Many people experience hair loss with age. While vitamins, serums, supplements, shampoos, and other hair regrowth products may work, you may find that a hair replacement is the right procedure for you. Also known as a hair transplant, hair replacement uses your own existing hair follicles from another part of the scalp and grafts them where you desire more hair.
Causes of baldness include:
- Hormonal changes
Plastic surgeons have been performing hair transplant surgery since the 1950s. Today’s techniques and technologies make this procedure safe, effective, and sure to boost your confidence.
Am I a Candidate for Hair Replacement Surgery?
To be a candidate for hair replacement, you must have enough healthy hair growth at the back and sides of the head. This will become the donor site. To obtain a graft, your surgeon will remove these follicles and place them onto the thinning or balding areas. Keep in mind that hair may be a different texture, color, and waviness throughout the scalp, and moving these follicles to another area may affect the esthetic outcome.
If you are interested in hair replacement surgery or would like to learn more about your options for thinning hair or baldness, contact our office in Charlotte, NC. Our board-certified surgeon, Dr. Waheed Mohamed, will determine the right type of procedure for your exact needs.
There are three main choices for anesthesia
Local anesthesia provides numbness directly where it is administered. It does not affect consciousness, so the patient remains awake while the feelings of discomfort are eliminated. Local anesthesia is commonly used for minor procedures.
Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that the patient inhales to alleviate feelings of anxiety. It does not cause the patient to lose consciousness. It is often used together with local anesthesia.
IV sedation is commonly used for moderate to extensive oral or facial surgery procedures. This type of sedation is administered directly into the patient’s vein. Since amnesia (forgetfulness) is a common side effect of the medication, most patients who use IV sedation do not remember their procedure.
Hair Replacement Procedure
We will perform this procedure in our office. First, your surgeon will use local anesthesia to numb areas of your scalp. Your surgeon will choose between two methods for collecting the hair follicles: follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) or follicular unit extraction (FUE).
If the FUSS method is chosen, your surgeon will remove a 6–10 inch strip of hair and use it to create several hundreds or thousands of grafts. If the FUE method is chosen, your surgeon will shave your scalp and remove the hair follicles one at a time.
The rest of the procedure is similar for both methods. Your surgeon will delicately place the grafts or individual follicles into your scalp where more hair is desired. The duration of this entire procedure varies depending on how much hair you are looking to replace and the chosen method of follicle collecting. Generally, it is completed within 4-8 hours.
Treatment may be repeated if you desire thicker and fuller hair. Some patients continue to lose hair due to the natural aging process and choose to undergo the procedure again to restore the lost hair and promote the growth of new hair.
After Undergoing Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair replacement is an effective way to restore lost hair and maintain the appearance you desire. Although it is considered a permanent procedure, subsequent hair restoration procedures may be necessary to fill in new thinning areas.
During the first 3 months following the procedure, it is not unusual to notice more hair loss. This is normal and the body’s way to healing. Full results and healing from hair restoration can take 6–12 months, at which time new hair will begin to grow in the transplanted area. Your scalp may be tender for a few days. You can manage discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication, rest, and ice packs.