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Hair Transplant - All You Need to Know

Posted by Dr Ashish Dutta on 6 June 2017

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Hair loss is a very common problem among teenagers and adults, more prevalent in males. Many types of treatments are available for hair loss such as medicated shampoo, nutrient supplements, medicines to reduce hair loss or to restore hair growth pattern; but a long-lasting and most effective solution is Hair Transplant Surgery. When an average guy (or woman) starts noticing that the hair thickness on his/her head is reducing, it’s usually the internet, or sometimes one’s peers (if any of them happen to have had similar treatment), that are first ‘consulted’ for advice. Now the issue here is that the internet (or the peers) will generally come up with medical terminology like FUE, FUT, Biofibre, Facial Hair Transplant which sounds like an alien language when heard for the first time. But before choosing the treatment option available for hair loss, we must fully understand what the aforementioned techniques actually are, and which is best suited for you or the individual patient.

Hair transplantation surgery is known to deliver natural growth pattern of your hair not only on your head but also on other parts of your body like face (beard, moustache, eyebrow & eyelashes), chest, pubic area, etc. Many men and women suffer from hair loss making them appear much older and resulting in a lack of confidence. The medical term used for baldness is Alopecia, although there are a number of varieties. Some conditions are only temporary while many others are more permanent. It's true that men are more likely to lose their hair than women but it is also common in women, and really demoralising. Reasons can range from the simple and temporary—a vitamin deficiency—to the more complex, like an underlying health condition.

But Hair Loss is very common in men mostly because of Male Pattern Baldness which results in balding at the top and front of the head, which can sometimes spread. It is a permanent condition and is usually progressive without any medical or surgical intervention.

Other than male pattern baldness of the scalp, men can also suffer from facial hair loss. It is important to understand that facial hair i.e., beard, moustache and eyebrows are parts of what constitute a face. When these facial hairs are not in proper alignment, the face will look odd. Stylish beard or moustache is also a considered as a fashion statement among many young men. Women can also go for facial hair transplant surgery for their eyebrows and eyelashes.

Apart from these types, there is hair transplant surgery for body hair too, but it is less common. Body hair transplantation is a procedure designed to restore hair most commonly to the chest but can also be applied to the pubic area, axilla, and any other area where hair is desired, to both thicken the existing hair or to provide hair coverage where there is none.

Hair transplant surgery is performed by harvesting DHT ( a hormone which inhibits head hair growth) resistant hair from the back of your own scalp (the donor area) and then transplanting it into the balding areas of your head, face or other body areas. The implanted hair will grow and stay because it is unaffected by the factors that cause male pattern baldness (Androgenic Alopecia). The body hair can also be used as donor's hair.

Now let us understand the scientific term and technology used for hair loss treatment and also what parts of your body can undergo hair transplantation.

FUE Hair Transplant-

Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)  also known as follicular transfer (FT), is a minimally invasive hair transplantation technique to treat hair loss in which follicular unit grafts (hair roots) are individually removed from the patient’s donor area by using a micro-punch of 0.75-1mm size which leaves tiny dot scars instead of a linear scar, hence no sutures are required. Then the grafts or follicles are individually inserted into the recipient (balding) area in the agreed density and pattern. The residual scars from this procedure are significantly less visible compared to that of the FUT. It is ideal for those candidates with limited hair loss and wants to wear their hair short. It is also recommended when previous scars of strip surgeries make further strips impossible, then FUE is a possible alternative for those patients. (Read More)

Cost - £3.50 1st 500 Grafts & £3.00 subsequent grafts. [FUE for face & body are priced differently]

FUT method of Hair Transplantation-

FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation), also known as strip surgery. Follicular Unit Transplantation is a hair restoration technique in which a strip of skin having small clusters of hairs or follicular units are removed from the donor area of hair (the area in the back and sides of the scalp where hair is more resistant to balding). The individual hair follicles/grafts are then carefully taken out from the strip and inserted into the recipient area (the bald area of your head) as individual follicular units (naturally occurring groups of 1-4 hairs) so that it looks natural. The procedure is best suited for patients with extensive hair loss and in patients where the main concern is the maximum use of one’s donor supply. (Read More)

Cost - £3.00 1st 500 Grafts & £2.50 subsequent grafts

Biofibre Hair Replacement-

Biofibre Hair Implants have been available for over 15-20 years. It is a great choice for those who have an advanced hair loss and a minimal amount of donor's hair. It’s also very popular for those who are not suffering from a significant level of hair loss but simply wish to enjoy fuller, thicker-looking hair. This hair restoration treatment has great level of flexibility, as patients can choose as many or as few hair implants as they wish according to their desired level of hair thickness. This innovative, minimally invasive treatment uses artificial hair implants that are made from a non-reactive, tissue-friendly material i.e., biologically compatible with the human scalp. Having a completely natural look and colour to match your existing hair, the fibres are inserted into the localised areas of baldness or thinning of the scalp.

Cost - £3.50 1st 500 Grafts & £ 3.00 subsequent grafts [Biofibre for face & body are priced differently]

Facial hair transplant

Facial hair transplant is a cosmetic procedure for those men who suffer from spotty or patchy loss of hair from eyebrows, chin, other parts of the beard, moustache or sideburns. The absence of hair in these areas could be hereditary or due to surgical scars, cuts, burns or other types of accidents or due to medical conditions such as alopecia areata. This is commonly done by FUE method of hair transplantation because this method results in less visible scars or marks on your face after surgery.

Facial hair transplant for Eyebrow and Eyelashes-

The eyebrows and eyelashes are the highlighting factors of our face, that’s why it’s symmetry, shape, size and density has utmost importance to our appearance.  If you want to increase the length or the size of your eyebrows or eyelashes, the facial hair transplant can be performed. In this procedure, new hair grafts can be placed to change the shape or the density of the existing eyebrows or to increase the length and density of the existing eyelashes. Hair Transplantation can also be performed on the eyebrows to cover areas affected by scarring and enhance the natural contour of the eyebrow arch where thinning has occurred. This method of hair transplant can also be used to help people who might have been born without eyebrows or eyelashes or have lost them through burn or injury.

Facial hair transplant for moustache-

There are several people who have very little growth in their moustache and this could be due to genetic characteristics, illness or hormonal imbalance. Surgical scars, cuts, burns or other types of accidents or chemotherapy/radiotherapy for cancer could also lead to the moustache being thin and not having the desired density. But by hair transplantation for moustache, you can increase the length and width of your moustache and also enhance or restore the natural contour of the moustache where thinning has occurred. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, you could even have a completely different style of moustache. There are also those who might have a bald patch in their beard area or an odd-looking irregular hairline. But by hair transplantation for beard, men can enjoy a proper aligned beard, designed as per their liking.

Facial hair transplant for scars following Facelift or Injury

Hair transplant surgery is sometimes required to replace the hair that is lost during surgical face lifts. Brow lift procedures may cause a loss of hair behind the natural 'facial frame'. Hair grafting can be performed into the scar tissue to replace hair that has been lost due to scarring or cosmetic surgery procedures.

It is important that you choose to get the procedure done through a recognised facial hair transplant clinic because results can be disappointing if it is not performed by experienced doctors.

Body Hair Transplant

It is the procedure to restore or grow your body hair mainly chest and abdomen area and sometimes the axilla and pubic areas also. The absence of hair in these areas could be due to a genetic disorder, laser hair removal, repeated plucking, or even surgical scars, burns or other types of injuries. Some patients seek to have the whole area restores, while others request a thin coverage. More than one procedure may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome. Body hair transplant is generally done through FUE procedure that leaves no linear scar after surgery.

Sometimes the term body hair transplant or chest hair transplant is also used when we use hair from the body as a donor area to cover the scalp. However, in most hair transplant procedures normally scalp hair is used for transplant. But when the patients do not have a good donor scalp area to serve the purpose then doctors can use body hair as donor hair follicles. Some people call this as chest hair transplant but mostly it means the chest to serve as donor area. We normally see patients who have a very weak donor area, have undergone repeated hair transplants, or have some kind of alopecia. It is important to understand that if the donor area is thinning or the grafts are weak, the outcome is likely to be compromised. Patients with insufficient hair in the donor area are unsuitable for a normal hair transplant.

I hope you are now much familiar with the terms and technologies used for hair transplantation. It is important to discuss your problem with your surgeon who can guide you regarding the option which would deliver the best possible result. It is important to choose a well-known, accredited and experienced cosmetic surgeon who has performed many procedures and has worthy testimonials to his name.

Dr Ashish Dutta the Chief Surgeon and Founder at Aesthetic Beauty Centre is a respected cosmetic surgeon and has been practising Hair Transplant Surgery since 2002.

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