Hair loss is a common problem that affects millions of men and women. Many different things can cause hair loss. Many people are okay with losing their hair and don’t mind baldness. Other people see it as a problem and choose to have a hair transplant to replace the hair that is thinning or has fallen out.
Who Might Need a Hair Transplant Procedure?
Anyone who is balding or experiencing hair loss may consider a hair transplant procedure. Hair transplants are commonly applied to the scalp. People who have thinning hair or hair that is falling out in patches are good candidates for hair transplants. Hair transplants are options for people of any age and gender.
Preparing for a Hair Transplant
A dermatologist will examine the location where the hair transplant will be applied and clean it thoroughly. In most cases, little preparation is needed for a hair transplant. The patient may be instructed to keep the area clean or to wash it thoroughly before arriving at the set appointment for the procedure. If there are any other special preparations required, the dermatologist may advise the patient on what to do.
During the Hair Transplant Procedure
During the procedure, the area will be prepped for the transplant. Local anesthesia will help numb the area, so the patient doesn't feel any pain during the procedure. The dermatologist uses a scalpel to remove the sections of the scalp that are part of the transplant. The surgeon inserts tiny hairs into the sections and then sews them back on the scalp. The tiny hair will grow and create a natural appearance. The goal is to cover the bald spots with the transplant.
Recovery From a Hair Transplant Procedure
Recovery from a hair transplant may take a few weeks. The patient’s scalp may be sore for a few days after the procedure and may even bleed. The surgeon or dermatologist may prescribe an antibiotic to fight infection as well as pain medications to keep the patient comfortable while the area heals. Even though recovery may take weeks, most people feel well enough to return to work and normal daily activities after just a few days.
It can take several months before the patient notices any new hair growth. Doctors may prescribe hair growth medication to help speed up the process. Some people need more than one transplant before they have success. People who need more than one transplant must wait until one is completely healed before they can get the next one.
Hair Transplant Complications
Some people do experience complications after a hair transplant procedure. Infection and swelling are two of the most common complications. The body may reject the hair and the transplant, which can be serious. Most people only experience minor problems such as itching or redness at the site of the transplant. Common complications and side effects of the procedure include:
- Bruising around the eyes
- Hair follicle inflammation
- Shock loss of transplanted hair
- Unnatural looking hair