All in not dark for those suffering from severe hair fall or partial baldness, as modern science is also developing at an even faster rate. With the advent of technology, hair transplants have taken their roll. What started in 1950 has come a long way ahead, doctors have successfully established the fact that the hair follicles, which are resistant to baldness, will survive even if transplanted into other bald patches of the scalp. Known as the Donor Dominance phenomenon, this discovery has completely revolutionized the hair restoration procedures and shown the hopeless cases, a ray of hope.
Quick Facts About Hair Transplant
- Hair transplantation is the surgical removal of hair from a certain area of the scalp and its relocation to a bald area.
- Healing process on scalp where new hair were transplanted starts immediately.
- It takes almost a year for the final results of the hair transplant surgery.
- Side effects of a hair transplant can include headaches due to the tugging and manipulation of the scalp area.
Keeping the above mentioned facts in mind, let us now understand what hair transplantation is. When a DHT resistant hair or hair follicle is harvested, to be further transplanted into the balding areas, the procedure is called as hair transplantation. Usually doctors take these hair follicles from the non-balding areas of the person’s scalp itself. However, studies also prove that hair follicle from an identical twin with the same set of genes can also be successfully transplanted.
These donor hair follicles, along with their surrounding tissue and skin are called as grafts. There are six types of grafts, which can be created depending upon the follicular structure on the scalp, namely:
- One-haired follicular units (one follicular unit per graft)
- Two-haired follicular units (two follicular units per graft)
- Three-haired follicular units (three follicular units per graft)
- Four-haired follicular units (four follicular units per graft)
- Three-haired follicular groupings (two haired follicular unit and one haired follicular unit grouped together in one graft)
- Four-haired follicular groupings (two haired follicular unit with another two haired follicular unit or one haired follicular unit with three haired follicular unit in one graft)
Depending upon the type of graft, the price per graft transplantation varies from $3 to $10.
In any person suffering from baldness, there are 100,000 hairs at the most. Only 25% out of this given density can be relocated to the bald areas. It is depending on this density that the number of hair grafts and donor hair areas are determined. The main procedure of a hair transplant surgery is first to determine this ratio of the demand/supply or donor/recipient, so as to avoid any visible scarring in the donor areas. By doing this, a surgeon will also be able to determine the number of sessions required for hair transplant surgery.
The next step is to identify the hair growth pattern and the direction, so as to chart out a set design of replacing the donor follicles in the recipient area. This will help the doctor in giving the scalp a naturally-grown-hair feel. Depending on the patient’s hair style and facial structure, these designs can be sketched out.
Once these pre-surgery technicalities have been taken care of, we can turn our attention to the surgical methods. There are two types of surgical methods – Follicular Hair Transplant and Laser Hair Transplant. The most commonly employed is the follicular hair transplant, mainly because the field of laser hair transplant is still under development. Understanding both these procedures is extremely important for anyone about to undergo the hair transplant surgery.
Follicular Hair Transplant
Once the donor strip from the non-balding areas is excised, the strip is then cut into several small strips, each being one follicular unit in width. This cutting of the main donor strip into several small strips is known as silvering, done with the help of stereoscopic microscope. Once the silvering is done, these silvers are further dissected into tiny grafts using a dissection microscope, which are of six types, as already mentioned before.
The next step in the surgery is to create slits into the recipient scalp area of the size of the grafts. Here again, the slits have to be made in such a way that the natural direction of hair growth is not countered.
Laser Hair Transplants
Despite the name, a surgery of hair transplantation by this method involves the follicular hair transplant also. The only difference between the two types of hair transplant surgeries lies in the slits made into the recipient scalp. In laser hair transplant surgery, the slits are made with the help of the laser, instead of the regular puncher.
Laser slits are more in demand than the normal manual slits due to their more natural results. While the slits look more natural and defined in laser transplants, the removal of the tissue in order to place the graft instead is also perfect. Thus, many doctors have started preferring this blood-free procedure for its accuracy. However, many researchers have also proved that the growth of a transplanted hair is not as effective as in the normal procedure. This might be because the blood flow in the laser transplantation is hindered. Nevertheless, the research on further developing the laser hair transplant technique is on its way and happening.
With the complete info on the hair transplantation and its procedures, be rest assured and go ahead with the surgery. The new phase of hair growth is about to dawn on you. Remember the most important step in going for a hair transplant surgery is choosing the hair transplant specialist and the facility where the transplantation would actually take place. Results would immensely depend on these 2 factors. So do your research well before you opt for a surgeon.