Your Hair Restoration Frequently Asked Questions Answered
Fortunately for those struggling with hair loss, the days of artificial appearing hair plugs are behind us. Advanced technology has provided practitioners with refined techniques, an improved understanding of hair physiology, and better knowledge of how hair replacement can be done naturally and consistently. Whether it is a small bald spot, an unsightly scar, minor thinning, or severe recession, there is a solution to give you the full, natural head of hair you desire.
If you’re considering having hair restoration, you likely have several questions about the different surgical procedures and other non-surgical options. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Hair loss is caused by a variety of factors including genetics and circulating hormones. This condition is also known as androgenetic alopecia, and is one of the most common causes. Other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also lead to hair loss, some of these include:
- Hormonal changes
- Dramatic weight loss
Am I a Good Candidate for Surgical Hair Restoration?
The goal of hair restoration should be to recreate a youthful, natural appearance. Surgical hair restoration is an excellent option for men and women alike. Hair restoration isn’t just limited to the head. Hair can also be replaced just about anywhere on the body including the scalp, the eyebrows, the eyelashes, the beard, and the chest.
The predetermined cause of your hair loss will determine if you are a good candidate. There are instances where hair loss can be short term and temporary, or it can be a more permanent issue. Furthermore, many causes of hair loss are successfully treated with medical management instead of surgical restoration.
How Is Surgical Hair Restoration Performed?
There are two main harvesting techniques used to achieve natural results — Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).
During Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) individual hair follicles are carefully removed from areas of normal hair density, or areas of undesired hair with a specialized instrument to delicately extract the individual follicles and minimize injury to the hair. Once the hairs have been harvested, the individual follicles are then microscopically inserted into areas of desired hair growth. Small stab incisions are made in the scalp to accommodate the hair follicles. FUE is ideal for patients who wear their hair short and do not wish to have a surgical incision within the hair-bearing scalp, FUE does not require any sutures.
Follicular Unit Transportation (FUT), or the strip procedure, is when a strip of hair is removed from the back of the scalp. Sutures are used to close the donor site. The incision is meticulously closed to minimize scarring and/or alopecia (hair loss). This strip of hair is then microscopically dissected to create individual follicular units similar to the FUE technique. Insertion of the harvested follicles is performed in an identical fashion.
Depending on the individual patient’s needs, the procedure length can vary between 1 and 6 hours. These procedures are generally performed under local anesthesia using oral sedative medications.
What Is the Recovery Time for Hair Loss Surgery?
Most patients can expect to return to work within a day or two of the surgery. Scabbing and crusting at the donor and recipient sites is common and generally disappears within 10 days. Furthermore, the skin tends to turn a pink color during this time, which gradually subsides. You will be instructed to sleep with your head elevated the first few nights following the procedure. Pain is typically minimal and analgesics will be given, as needed, to minimize discomfort. The head dressing that is placed during surgery will be removed the following day in the office and your hair will be gently washed at that time. A special shampoo will be given for showering at home. After 2 weeks time, you can resume normal showering and grooming. To minimize sun exposure, you will be instructed to wear a hat for 2 weeks to keep the areas protected. A second follow-up visit will be arranged between 10 and 14 days to remove any sutures, if necessary.
What Is the Success Rate of Surgical Hair Restoration?
There are two factors to consider when evaluating the success of hair restoration surgery. One is obviously the patient’s satisfaction with the results, the other is the percentage of successfully harvested follicles from the donor site, and the percentage of hair follicles successfully transplanted to the recipient site. The goal of hair restoration should be to recreate a youthful, natural appearance.
How Long Does It Take for Hair to Grow Back?
Hair growth can be seen as early as four months after the procedure with full results between six and twelve months.
What Non-Invasive Hair Loss Treatments Are Available?
Rogaine® (Minoxidil) – Rogaine® is a topical medication that is approved to help regrow hair in both men and women.
Propecia® (Finasteride) – Propecia® is an oral tablet medication that is approved for the treatment of male pattern hair loss.
Latisse® (Bimatoprost) – Latisse® is a topical solution used to treat eyelash hypotrichosis to help grow longer, thicker, and darker eyelashes.
Contact Ladner Facial Plastic Surgery
If you have more questions or are interested in scheduling a consultation regarding surgical hair restoration, contact Ladner Facial Plastic Surgery. Dr. Ladner is double-board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. Call 720-613-9797 or go online to schedule a consultation.