Hair Transplant Surgery

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The only way to permanently restore your hair

We’ve covered what causes baldness and why many become interested in getting hair transplants. Now, we’ll take a closer look at the surgical procedure itself.

History

Hair transplant surgery isn’t a new scientific development. The procedure dates back to Japan in the 1930s, although the doctors back then were concerned with replacing damaged eyebrows and not treating baldness. Over the next several decades, the procedure become more sophisticated and doctors began to use it to treat patients suffering from hair loss.

For the first 25 years after the procedure became commonplace, large (3 to 4 millimeters in diameter) “plugs” of 15 to 20 hairs were transplanted. This led some people to believe that hair transplants caused the patient’s hair to take on a toothbrush-like quality. In recent years, the procedure has been vastly improved. Today, most doctors use a technique called follicular unit transplantation that involves moving individual follicular units of only three to four hairs and can implant them in a way that is virtually indistinguishable from natural hair.

Why it Works

The hair on the sides and back of the head is bald-resistant. This means that it isn’t vulnerable to pattern baldness and will (typically) continue to grow for the duration of a person’s life. In the case of hair transplant surgery, these areas are known as the “donor areas.” When hairs are moved from the sides and back of the head to the top of the head (the area that typically goes bald), they retain their bald-resistant characteristics. Since they will continue to grow, the patient will have a full head of hair.

Recovery

Hair transplant surgery is a relatively minor and noninvasive surgical procedure. It’s performed on an outpatient basis. A local anesthetic is used to prevent pain. Typically, the procedure takes about four hours.

Your scalp will take 5 to 10 days to heal. You’ll likely be able to return to work the day after the surgery, but you should wait a week or so before partaking in any strenuous activity.

During the first few days after your surgery, the transplanted hairs will almost certainly fall out. This isn’t cause for alarm. After a few months, new hair will begin to grow from the relocated follicles.

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