Hair Transplant: Is it a Good Idea to Transplant?
The aim of hair transplant or hair restoration is to regrow and restore the areas of your scalp that are experiencing thinning of hair and limited hair growth.
Even though a hair transplant is a vital hair restoration option for several hair loss categories, it cannot prevent future hair loss. If you want to experience longer-lasting results with your hair transplant, then you need to undergo certain follow-up hair transplants as well.
Hair loss or thinning of hair is a part of the package called aging. That said, these conditions can also occur due to certain infections, trauma, and genetic predispositions.
Therefore, to enhance their aesthetic appearance, people experiencing thinning of hair or hair loss generally opt for reconstructive procedures such as hair transplants.
A hair transplant adds more hair to the balding patch on your scalp or another area of skin by taking hair follicles from thicker parts of your scalp or other areas of the body.
You'd be surprised to learn that nearly 50% of women and 60% of men worldwide are affected by thinning of hair and hair loss. To address such issues, people often resort to using topical medications like minoxidil and other types of over-the-counter treatment options.
So, if you're dying to cover that balding patch of hair on your scalp with a hair transplant but aren't sure if it's a good idea or not, then you've come to the right spot! Skim through the rest of this article to learn more about hair restoration, its benefits, and the side effects to make a better-informed decision!
What are the Major Causes of Hair Loss?
If you're experiencing visibly thinning hair or hair loss then it could be due to several reasons. Sometimes thinning of hair can be due to the side effects of a medical condition that needs to be addressed on a prompt basis.
In case you're dealing with these issues, you must consult your dermatologist to come up with the best solution for the problem. Here are some of the major reasons behind hair loss:
- Hormonal Imbalance:
The most common reason behind hair loss and thinning of hair is male sex hormone imbalance resulting in alopecia. Similarly, in females, an androgen imbalance can lead to the weakening of hair follicles and thereby cause thinning of hair.
These hormonal imbalances in females may be exacerbated by birth control or during menopause. Certain medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, heart disease, high blood pressure, and prostate cancer can also lead to hormonal imbalance.
- Thyroid Issues:
Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, both can lead to hair loss by causing a hormonal imbalance. Certain auto-immune diseases affecting the thyroid gland such as Grave’s disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis also lead to hair loss.
The reason behind this is that the thyroid gland plays a vital role in regulating hair growth and treatments that target correcting these medical conditions will automatically get your hair loss under control.
Hormonal imbalance is also associated with pregnancy. Therefore, postpartum hair loss is a major problem for nearly 40-50% of women who've recently had children.
This is because during pregnancy, your estrogen levels skyrocket which hampers your hair growth cycle. Therefore, it is pretty normal to experience hair loss during and after your pregnancy.
Drug-induced hair loss is a side effect of certain medications. These include - oral contraceptive drugs, antidepressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners, and calcium channel blockers. Retinoids are also a major culprit behind hair loss.
Accumulation of physical stress on your body can also alter the natural growth cycle of your hair. This can lead to thinning of hair or in certain serious cases, hair may even fall out in clumps. Any shock to your body in the form of a serious illness, burns, accident, or surgery can cause trauma to the hair follicles.
- Nutritional Deficiencies:
Certain vitamins and minerals play an important role in regulating the growth cycle of your hair. Therefore, consuming a diet that is inadequate in iron, zinc, biotin, and protein can lead to hair loss.
Hairfinity Healthy Hair Vitamins are designed to deeply nourish from within. Formulated with the exclusive Capilsana Complex® blend, Hairfinity Healthy Hair Vitamins specifically targets your hair, with mega doses of the nutrients hair needs. A daily dose of Hairfinity Healthy Hair Vitamins provides:
- Vitamins A and D promote healthy hair and scalp.
- Niacin promotes healthy blood circulation to the scalp.
- Pantothenic Acid for stronger hair follicles.
- Vitamin B12 to oxygenate scalp and hair follicles.
- Biotin supports existing hair growth, keratin production, and increases hair elasticity.
However, before you resort to taking over-the-counter multivitamin supplementation, it's best to consult your doctor to find out in detail about your nutritional deficiencies and the best treatment option for the same.
- Over-the-Top Hair Care:
In an attempt to style your gorgeous hair, you can unknowingly cause serious damage and breakage to it. This would undoubtedly result in thinning of hair and ultimately, hair loss.
Shampooing and blow-drying your hair too frequently, using multiple heated styling tools, or tying your hair into tight ponytails can all contribute to breakage-induced hair loss.
Regardless of the cause behind your hair loss, hair restoration using a hair transplant procedure is a vital method of restoring your natural hair health. Let's dive into further details about the procedure to get more clarity about it!
What is a Hair Transplant?
Hair transplantation or hair restoration is nothing but a surgical procedure wherein a surgeon removes hair follicles from thicker areas of your body like your scalp or other body parts and transplants them into the thinner areas of your scalp.
The usual hair follicle donor site is generally the back of your scalp. A hair transplant is usually done by a surgeon or a dermatologist under local anesthesia.
Why Get a Hair Transplant?
Getting bald or having a receding hairline affects you much more than just aesthetically. It can make you more self-conscious and insecure as well. It also significantly affects your behavior and therefore, the best thing to do is to look for a permanent hair restoration solution.
Several people resort to using hair wigs or plugs as a solution to their baldness. However, wigs and plugs can look quite unnatural and end up making you feel more self-conscious about yourself.
A hair transplant can make your hair look so natural that even your loved ones won't be able to tell the difference. Furthermore, hair transplants are much more long-lasting. Even though wigs may be a cheaper alternative to hair transplants, they require a lot of maintenance and need frequent replacements.
What are the Types of Hair Transplant?
Millions of people worldwide are affected by hair loss and thinning hair. As a thumb rule, the earlier your hair loss begins, the worse it will become.
Hair transplantation is an excellent hair restoration treatment for those who are seeking reconstructive treatment for their baldness. Here are various types of hair transplants that are performed by surgeons across the globe:
- Follicular Unit Strip:
As the name suggests, in this type of hair transplant surgery, a strip of hair follicles is taken from the donor site of your body and transplanted to the balding patch on your scalp.
After the transplantation, sutures are used to close the donor site. Due to this, it takes a few days for your body to heal after the surgery. This type of hair transplant is generally reserved for people experiencing extreme forms of baldness because several hair grafts can be transplanted in one session.
- Follicular Unit Extraction:
This is the latest advancement in the field of hair transplant. In this procedure, hair follicles are extracted from the sides and back of your head in groups. This follows the natural growth pattern of your hair and delivers more natural-looking results.
Another major advantage of this procedure over the follicular unit strip procedure is that it does not involve any major scarring. Although you might notice tiny white spots on the extraction site, these will face away in a few days.
Furthermore, the recovery time after this surgery is much shorter and has fewer complications as well.
- Scalp Reduction:
This is a rare hair transplant procedure in which the bald patch on your scalp is surgically removed. After this, the hair-bearing segments of your scalp are stretched further to their limit to cover the removed patch. This is an expensive procedure and is associated with the risk of tightening the scalp.
Are You An Ideal Candidate for Hair Transplantation?
For males, the Norwood scale is an excellent indicator of the extent of baldness. It describes seven stages of balding from no bald patches to complete baldness. Generally, men who score 3 and above on the Norwood scale are ideal candidates for hair transplantation surgery.
Furthermore, if your hair loss has been progressing for the last five years, you are an ideal candidate for hair transplantation. For both males and females, the following points are taken into consideration to judge whether or not a patient is a good candidate for hair transplantation:
- Hair Colour:
Due to the contrast between your scalp color and the color of your hair, it is important to consider the latter. If you have similar skin and hair color, your bald patches will be much less visible. This means that you are a good candidate for transplantation.
- Hair Density:
This is a critical factor when determining whether or not you are a good candidate for a hair transplant. If you have good hair density, especially on the sides and back of your scalp, then you're a good candidate for the surgery.
- Hair Texture:
Generally speaking, those with wavy or curly hair usually develop better results even with fewer hair follicular units. This is because curly hair is denser and creates the impression of better scalp coverage.
- Hair Thickness:
Patients with thicker hair require fewer hair follicle drafts and usually get better cosmetic results.
- Scalp Flexibility:
If you have a tight scalp, it will be difficult for the surgeon to extract hair follicles from your scalp for transplantation compared to someone with a much more flexible scalp.
What Happens Immediately After the Surgery?
- After completing your hair restoration procedure, you will be discharged the same day. However, you'll have to return for a follow-up after 48 hours and another one after 10 days.
- You'll be prescribed a course of antibiotics to prevent any infections. Also, your doctor will prescribe a range of topical medications and painkillers to calm the surgical area further.
- To aid the healing process, it is important that you thoroughly follow the instructions given by the doctor. This will help you avoid complications such as inflammation and infections.
- In certain cases, the swelling around the forehead may extend to the eyes. However, there's no need to be concerned and the swelling will disappear in a few days.
- A common advice given by doctors is to sleep on your back with your head elevated for at least a week after the surgery and avoid shampooing your hair for a week as well.
Final Verdict: Is a Hair Transplant Worth It?
To conclude, hair transplants are much more effective than over-the-counter medications for hair restoration. It is estimated that the transplanted hair will grow back fully within three to four months. That said, hair transplants are not a viable option for people experiencing widespread baldness and thinning of hair or hair loss due to chemotherapy and other traumatic injuries.
A typical hair transplant can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $15,000. Also the final cost of the procedure will primarily depend on the extent of the procedure, the expertise and availability of the surgeon in your area, and the type of hair transplant procedure.
The bottom line is that hair transplants are a permanent hair restoration procedure and an excellent opportunity for you to get back your natural head of hair! Therefore, before you go for a hair transplant, chat with your surgeon about the pros and cons, effectiveness, and cost of the procedure to make a better decision.