
How successful are hair transplants? Transplant survival rates after hair transplantation are between 90 and 95%. This essentially means that hair transplanted from the donor area to the recipient area should remain in good condition.
Is a hair transplant permanent?
Hair transplantation – sometimes called hair restoration – is an outpatient procedure that uses microtransplantation technology to donate your own hair follicles to other areas of your scalp that are thinning. The results of a hair transplant are visible for a long time and are considered permanent.
Is a hair transplant painful?
No, thanks to local anesthesia and postoperative painkillers, hair transplantation is not painful. While no surgery can be completely painless and some short and possibly temporary discomfort is possible, hair transplantation is usually a pleasant and easy experience for most patients with hair loss.
What age is best for hair transplantation?
Although hair transplants can be performed in people over the age of 18, it is advisable to perform a transplant only at the age of 25. Younger men may not be the best candidates because their hair loss pattern may not be fully determined yet.
Will hair transplants turn gray?
A hair transplant does not change the color of your hair. In rare cases, the procedure can stimulate the premature graying of some transplanted hairs, but it does not affect the overall health or life span. As soon as the donor area turns gray, the recipient area finally follows.
When can I go to the gym after the fuel?
It is recommended to avoid strenuous physical activity for FOUR patients 4 weeks after surgery and for FUE patients 2 weeks after surgery. During this time, avoid fitness work, swimming, cycling, tennis, golf, heavy lifting or strenuous mountain hiking. This is to avoid stretching the scar (s).