A hair transplant is a surgical procedure to move hair from an area unaffected by hair loss to an area of thinning or baldness. It is suitable for people with androgenetic alopecia (male- and female-pattern baldness), scarring resulting from injury or burns, beard or moustache and can also be used on eyebrows to replace lost hair in this area. It is not usually appropriate for other types of hair loss, such as Alopecia Areata.
When considering a hair transplant it is always worth considering if you are at risk of further hair loss? The last thing that you want to do is spend a lot of money on a hair transplant only to be back to the same position you are currently in now in five or six years time. Check out our medications page for more information on how medication can help prevent further hair loss.
There are two types of surgery, FUE and FUT or strip as it is sometimes referred to. FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) is a technique that extracts single grafts or individual follicular units from the donor area. These grafts are then sorted underneath the microscope by the surgery technician before being implanted in to the area of hair loss.
FUT sometimes referred to as the strip method, is the technique that surgically takes a strip of skin from the donor area at the rear of the head. The skin is then placed underneath the microscope and the grafts removed. After they have been prepared they are then placed in to the area that is suffering from hair loss. The strip that has been removed from the rear of the scalp is closed normally using staples or dissolvable stitches. Once healed this can leave a linear scar across the back of the head that is easily hidden with longer surrounding hair. For this reason this treatment normally lends itself to people with longer hair at the back and sides of the head and can sometimes harvest more grafts for someone with extreme male pattern baldness.
FUE (Follicular unit extraction) is normally more suited to someone who likes to keep their hair short at the back due to the minimal scarring. These scars are tiny little white dots. However, FUT can harvest more donor hair normally. This can cover larger areas of hair loss and the lineal scar across the back of the head can be covered with long hair or SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation). FUE can be done manually by the surgeon or using a robot.
Suitability for treatment and cost can vary from person to person. With many factors having to be taken in to consideration, including age and quality of donor hair. A hair transplant isn’t normally available on the NHS unless referral by a GP, as it is regarded as cosmetic surgery.
All of the clinics in England that we work with, are Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered treatment centre’s that can perform hair transplants and are audited on a regular basis. Any independent clinic and hospital that provide cosmetic surgery in England must be registered with the CQC. It is also important that, when doing your research, you look at the experience of the Doctor / surgeon who will be carrying out your procedure. I would definitely advise you speak with the person who will be doing the procedure beforehand.
On the day of the surgery, you will need to arrange transport from the clinic if you were given a sedative, due to the fact that this can sometimes take up to 24 hours to wear off. Most patients return to work within a week after their hair transplant procedure. A loose hat can be worn to conceal the trauma to the area. This can be provided by us post treatment. All aftercare and products required to look after your transplant will be inclusive of any agreement.
Some people return to work more quickly following an FUT procedure. The head is not shaved, so your operation can be concealed under long hair. However some people find the recovery slightly more painful than FUE because of the discomfort of stitches when sleeping etc…You should be very careful with your transplanted hair for the first 14 days after your operation. You should refrain from strenuous exercise for at least 1 week and gradually increase exercise in week 2 on onwards. The newly transplanted grafts will not be secure in their new place and so rubbing the area could cause loss of grafts.
Normally within one to three weeks the area is healed but some redness can still be in place. Most people find the whole experience quite relaxing on the day of surgery. You can just sit back and relax. Watch your favourite movies and even have a little sleep if you like.