What is a Hair Transplant?

Garry Crystal

A hair transplant is a surgical procedure intended to restore hair that has been lost. The hair transplant is seen as the only real way to cure baldness. The procedure, sometimes known as hair replacement surgery, should only be undertaken by a qualified, reputable surgeon.

A man with a receding hairline.
A man with a receding hairline.

Hair loss is a worry to thousands of males and females the world over. Over the years, the technology available for hair transplant surgery has increased significantly. One previous method of restoration was commonly known as the hair plug. The modern technique has come a long way from the plugs previously used and is now more commonly known as microsurgery.

Baldness can be reduced by transplanting hair from different areas of the head.
Baldness can be reduced by transplanting hair from different areas of the head.

Hair transplant surgery involves removing tissue from the back or side of the head. The hair in this area is not usually prone to hair loss. The section is dissected into individual hair follicles and small grafts. These grafts, once prepared, are placed into the balding or thinning areas of the head. Grafts containing single hair follicles are placed very precisely over the head to give a natural appearance and create a hairline.

The area that the hair grafts were taken from is closed using invisible sutures. These dissolve, and any scarring is hidden by the surrounding hair. The transplanted hair rests for around 12 to 16 weeks. After this time, a new hair cycle will occur. The hair should then grow at around half an inch per month.

The appearance of the hair will be both natural and gradual as the hair grows. In six months, the hair should appear fuller across the head. As the hair is growing naturally, this will not be a sudden effect.

The hair transplant procedure is performed under local anesthetic. The procedure should be completely painless, and the latest microscopic technology is involved. After the treatment and a short period of rest, the patient can go home without the need for any bandages on the head.

A hair transplant is thought to be the most reliable permanent method available. Other methods including drugs are designed to prevent hair loss, not to replace lost hair. The hair transplant usually requires a one-time payment, whereas drug therapy is usually an ongoing process. Once you stop taking the drug, hair loss will continue.

The benefits of a hair transplant are apparent to the patient immediately. Enhanced confidence and a younger appearance can be achieved if the surgery is performed successfully. A hair transplant is not just for people who worry about losing their hair. People with medical complaints such as alopecia have benefited greatly from hair transplants.

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Discussion Comments


A good hair transplant can only be done when a doctor has taken healthy follicles from the back of the scalp and harvested them correctly. Then it is important to place the new grafts on the scalp, taking into account symmetry and angle. Otherwise, the end result will look very bad.

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