Hair restoration is performed to provide fullness and density to the scalp of a patient that is experiencing hair loss. In general, a hair transplant is a surgical procedure where hair is moved from the sides or back of the head to the thinning or balding areas of the scalp. The reason the hair is moved from the back or sides of the head is because the hair in this area is resistant to balding. Once the hair is transplanted into the recipient area of the scalp, it will continue to grow for the lifetime of the patient. There are multiple techniques doctors can choose from when it is time to perform hair restoration on a patient. Take a look below to learn more about the basics of hair restoration.
Hair Restoration Techniques
When it comes to undergoing hair restoration, here are the multiple hair transplant techniques that can be used by surgeons:
- Follicular Unit Transplantation AKA FUT is a hair restoration procedure where the surgeon transplants naturally-occurring groups of one to four hairs from the donor area to the recipient area on the scalp. These naturally-occurring groups of one to four hairs are called follicular units. The hair transplant surgeon removes a thin strip of tissue from the sides or back of the scalp. The strip of tissue is dissected into thousands of follicular units and then then the surgeon creates tiny incisions in the balding area of the scalp so the hair grafts can be placed.
- Follicular Unit Extraction AKA FUE is when follicular units are extracted or harvested one at a time from the scalp. The hair restoration surgeon uses an instrument to create small incisions that are circular in nature in the skin around the follicular units. This step is performed to separate the follicular units from the tissue that surrounds them. The follicular units are then extracted from the scalp and placed in the balding or thinning area of the head.
- Robotic FUE Hair Transplant is when the follicular units on the scalp are isolated and harvested using the ARTAS robotic system. ARTAS is a computerized robot that is guided by images when extracting the necessary number of grafts to perform a hair transplant. Because of the process being automated by the robot, ARTAS is able to perform the graft extraction with consistency and precision.
Hair Restoration Candidates
There are a few factors that go into determining if a patient is an ideal candidate for hair restoration:
- The amount of available donor hair
- The patient needs to have a mature hairline in place
- The patient needs to have realistic expectations about the results that can be achieved by the hair restoration process
Choosing between FUT and FUE Hair Restoration
When it comes to choosing between having FUT or FUE hair restoration, patients should keep these facts in mind:
- FUT tends to produce the most donor hair so this hair transplant technique is best suited for patients with more extensive hair loss. The hair produces a greater amount of donor hair because the hair restoration surgeon is able to take the donor hair from the middle or the mid-portion of the donor area on the back and sides of the scalp where the hair enjoys the most density. However, this technique does leave a linear scar in the donor area so patients generally cannot wear their hair shorter because of this scar.
- FUE is ideal for patients who like to wear their hair short and want to have more options when it comes to styling their hair after the hair transplant has been performed.
Hair Restoration Cost, Recovery and Results
The cost of a hair restoration procedure depends on a variety of factors that must be taken into account:
- The number of grafts necessary to achieve the desired results
- The type of hair transplant (FUE, FUT or ARTAS) that is performed by the surgeon
- Any fees that are charged by the doctor or the facility
- The area of the country where the hair restoration is performed
The amount of work that must be done during the hair transplant determines the length of time it will take to perform the surgery. Smaller sessions that involve transplanting less hair grafts can be done in one day while sessions that involve a larger number of grafts might take two days to perform.
During the recovery period, there will be some crusting and redness on the scalp after the surgery. There might also be some swelling that happens the first week after surgery. The fact that a patient had a hair transplant is usually undetectable after 10-14 days.
Overall, it can take anywhere from 12-18 months for the final results to be visible to the patient as well as others that are viewing the scalp after a hair restoration surgery. The final results of a hair restoration surgery should last a lifetime as long as the patient does not experience any sort of accident or trauma to the scalp as well as the area where the hair transplant was performed by the surgeon.