Hair Blogs

The Down Low on Hair Transplants?

Hello to everyone out there! I have been asked to give you some facts! This blog will give you the down low on hair transplants.

As you all know, I have 10 Clinics around the UK. I also work with one of the very best Hair Transplant Surgeons in the UK today.

Who is eligible for a Hair Transplant?

Hair Transplants can be carried out on Men and Women. In general, lots of Men are looking to cover thinning or loss from Androgenetic Alopecia and Male Pattern Hair Loss. For Women, lots of ladies are looking to strengthen their hairline.  Transplants can also be used to cover scars or burns. In some cases can change the overall shape of a hairline. It is very dependent on each individual.

I see lots of guys from age 17 to age 27 who are very keen to have a hair transplant. Things to consider in this age group are:

  • The extent of the hair loss: Male Pattern hair loss is measured on the Norwood or Hamilton scale. This scale charts the progression of the loss and gives a good starting point to start to manage the hair loss through to transplant.
  • The progression of the hair loss: Clear identification of the loss to date and probable progression are key factors in determining when a transplant may be possible. Too soon and more surgery will almost always be necessary. Too late and a compromise on how the hair can be transplanted will almost be inevitable.  As a Trichologist, I offer a tailor-made plan to stabilise the hair. Then, optimise it so that progression is minimised and further options are available, without compromising the hair and scalp.
  • Maturation of the hair line:  As we age our hairlines naturally mature. So, trying to establish your hair line at too young an age can be a problem. Equally, trying to achieve the hairline that you had in your 20’s now that you may be in your 50’s is equally unrealistic.
  • Other factors affecting the hair and scalp: Scalp conditions such as Psoriasis, Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, Folliculitis, Acne and more need to be properly managed and under control prior to any surgery considerations.  Trichologists are best placed to offer scalp treatments and specialist products that will ensure that your scalp is in the best condition possible for surgery.  Dietary intake can affect the hair and scalp. If your diet does not include enough protein then various hair and scalp problems can occur.

What to consider before a Hair Transplant

Firstly, get your hair loss condition, or conditions accurately diagnosed by a Trichologist.  A Trichologist will identify exactly what is affecting the hair and scalp. They can also provide a customised plan that will ensure that your own hair and scalp are stabilised and optimised, prior to considering surgery.

For Androgenetic Alopecia, Male or Female Pattern, topical and oral treatments are available. These will firstly stabilise your hair, slowing or stopping any further loss or thinning, and then will optimise the hair to increase overall density. I feel that this is a key first step in your Hair Transplant Journey as you will have a good case history to discuss with your surgeon.

If there are any problems such as excessive hair shedding scalp irritation, scaling or flaking then again these can be treated to ensure that your hair and scalp are in the best condition possible.

The scalp needs to be nice and flexible for a hair transplant. There are exercises that you can do at home to help with this. Any scalp problems also need treatment to ensure laxity and suitability for transplant.

As always, diet plays a huge role in the health of the hair and scalp. Often vitamin and mineral levels can be depleted, and dietary intake may not be sufficient in terms of complete protein.  I work with every patient to ensure that all dietary factors are considered and treated with dietary changes or appropriate supplements. This ensures that their hair and scalp are ready for surgery.

What happens at a Hair Transplant Consultation?

  • The surgeon will meet with you to discuss what you would like to achieve from a hair transplant and how achievable your goals may be.
  • Your donor hair will be assessed to see how much you have and how it could be used.
  • Creation of the hairline is very important and can take some time to get right. And so it should, as it is often what defines the way our hair looks and how we can style it.
  • Type of procedure is often dictated by your scalp, hair type and amount of grafts required.
  • FUE – Follicular Unit Excision is an advanced surgical technique used to avoid a linear scar.  The donor area is shaved, and the individual follicular units are extracted using a 0.8mm to 1mm “punch”. This leaves a series of tiny dot scars that are very small and almost unnoticeable.  The new hairs begin to grow around 4 months after surgery. They will continue to grow through the next 10 – 15 months.
  • FUT – Follicular Unit Transplant is an established surgical method for hair restoration surgery.   This surgery removes a thin strip of hair bearing skin. The hair follicles are then harvested from the scalp tissue and transplanted into the required areas.  The donor strip is closed using tiny stitches and usually covered by the surrounding donor hair.  Stitches are removed 10 – 14 days after surgery leaving a small linear scar.
  • Post-Surgery you will need to take care of your scalp and should be given a post-operative care plan to follow.  Taking Absolute Collagen following your surgery can help with the overall healing process and won’t harm you in any way.
  • After your surgery if you were using any hair loss prevention treatments these will need to be continued to ensure the best outcome for you.

Hair Transplant Do’s and Don’ts

  • If you are concerned about hair thinning or hair loss don’t wait and let it progress.  Book an appointment to see a Trichologist as soon as possible. The earlier we see a problem, the better the treatment options and outcomes.  It is always better to save and preserve hair as once it has been lost, we cannot magically regrow it.
  • Research your clinic and Surgeon choices. Make sure that the Surgeon is involved in every step of your planned surgical procedure.
  • Ensure that there are pre-operative and post-operative plans in place that you understand and are happy with.
  • Use the British Association of Hair Replacement Surgeons BHARS to find out about clinics and their services.
  • Look after your hair and scalp with the correct products and diet to ensure that you get the very best out of your surgery.

If you have any specific questions about hair transplant surgery, or if you are getting ready for surgery then don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.  If you have any general concerns then please e-mail me at eva.proudman@ukhairconsultants.com and I will be very happy to help and support you. Or get in touch here!