Many men are self-conscious about losing their hair. However, almost two-thirds of men will experience some hair thinning by the age of 35.
So, for those that do not want to go the complete shaved head route, you have several options for treating hair loss, and one of them is a hair transplant procedure.
Why Do Men Lose Hair?
Men face hair loss when a modified form of testosterone, the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), attacks hair follicles on your scalp. The hairs produced by these attacked follicles become smaller in diameter, shorter in length and lighter in colour until they shrink completely and hair production stops.
Generally, the follicles at the back and sides of a man’s head can specially fend off DHT(Direct Hair Transplant). That’s why it is common for men to keep their hair at the back and sides and go bald at the crown and temple.
Some other factors which can cause you to lose hair are:
- Alopecia areata(small patches or complete hair loss)
- Experience of traumatic events(accidents, death in the family)
- Medications (cancer, depression, arthritis and heart problems)
Remember, a hair transplant will not be useful in case of medical conditions and traumatic events.
What is a Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a surgical treatment in which:
- Your surgeon will harvest ‘donor’ follicles from one area of your scalp, such as the back of your head, which usually does not get affected by balding.
- Your surgeon will then move these follicles to the ‘recipient’ area, where you have hair loss.
You do not have to go to a hospital for a hair transplant. It is an outpatient procedure that uses a local anaesthetic to numb the scalp. Depending on your balding condition, you may require multiple sessions. Usually, 1,000 and 2,000 and some cases up to 4,000 – hair follicles can be transplanted in a single session, which can take several hours.
Types of Hair Transplant Surgery
There are two main types of hair transplants available:
- Follicular unit transplantation (FUT)
- Follicular unit extraction (FUE)
While other techniques exist, like stem cell procedures – they are less common and do not have the same significant results.
FUT is also known as ‘strip surgery’ and involves harvesting a small patch of hair follicles which your surgeon divides into smaller units of follicle. They then place the units into the incisions created in your recipient site, after that they suture the wounds closed.
Meanwhile, FUE involves extracting individual hair follicles by using a tiny punch tool and planting them in the recipient area. While FUE is more intensive for the hair transplant surgeon, it is less invasive and less painful for you. Also, it requires less downtime, and there is no risk of scarring.
Who can have a Hair Transplant?
Not every man is an ideal candidate for a hair transplant, some conditions where hair transplant might not be an option for you:
- You have extensive hair loss, and you have fewer donor hairs available, your surgeon might not be able to give the results you desired.
- If you have lost hair due to conditions like alopecia or from taking certain medications.
- Age also comes into account when considering a hair transplant. The younger you are, the more likely it is that you will require multiple surgeries as your hair loss continues over a period.
- If you have fine hair or a tight scalp you might struggle with hair transplantation.
Remember, if you have coarse, wavy hair or a loose scalp, you can see more positive results.
What Results can you expect?
Results of hair transplants can vary widely depending on your baldness level and scalp condition. In normal condition, about 10 to 80 per cent of your transplanted hair will grow back fully. It takes around 3 months to see results, and most people achieve 60 per cent new hair growth after nine months of the procedure.
Your hair transplant will look just like your real hair if done correctly by an experienced hair transplant surgeon. A poor procedure might leave you with an uneven hairline or ‘donor depletion’ because of too much hair extraction from the donor site.
If you want the best results from your hair transplant, follow all the aftercare procedures advised by the hair transplant surgeon. Some aftercare includes:
- Apply a dressing to the transplanted follicles.
- Avoid shampoo for at least 24 hours.
- Sleep upright for at least 3 nights.
Remember, talk to your hair transplant surgeon before you decide to get either hair transplant procedure. They will assess all factors and let you know.