The hair transplant operation is with no doubt one of the most popular plastic surgeries on our planet. Outdone only by breast augmentation and a couple of other cosmetic procedures, this option is a solution for many balding men, although a hair transplant for ladies is also in the game.
However, the increasing number of hair transplant options and the rumors circling on the internet have caused the patients to become increasingly confused. They wonder about the effectiveness and the techniques they may choose to achieve the best results.
In this article, we describe the total timeline as well as the matters of technique, results, and the hair transplant post-op care. Hopefully, such a compendium will help some of the patients making a right decision.
Is Baldness Curable?
The constant popularity of hair transplant is caused by the fact that every year thousands of men realize that their hair starts to slowly disappear giving the place to bald spots. Unfortunately, the medicine is often not really helpful in dealing with this issue. Androgenetic alopecia and other hormone-related medical conditions cause a lot of damage to men’s self-esteem and there is no easy medical solution.
This is where hair grafts may become a salvation. More often than not a hair transplant for hairline is required for patients whose hairline recedes steadily. Additionally, in people who experience general hair loss, a hair transplant for thin hair is generally a good solution bringing some really spectacular results.
The most popular candidates for it, will be people who experience either a hair loss in a particular region of the head or a general one. Either way, there is a hope to fully or partially restore their old look if their condition is not caused by a particular disease which will affect the new grafts.
Hair Transplant Pros and Cons
Hair transplant pros and cons are as follows:
+ Most of the patients are satisfied with their results.
+ Success stories are quite spectacular and permanent – you will not lose them unless the balding process starts again later.
+ Hair transplant FUE technique promises highly effective treatment which is in the same time without the scar.
– It takes several months to see the final the results.
– In clinics (especially in Europe and the US), per graft cost calculation is a quite common practice so the more graft you need, the less affordable it becomes.
Hair Transplant Techniques
Throughout the years, numerous techniques were made available and competed for the attention and trust of patients. Some of them became successful while others felt into obsolesce. For example, hair transplant with laser (in which laser created the holes to plant the grafts), a trendy surgery in the 90’s, is nowadays an outdated idea with close to zero practitioners for lasers cause cauterisations of surrounding tissue and, as the result, impair the ability of hair grafts to adapt and survive.
Nowadays, there are two major techniques. These are:
In FUE method, the plastic surgeon harvests hair grafts one by one, hence allowing for a hair transplant without the scar. Later on, hair grafts are placed one at a time in the area which experienced the hair loss.
In FUT method, a strip of skin with hair grafts is removed and then the grafts are cut out from it. It is an older approach and many doctors have resigned from it in favor of FUE. However, some claim that FUT brings comparable results and the scar is easy to conceive.
Many clinics offer it with PRP. In PRP, one’s blood is turned into plasma and injected into the area in order to stimulate the hair growth. As for now, specialists do not conduct hair transplant from the donor for the risk of rejections is simply too high.
Finally, there is an option of transplant from the body to hair, recommended for people who lost most of their head hair but have an abundance of body hair. This method utilizes the fact that hair has an amazing ability to adapt to the body part it is translated to. Hence, body hair implanted in one’s hair will regrow as a normal hair.
Hair Transplant Costs
Hair transplant costs vary between clinics, cities, and even countries. As it is with other plastic surgeries, the prices are usually higher in well-known clinics of bigger cities. Additionally, in the West, the prices are usually much higher due to taxation and the costs of training of medical professionals. For this reason, many patients prefer to benefit from the booming medical tourism industry and travel abroad in search of affordable to make hair thicker or restore the receding hairline. When it comes to cost, Turkey and other health tourism destinations offer a tempting alternative. For example, a hair transplant in Istanbul may cost as low as 1.500 € and 1.780 € on average, which is a striking difference when we compare it with the West. In the UK, the same surgery will cost us at least 4.525 €.
One of the many reasons why in the topic of hair transplant Istanbul is one of the world capitals is the pricing issue. In the Western countries, it is normal to deduct the cost per follicle, while in Turkey and other medical tourism destinations, the price is often presented as a fixed package including even a hotel stay and transportation from and to the airport.
Choosing a Right Place & Surgeon
It is easy to say that we should look for hair transplant overseas, but how to do it? Numerous pages offer us hair transplant reviews which offer a clue as for which clinics are trustworthy and which have more hair transplant fails rather than successes on their account.
Another simple tip is putting emphasis on the specialty of a particular plastic surgeon. Especially in big hospitals, doctors often perform a wide range of cosmetic procedures, therefore lacking a specialization in hair transplant. It is better to search for clinics with large hair transplant experience.
There are a few ways to ensure that your hair transplant surgery will pass smoothly and your hair transplant healing won’t be obstructed:
• Abstain from alcohol and smoking for a couple of days before the procedure. Both of them badly affect the process of hair transplant recovery.
• Avoid medicines with the blood-thinning effect such as aspirin – you do not want to bleed excessively, do you?
• Arrange a stock of easy-to-prepare food and drinks at your home – you should limit your activities during the first few days to a minimum in order to get better quickly.
• Do not hide any medical issues you have or had in the past – they may have an influence on your reaction to medicines and anesthesia.
Hair Transplant Surgery
The surgery itself is pretty simple. In both hair transplant by FUE technique and FUT method, doctors harvest your hair grafts (though in the first one by one, and the second – in a strip). Then, holes which will host the grafts are punctuated in the area of your choice. Later on, the hair grafts are positioned one by one with care for their direction in order to provide a natural look of new hair. In the end, the donor area is covered with material to prevent infections and you are good to go.
Hair Transplant Recovery
After a hair transplant, a long process of recovery will start. However, only the first days require your increased attention and careful following the rules outlined by your doctors.
First of all, please remember that you should not take a shower for the first day or two after the surgery in order to not disturb the hair transplant healing process. Later on, you will receive a set of special shampoos and medications which you should apply to avoid possible damage to grafts. During the first week or two, you should avoid rubbing and pressing the new hair. In the same time, use mild water rather than a hot one when taking shower.
In hair transplant recovery period, it is crucial to take the prescribed medications such as antibiotics. As for painkillers, while there is no hair transplant without pain during and after the surgery, its amount is bearable for most of the patients. Use painkillers only if you feel like you can’t stand the suffering.
After a hair transplant, swelling is a natural occurrence. To minimize it, use a headband usually provided by the clinic.
Especially in the first one-two days avoid sleeping on a normal pillow. Rather, make use of a special U-shaped one. Also, remember to keep your head slightly above the whole body in order to decrease the blood pressure on your head.
Do not get surprised when your newly grown hair suddenly falls off after two-three weeks. They will grow again within the next months, only to bring final results within the first year.
Hair Transplant Results
After the surgery, progress is made slowly towards the final effect. The hair falls out and causes many people to panic. Is mine a hair transplant failure? – they often think and call their specialists for advice. We want you to remain calm in such a case – it is a totally natural process. The effectiveness is measurable only after months when new hair starts to peek out from your head.
After all, reviews make us rather optimistic when it comes to this surgery – success is a much more likely event. In rare cases, the hair transplant fails and it usually becomes a cause for a repeated surgery conducted for free by the clinic.
Risks & Complications
There are some risks, we can’t say no. Some patients experience excessive bleeding or an infection but these are easy to suppress and usually do not have long-term effects. To the biggest complications belongs to the failure but it is usually caused by patient’s negligence during the healing process.
Hair Transplant in Places Other than Head
Recent years have seen a spike in the number of more specific options. Hair transplant to beard is especially popular and helpful to people who have patchy, irregular face hair. Moreover, on eyebrows is a tempting solution for people who (partially) lost their eyebrows due to various factors.
Alternatives of Hair Transplant
Some people search for alternatives to a classical surgery. Unfortunately, they find out that there is no method of hair transplant without anesthesia.
To mild alternatives to it belong various medications which stimulate the hair growth and strengthens the existing hair. However, in larger cases of baldness, such solutions do not bring satisfying effects.
Hair-Transplant.org is a clinic in Istanbul that highly specialized in hair transplant surgery. We are here to provide all the required information about hair transplant. We care what a patient needs and we are ready to help them in their health journey.