FAQ´s Frequently Asked Questions
What is a hair transplant?
Hair transplants facilitate hair redistribution. The main purpose of these treatments is to take hair follicles which are not predisposed to inherited balding from a donor site and to insert them into a recipient site. Experienced surgeons will intelligently insert the hair follicles into the recipient site to create undetectable outcomes, and this is also carried out to achieve high growth yields and high density. Responsible surgeons will efficiently harvest donor sites given the limited number of viable donor follicles.
To learn more about the principles of hair restoration, please see ‘What is a hair transplant?’
What is the approximate lifetime of transplanted hair?
Any process of hair transplantation creates a crescent-shaped fringe from the back to the sides of the client’s scalp. This fringe is not prone to balding and, as such, it will last for a lifetime. This is because the transplanted follicular units are specifically chosen based on the inherited resistance to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male hormone.
Will a transplant help me to get my full hair status back?
Given the limited availability of viable donor follicular units, one of the fundamental parts of the process is to extract and insert hair efficiently. Although this process cannot return a head of hair to its former status, it is effective in leaving a visible impression of high density. In view of this, it is critical for patients to have reasonable expectations and to have a full understanding of what the common outcomes are from each procedure.
What forms of hair loss can be treated?
Although hair transplantation can viably be used to treat conditions which both males and females suffer from, it is not possible to address all forms of hair loss. It is only possible to carry out surgical hair restoration on patients who suffer from inherited balding (androgenic hair loss, or “alopecia androgenic”).
Excellent densities are routinely achieved for female patients because severe baldness is generally not relevant for their conditions.
For clients who suffer from diffuse hair loss, alopecia areata, or other forms of hair loss, hair transplantation is not a viable option. Prior to booking a treatment with any surgeon, each patient must participate in a consultation with a dermatological specialist; this involves undergoing a holistic physical and laboratory examination. In cases where hair transplantation is ruled out given the nature of your condition, we recommend that you consider non-surgical treatments; for example, Propecia (Finasteride) and Rogaine (Minoxidil) are effective ways to facilitate hair regrowth.
It is important for clients to note that even where your condition means you meet the criteria for undergoing hair transplantation, personal variation in each patient means that outcomes cannot be guaranteed. It is unfortunately the case that only certain individuals constitute viable candidates for treatments. Moreover, hair transplants can only be carried out when there is a sufficient supply of donor hair.
To learn more about this, see ‘Planning your hair transplant’.
What is a necessary level of density?
It is difficult to generalise any answer to this question as it ultimately relies on individual preferences and goals.
The density that can be achieved is dependent on several factors, including the original hair density, hair texture, and the calibre and colour of each hair.
To understand the general principles of hair loss, clients should recognise that more than 50% of naturally occurring hair must be lost before visible detection can take place. It is necessary for clients to use their personal consultation to determine the specific number of grafts that are to be redistributed or the level of density that is desired. Clients who experience a natural density of less than 100 FU/cm2 must certainly gain 50% of their previous hair status to facilitate a satisfying outcome.
Given the unique nature of each head of hair, surgeons and clients must organise and examine the impacts of hair restoration, and this includes an essential density assessment prior to booking a treatment.
The following image shows two different hair densities:
How painful is the procedure?
We are confident in stating that the whole treatment is painless, and this is because local anaesthetics are used for the duration. A numbing agent is applied to the donor area and, following extraction, it is applied to the recipient area. Following the injection, clients will not feel anything, and they can entertain themselves with anything while the surgeons do their work. A few hours after the treatment when the anaesthetics begin to wear off, a low level of pain may be felt, but this can be mitigated with appropriate medications. By the morning after, no pain will be felt.
What should I consider before opting for a hair transplant?
There are several things you should and shouldn’t do prior to undergoing hair transplantation procedures. These are presented as follows:
Refrain from consuming alcohol 4-5 days prior to the procedure. On the day of your treatment, refrain from consuming highly-caffeinated products, including coffee. On the day prior to the procedure, have an early night!
Refrain from consuming vitamin B or vitamin E 7 days prior to the procedure.
Wear appropriate clothing – namely, comfortable apparel – for the day of the procedure. In addition, avoid wearing torso garments that you’ll have to take off by lifting over your head.
Pain medication and narcotics shouldn’t be consumed 10 days prior to the treatment.
Note that the clinic performing the procedure is required to consult with your physician in cases where you are required to take blood clotting medication (for example, Marcumar).
7 days prior to the procedure, refrain from taking any hair loss medication that contains Minoxidil (this includes Regaine, Rogaine, and Lipoxidil).
There are no concerns regarding the consumption of products containing Finasteride.
What should I take care for after the treatment?
Where insertion and extraction has taken place, you will experience a certain degree of swelling. In most cases, this will extend to the face, and it will last for 2-3 days. No pain will result from this, and the only worry is that it might cause an aesthetically displeasing look. This will subside in 2-4 days. Importantly, you should refrain from engaging in activities which involve sweating (namely, sport), heavy physical work, and spending time in humid, moist, or dusty areas (2-3 weeks). Swimming in chlorinated pools, tanning, wearing hairpieces, and sitting in a sauna should all be refrained from for a period of 4 weeks.
What should I expect after the treatment?
In the 10 days following the treatment, patients will experience scab formation on the scalp. These will subside in approximately 1-2 weeks. In view of this, we advise that clients take a 2-week holiday after undergoing treatment, and when they return from holiday, the only possible source of detection is a degree of redness around the recipient site (this will last for approximately 2-3 months, dependent on individual variables). The redness can easily be concealed with make-up.
Strip-based hair transplants require that sutures be placed on the linear scar at the rear of the scalp. Therefore, for those who opt for this treatment, note that the sutures can be taken off after 2 weeks. For clients who have travelled a long way to undergo treatment, you are not required to participate in post-operative procedures at the clinic; alternatively, you can meet with your general physician at home. Removing the sutures is not strictly a component of the clinic’s procedure.
It is common for hair that has been inserted in the treatment to fall out after 2-6 weeks. This stems from the fact that the follicular units have lacked a sufficient blood- and oxygen-supply over the course of the treatment. Although unavoidable, it is a non-permanent process and new hair will begin to grow in 3-5 months. From then on, clients will enjoy an incremental rise in hair thickness.
Shockloss can result in cases where follicular units are inserted into a recipient site which already contains hair. This phenomenon can last for 3-5 months and, following this, the hair status will become stable. From then on, patients will begin to see the outcomes.
Growth yields are entirely dependent on the individual. Generally, within 6-10 months, new hair growth will have commenced and the client will be able to notice increasing thickness. For some clients, new hair growth is not seen until 8-10 months after the initial procedure. Generally, the average growth yield is 10%/month until the end result is enjoyed after a period of one year.
In certain cases, the change from thin to thick hair can last longer than one year. In the period after the first year, the hair will continually transform in terms of texture and calibre and, eventually, will establish increased volume.
For more information regarding hair growth following a transplantation, there are numerous forms and blogs in which the matter is discussed. Here is an example of one:
It is important to note that almost all follicular units inserted during the procedure will continue to grow for the rest of your life. In most cases, the new hair can be worn in any style. No continued clinical care is required following the initial procedure since specific care processes are not required. It is also important to note that clients can use any of the hair products they used prior to the transplant.
How long will it be before I can participate in social activities again?
As aforementioned, a degree of swelling can be expected at the recipient site for 1-2 weeks. This is generally not accompanied by pain but it will not be comfortable.
Within 5 days, the swelling is likely to have subsided and it will not be possible for others to discern this. Given the fact that the minute scabs at the recipient site will disappear within 10-14 days, we recommend that 14 days at minimum is left before you return to social engagements.
How many follicular units/grafts will I need? And what can I expect in terms of prices?
The majority of the currently operating clinics have per graft rates. In terms of how many grafts you might need, this is ultimately dependent on the nature of your condition, the current density, and your goals. Other variables which the number of grafts depend on relate to the extension of the balding area and the features of the donor hair in terms of calibre, colour, coarseness, and density.
It is not possible to forecast potential costs without examining each condition individually. Therefore, if you would like an estimate, please don’t hesitate to book a clinical consultation or email some pictures of your scalp. At Hairforlife, we offer no-obligation consultations free of charge.
It is also worth noting that per graft rates vary among clinics and they also relate to the treatment method.