Males are affected by hair loss by up to 85%, and females by hair loss by up to 40%.
Transplanting hair is a safe and effective solution to hair loss, also known as surgical hair restoration. Hair transplantation involves transplanting hair to bald or thinning areas of the head. It is possible to transplant hair using different techniques.
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Hair restoration surgery involves taking existing hair through either FUT (strip method) or FUE (portion method) and moving it to areas of your scalp where there’s thinning.
These procedures are done in an outpatient setting without complete anesthesia. You’ll be given local anesthesia to numb your scalp during the surgery, but you’ll remain awake while the surgeon transplants your donor’s hairs. The procedure can take anywhere from four to six hours per session, depending on how much hair is transplanted. Multiple sessions may be recommended if you want longer hair or more volume. In addition, medications can minimize pain and promote faster healing.
What are the types of hair transplants?
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)
This is a newer method for obtaining hair, and it involves the extraction of individual follicular units from the donor area without using a scalpel or stitches. Instead, sharp punches are used to remove tiny sections of hair in the desired area. These extracted hair grafts will then be inserted one by one into your thinning areas for transplantation.
FUT (strip method)
This age-old procedure has been done since the 1960s. It involves removing a strip of scalp tissue that includes several individual hairs in their natural groupings called follicular units from behind your head. The surgeon will then cut out this donor tissue and suture each section individually into tiny incisions at the recipient site (the thinning part of your head).
How much does a hair transplant cost?
The first step is consulting with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon specializing in hair restoration surgeries. This procedure will be costly, but you may save some money by using an interest-free payment plan available through your doctor’s office. In some cases, your insurance might cover part of the expenses as well, so don’t forget to check with them as well.
Most reputable surgeons will provide you with an estimate of how much your surgery might cost when you schedule a consultation. Keep in mind that the costs may be higher if more than one session is required to achieve your desired results.
The typical cost of this procedure is $4,000 per 1,000 grafts. This means for around 5,000 grafts, the typical price of hair transplantation would be around $20,000. However, there are many variables that can affect the final price of this procedure, including:
- Donor hair availability (the amount of hair on your scalp).
- The number of sessions required.
- Doctor’s reputation and experience level (some are more expensive).
- Location of the treatment facility.
- Type of anesthesia needed (additional fees are associated with general anesthesia, required for more extensive surgeries).
What can you do to minimize hair loss?
Many remedies may help you slow down your hair loss. Some of these options include Minoxidil, Finasteride, Laser therapy, Platelet-rich plasma injection therapy, and Hair transplantation surgery.
This topical solution was first used to treat high blood pressure but has shown some success in helping men grow their hair back. It can be applied directly to thinning areas two times a day. Applying this medication will not reverse baldness, but it can slow down or stop the process of hair loss.
There are low-level lasers that can be shined on thinning areas, which may stimulate your follicles enough to produce short, fine hairs. It’s best to talk with a dermatologist about what type of laser is right for you so they can determine if this therapy is suitable for you. This treatment can range from $200-$1,000 per session.
Platelet-rich plasma injection therapy
This type of stem cell transplantation involves taking your blood then spun down in a centrifuge to separate the platelet cells, which are then injected into your scalp. The idea behind this treatment is that these growth factors stimulate dormant follicles to produce new hair. Although there have been some positive results with this procedure, more research must be done before it becomes an FDA-approved treatment method.
Hair transplantation surgery
If all other remedies fail to produce any significant results, the best thing to do might be surgical hair restoration. This procedure has become very popular in the last 20 years thanks to advancements in medical science and surgical techniques. In the past, surgery could be painful, cause scarring, and take a long time to recover from, but these days you can have a full head of hair restored with minimal discomfort and short recovery times.
This relatively new method involves using a thin needle-like device to extract healthy follicles instead of cutting them out one by one, as was done during older surgeries. The ability to transplant only those hairs that are needed without removing too much skin has dramatically improved patient outcomes and decreased cost. Modern technology has resulted in more minor scars, faster healing times, no sutures or staples required, and less donor-site pain.
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation)
This procedure is very similar to FUE, except that instead of single hairs, the surgeon transplants one to four follicles at a time (called grafts). This allows for denser packing and better coverage. However, because it removes larger sections of skin, much more preparation must be done before the surgery even begins. Multiple sessions may also be needed to achieve the desired results.
SMP (Scalp Micro Pigmentation)
Although this method does not restore hair, it can work as an excellent alternative for those looking for an affordable option to cover their baldness or thinning hair. It uses strategically placed ink dots mapped out by a computerized machine and resembles short hair when finished. This treatment can last up to 20 years, and you’ll never again have to worry about the embarrassment of thinning hair.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Hair Loss
These treatments are temporary solutions that will only slow down your balding while they’re being used. They should not be thought of as re-growing your hair, but more like buying time until you decide on a proper course of action.
These include Rogaine, laser combs, scalp micro pigmentation, PRP injections, and topical medications such as serums. Although these treatments will not help regrow hair, they may improve the appearance of thinning locks by making them look fuller and healthier.
Side effects such as itching, redness, and irritation may occur with topical solutions. Laser combs can be expensive and must be used constantly for best results.