Clients are often curious to find out the degree of effectiveness of a hair transplant. Hair implants as they are commonly known, have a reasonable rate of success on paper, however there are several things you should know before choosing this option
There is evidence that these hair implant procedures work, and good examples are seen on a fairly regular basis. It should be noted however, that the benefits vary on a case-to-case basis and that all is not necessarily as it seems.
All patients differ in terms of hair loss progression and appropriate treatment. It is important to have one’s condition assessed to find out the procedure best suited to the rate of balding. Getting comfortable with the surgeon or specialist is important as well. It is usually a good idea to meet before surgery and not the day of the operation itself. This is necessary to give ample time to plan out how to approach the procedure, discuss what results to expect as well as receive information on its care and maintenance.
Hair implant procedures
These are the most popular operations available:
1) Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) – This method used to be known as micro-grafting or micro hair transplanting. It is where a thin strip of scalp is extracted from a donor area and divided into smaller grafts. This earned it the term “strip method”. These micro-grafts usually contain about one or two hairs. A mini-graft would contain three or four hairs. They are then implanted back into the recipient section of the scalp. This procedure is faster and has a higher survival rate than FUE, although severe scarring occurs in the donor area at the back of the head.
2) Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) – It is a more advanced version of FUT. Instead of performing a “strip method” removal of the scalp, what is does is to perform a “direct extraction” of the hair follicles. It then implants them unit by unit into the balding areas of the scalp. Though it is more advanced, it is also more time consuming. There is significantly less amount of hair that may be transplanted in a session and can be very tiring for both the patient and the surgeon. Grafts can be extracted at about five hundred units at a time. There is also a lower survival rate of the hairs due to a higher risk that the follicular units are damaged after extraction, and scarring is less obvious but more widespread.
What to expect and the potential side effects?
There is a certain amount of pain after the procedure as the scalp heals, however the procedure itself is performed under local anaesthetic. After the operation, an FUT procedure will leave a horizontal scar at the back of the head. The FUE procedure on the other hand might create marks from scarring in the implanted area. There will be soreness after the surgery with either procedure for about a few days. The scabs from the FUE procedure will fall off after a week. Expect the implanted hairs to come off after about two weeks. These will start to regrow at about three to six months after surgery with either procedure.
An FUT procedure would usually cost around £5,000 while an FUE procedure is priced at about £10,000 on average. Note that it could potentially take more FUE procedures compared to an FUT operation before the complete look can be achieved.
Hair implants can be a good idea for men that do not mind risking their time and money to experience a look that resembles a full head of hair. There is another procedure though less invasive and time consuming in terms of waiting for the results.
Scalp micropigmentation procedures provide a great alternative to hair transplants by offering the same effect at a lower cost and faster recovery time. It would take about two to three sessions to complete and would take about two hours per session. The results can be seen on the same day, with the healing period taking about a week at most. The price for an SMP procedure usually starts at £1,000 and rises to around £3000 for men who have lost a large amount of hair. The great thing about the SMP method is its relatively low price; high rate of effectiveness and results are almost instantaneous.