A hair transplant takes your existing hair and moves it to areas you’re balding or experiencing thinning. Most patients require several treatment sessions a few months apart to achieve satisfactory results.
Depending on your surgeon’s preferred method, they may use the follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) technique or follicular unit extraction (FUE). Both provide excellent results.
What to Expect
Hair transplant surgery takes healthy hairs from areas of your scalp with healthy, thick hair and moves them to areas of the scalp that are bald or thinning. The surgeon cleans and numbs the areas where your new grafts will go. Then, they make tiny cuts in your scalp’s bald or thinning areas. Then, they carefully place healthy hair follicles in these cuts. The surgeon can place hundreds or thousands of healthy follicles during treatment.
Your doctor will create these tiny cuts using either a scalpel or needles. They will then use a tool that resembles a punch or screwdriver to separate the tissue from the surrounding skin. The physician can cut the strip into 500 to 2,000 tiny hair follicles.
In addition, hair transplants for African American patients combine artistry with in-depth knowledge of the hair loss patterns of people across various racial origins and cultural groupings to obtain natural-looking restoration outcomes.
The surgeon will then put each graft in the scalp. Then, they may need to shave the area where the grafts are placed or use a scalpel to create more precise holes or slits. Finally, the surgeon will use a needle or scalpel to gently push the new grafts down into the skin and secure them with sutures.
Your head will be covered with a noticeable surgical dressing following the surgery. Keeping this dressing dry and covered by a cap or hat for a few days following surgery is crucial. You should also follow the surgeon’s instructions for caring for your scalp and other areas that have been treated. Most patients experience new hair growth after their hair transplant within a few months. However, the results can take up to 12 months to become fully visible.
Hair transplant surgery is typically done in a medical facility or doctor’s office with a local anesthetic. It is a one-day outpatient procedure involving implanting follicular grafts harvested from the back or sides of your head to areas of the scalp where you have lost hair. The follicular grafts will then grow natural hair over time.
Before the procedure begins, your surgeon will clean your scalp and inject medicine to numb it. Then, depending on your chosen method (FUT or FUE), your physician will remove a strip of skin from the back of your head or make circular punch incisions around your head with a tube-like instrument.
After the follicular grafts have been implanted, you may experience some swelling in the forehead area for the first few days. You must avoid bumping or rubbing the area as this could dislodge some grafts. For this reason, sleep propped up at an angle for the first few days is often recommended with a rolled-up towel or travel neck pillow.
Your hair follicles may begin to shed in the weeks following the procedure, which is normal. This is due to the follicles entering a resting period before they resume growth. However, after 4 to 5 months, you should begin to see new hairs growing, and it should be impossible to tell where the transplanted follicles end, and your native hair begins.
Hair transplant surgery is a safe and effective way to restore your entire head of hair. However, you may experience pain as your skin heals after the procedure. Your surgeon will provide you with pain relievers to help you cope. In addition, your doctor may also prescribe medicine that helps prevent further hair loss.
After the surgery, you will be expected to return home with a surgical dressing and possibly a baseball cap to cover your head. The surgical dressing will protect your scalp and help it heal. You should only remove or change the dressing once your physician instructs you.
After the procedure, you may experience some swelling on the forehead and around the eyes for a few days. This is normal and will usually reach a peak by day 4. You should avoid touching or scratching the area until this time has passed. This will ensure the grafts are not dislodged and survive in their new location. By day 5, the grafts will have begun to anchor, and you can resume essential activity.
During this time, you will notice small pimples on the transplanted area. These are a sign that the transplanted follicles are working to produce new hair. It can take up to a month for the new hair to grow out, and it is essential to remain patient.
After the procedure, your physician will provide specific instructions about care and recovery. These should be followed closely to ensure proper scalp healing and grafts. You may experience tenderness, itchiness, and some mild pain after surgery, but these should be minor. You can take over-the-counter medication (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen) to manage these symptoms.
The graft sites will form scabs 24 to 72 hours after your surgery. The scabs will then fall off in 3-10 days. It is crucial not to pick at these scabs, as doing so could cause infection and endanger the survival of your grafts. It is also advisable to avoid vigorous shampooing in the transplanted area.
Some small pimples may form where hair follicles are inserted. These should diminish on their own. If they persist, you may want to apply a warm compress on the area.
In the weeks following the surgery, your transplanted hair will begin to grow and fill in your bald areas. It can take up to a year for your new hair to fully develop and appear natural. During this time, your original hair loss may continue to occur, but medications can be used to slow or stop it. Ultimately, most patients achieve their desired results within 6 to 12 months.