Hair transplant surgery involves harvesting hair follicles from one part of the body (usually the back or sides of the scalp) and implanting them onto areas with thinning or balding hair to restore natural growth and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the recipient’s hairline.
The ultimate aim is to enhance natural hair growth while improving the appearance of the recipient’s hairline. But the question is (how does a hair transplant work) let us dive into this article in detail about this question.
How do you know if your hairline is receding?
Let us talk first about some reasons for hair fall. The first sign of a receding hairline is a widening of the forehead. This is usually accompanied by hair loss in the crown area, which gives the appearance of a large forehead.
Common Causes of hairline receding.
There are many reasons why someone’s hairline might change. Some of these causes are temporary and will go away on their own. Others may require medical treatment. The most common causes include:
As we age, our bodies produce less Testosterone which regulates hair growth and loss. Testosterone plays an integral role in this process.
2. Hormonal changes
Hormonal changes may also contribute to receding hairlines, such as during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills or hormonal medication. Menopause may cause hormonal shifts that lead to receding hairlines for some women.
3. Family history
If your parents had a receding hairline, you’d likely have one. The condition runs in families and is more common in men than women.
4. Medications or treatments
Medication may cause or worsen hair loss, including chemotherapy drugs, steroids taken after organ transplants, and those used to treat psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Some medications increase testosterone levels in the body, which could contribute to male pattern baldness, high fever, or febrile seizures.
Radiation treatment or chemotherapy given before surgery, such as heart bypass grafting or organ transplants, may also play a part.
5. Illness or stress
Recessing hairlines is one of the first telltale signs of illness or mental stress.
Prolonged stress can trigger hair loss in those with loose, fine-textured locks; an increase in Testosterone can stimulate facial hair growth, but excess androgen production may result in male-pattern baldness (MPB), where there is overall thinning on top of the head with the progressive recession of scalp areas at temples and crown.
6. Lifestyle choices
Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs increase the risk of early-onset male pattern baldness. Smoking also causes damage to the blood vessels in the scalp that supply nutrients to hair follicles, which can lead to thinning hair and, eventually, bald spots on the scalp.
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how does hair transplant surgery work
Hair transplant surgery typically involves the following steps:
1. Donor Area Preparation
Donor area preparation in hair transplant surgery entails identifying and prepping an area on a patient’s scalp from which hair follicles will be extracted for transplanting. Donor areas tend to be located at the back or sides where genetically resistant hair follicles are available for extraction.
Before extraction occurs, the donor area is typically prepared by being trimmed or shaved to create an ideal surgical field for extraction. Hair in this region should be reduced in length, making it easier for surgeons to visualize and extract hair follicles effectively.
After carefully preparing the donor area, a surgeon begins his chosen harvesting technique – FUT or FUE. Careful donor area preparation ensures successful extraction without scarring or damaging surrounding hair follicles.
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2. Harvesting of Donor Hair
Donor hair harvesting is a crucial element of hair transplant surgery. Two techniques for collecting donor follicles are Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
- Direct Hair Transplant (DHI):
DHI hair transplant is a non-invasive hair restoration method that involves extracting hair follicles from donor areas of the scalp and transplanting them into balding or thinning areas.
This procedure is well-known for its precision, minimal scarring, and fast recovery time – making it popular with people seeking natural-looking yet permanent solutions for hair loss.
DHI’s hair transplant procedure is performed by certified and experienced surgeons using cutting-edge equipment and techniques for optimal patient results.
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE):
FUE involves extracting individual hair follicles from a donor area using a small, specialized punch tool to selectively extract them one at a time from each follicular unit. This technique avoids linear incisions while creating small circular scars with less noticeable results; these extracted follicles will be ready for transplantation.
No matter the chosen technique, the aim is always to extract viable hair follicles while limiting donor area trauma. FUT or FUE? That depends on several factors, including your hair characteristics, the desired outcome, and surgeon expertise.
Read Also: DHI Vs. FUE Hair Transplant Which Is Better?
3. Follicle preparation
After hair follicles have been harvested from a donor area in a hair transplant procedure, the next step in preparation involves handling and handling them carefully before transplanting them to recipient sites. The preparation process typically includes the following:
- Inspection and Sorting:
Once harvested, harvested hair follicles are carefully examined under a microscope to assess their quality, size, viability, and suitability for transplant. Damaged or unsuitable follicles may be rejected, while healthy ones will be transplanted.
- Cleaning and Trimming:
Following selection, hair follicles undergo a gentle cleaning process to eliminate excess tissue, blood, or oils that could compromise viability, such as grease. Rinsing with a specialized solution ensures the continued viability of these cells, while further trimming ensures uniform length and proper alignment during transplantation.
- Grouping or Isolation:
Depending on the transplantation technique and desired result, hair follicles may be grouped in specific configurations or isolated as individual units to produce natural-looking hair growth patterns that mimic natural hair growth patterns. This step contributes to creating an authentic appearance.
When there is an extended delay between harvest and transplantation, harvested follicles may be temporarily stored at specific temperatures to preserve viability until transplantation occurs.
Carefully preparing transplanted hair follicles is critical to ensure their survival and growth, maximizing aesthetic outcomes and increasing chances of a natural-looking long-lasting result.
4. Recipient Area Preparation
Recipient area preparation is an integral component of hair transplant surgery that involves preparing the area where transplanted harvested follicles will be placed, usually on parts of the scalp that have experienced thinning or balding.
Here are the general steps involved in recipient area preparation:
The recipient area must be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized to reduce infection risk.
Local anesthesia may be administered to ensure patient comfort during their procedure by numbing the area and alleviating any pain or discomfort they might feel during this phase.
- Site Creation:
When designing the recipient sites for transplanting hair grafts, surgeons create tiny incisions (recipient sites ) in the recipient area to achieve natural-looking results. Incision size and depth will depend on the transplantation technique used and the number of grafts transplanted.
- Site Placement Planning:
Before transplanting hair follicles, surgeons carefully plan their placement to achieve an aesthetically pleasing hairline and density of locks. By carefully organizing grafts in this manner, aesthetically pleasing results are achieved concerning hairline placement and overall density of locks.
- Graft Insertion:
Once prepared hair follicles have been extracted from their packaging and prepared by Step 1, the surgeon carefully places them into recipient sites prepared in Step 3. They ensure they are placed at an angle and depth replicating natural hair growth; special attention must be taken not to damage existing follicles or cause trauma to the scalp.
Read also: How FUE hair transplant works.
Hair Transplant Recovery
Both DHI and FUE involved procedures that took several hours to complete. A complete hair transplant will take place over several subsequent visits. Hair transplants using FUE will be completed quicker due to the shorter recovery times between procedures.
Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon will remove the bandages to check the swelling. If necessary, the swelling will be controlled with an injection of triamcinolone.
There will be some soreness and pain in the treated area and where the hair was removed. Pain medications may be prescribed, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection and anti-inflammatories from reducing swelling. Medicines designed to stimulate hair growth may also be recommended.
Hair transplant patients should be able to return to work within 2 or 3 days. Waiting a few days to wash hair and using mild shampoos for the first few weeks is recommended, and no pressure should be applied during brushing to the new grafts for at least 3-weeks. Check with your doctor when wearing hats or pullover shirts will be okay.
Taking additional precautions by using only reputable surgeons, seeking doctor recommendations, and avoiding shoddy clinics will help ensure you get the best possible results from a hair transplant procedure. If you are considering this treatment, take the time to research your surgeon thoroughly and decide if it is a viable solution for you.
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