Hair Transplant Frequently Asked Questions
- Do hair transplants really work?
- Am I a good candidate for a hair transplant?
- Will my new hair look natural?
- Is hair transplant surgery painful?
- What is the success rate of the transplanted hair?
- How much do hair transplants cost?
- Will I experience temporary numbness?
- What is "shock loss" after hair transplantation?
- When can I return to work and resume normal activities?
- Will my new hair need any special treatment?
- How long will it take the transplanted hair to grow?
- How long will the new hair continue to grow?
Do hair transplants really work?
Innovations in microsurgery have resulted in hair transplant techniques that allow small groups of hair follicles to be transplanted from donor areas to fill in balding or thinning areas with very natural results. Former hair transplant methods involved large circular grafts that often appeared noticeable and unnatural. Today, Follicular Unit Transplantation is used to space small grafts of one to four hair follicles as close together as necessary to restore the hairline, fill bald spots and increase density. Scarring is almost undetectable in the donor areas (usually the sides and back of the head) and the transplanted hair maintains its color, texture, curl and rate of growth.
Am I a good candidate for a hair transplant?
Most men with male pattern baldness or hair loss due to injury are potential candidates for hair transplantation. Hair transplants can also help women with balding or thinning hair to improve their appearance. During the initial consultation with your surgeon at Alabama Hair Transplant, Dr. William J. Hedden will evaluate your general health, the availability of donor hair and your current and future pattern of baldness. From this information, a program can be designed to successfully meet your hair restoration goals.
Will my new hair look natural?
Since the procedure's inception in the 1950s, major advances have been made in the techniques used for hair transplant surgery. Hair transplants using Follicular Unit Transplantation are much more successful at delivering natural-looking results than the hair transplants of the past. Undetectable to anything but the closest scrutiny, hair transplants performed by the experienced surgeons at Alabama Hair Transplant in Birmingham, Alabama can help you feel younger and reclaim your self-confidence.
Is hair transplant surgery painful?
Most patients report very little pain during or after hair transplant surgery. Follicular Unit Transplantation is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with sedation at the fully-accredited surgery facility of Hedden Plastic Surgery in Greystone. The IV sedation is fast acting and very relaxing. The local anesthesia is injected to make sure patients don't experience any pain or discomfort during hair transplant surgery. Following surgery, most patients only need pain relievers for a day or two.
What is the success rate of the transplanted hair?
Measured in terms of the survival of transplanted hair follicles, the success rate of hair transplants at our Birmingham, Alabama facility is virtually 100%. Patients who have scarring from previous surgery, sun-damaged skin or other negative factors that could influence the surgery may find that less than 100% of the transplanted hairs will grow. The new hair usually grows out nicely in 3 to 6 months, but hair transplant patients should wait at least a year to judge the final results.
How much do hair transplants cost?
The cost of hair transplant surgery is an important concern for many people who consider the procedure. While hair transplant surgery is not inexpensive, the benefits include natural, life-long results. In the long run, many patients end up spending more on treatments such as hair loss medications than the cost of a hair transplant. The overall cost of hair transplantation varies according to the individual situation of each patient, and a typical procedure generally ranges from $1,500 to $7,000.
Will I experience temporary numbness?
Some patients experience temporary numbness of the scalp after undergoing hair transplant surgery. This numbness is caused by interference with superficial nerves as the hair follicles are transplanted from the donor region to the balding or thinning area. Loss of sensation may occur in the areas where the transplants are placed as well as surrounding areas. Any numbness should disappear within about 3 months, although full sensitivity may not return to the area for up to 18 months.
What is "shock loss" after hair transplantation?
"Shock loss" occurs when existing hair is lost following surgery at the hair transplant recipient site. This condition is temporary and reversible in the vast majority of cases. Possible causes of "shock loss" include the cutting of existing hair by the hair transplant incisions, shedding of hairs during surgery that have entered the resting phase and would soon be shed anyway, or trauma to hair follicles during surgery. The risk of "shock loss" can be decreased by applying minoxidil prior to and after your hair transplant procedure.
When can I return to work and resume normal activities?
Most people can resume their normal activities, including returning to work, within a day or two after Hair Transplant Surgery. Exercise should be avoided for at least 3 days, including bending over or lifting, and vigorous physical activity should be avoided for a week or more. Sleeping with your head elevated with pillows or in a recliner for a few days helps prevent forehead swelling. Crusting on the scalp that forms as part of the healing process can be gently removed while shampooing after a few days.
Will my new hair need any special treatment?
Transplanted hair does not require any special treatment once the procedure is completed. The hair follicles used to fill in bald spots or areas of thinning hair are taken from donor sites at the back and sides of the head during the Follicular Unit Transplantation procedure. These follicles retain their characteristics — hair loss resistance, color, texture, growth rate, angle and direction — once new growth begins at the hair transplant recipient site. After the new hair grows out, you can cut, style or color it just like any other hair.
How long will it take the transplanted hair to grow?
The majority of newly transplanted hairs temporarily fall out 2 to 4 weeks after Hair Transplant Surgery before growing back in 3 to 6 months. Initially, the new growth appears as finer, lighter hairs. These hairs gain both length and diameter as growth continues. After a full year, the new hair will grow about 1/2 inch per month — the same rate as terminal hairs on the sides and back of the head that are resistant to hair loss.
How long will the new hair continue to grow?
After hair transplants are fully mature after about 1 year, the transplanted hair will continue to grow throughout the rest of your life. Typical male pattern baldness affects the front and top of the scalp, while hair on the back and sides of the head is genetically programmed to last a lifetime. When transplanted to balding or thinning parts of the scalp, this loss-resistant hair maintains all of the characteristics that keep hair in the donor regions full, thick and actively growing.