Typical pattern baldness is something both men and women struggle with and we have our parents and ancestors to thank for it. Your hormones and what’s in your DNA cause baldness. Enzymes in our body react with hormones and cause the follicles in the scalp to shrink and stop growing new hair. Hair on the sides and back of the head isn’t vulnerable to pattern baldness and will typically grow for the duration of a persons life. We use these areas “donor areas” to extract from and move to the top of the head or balding areas “recipient site”. There are two different methods in which donor hair can be harvested: Follicular Unit Transfer (strip harvesting) and Follicular Unit Extraction.
In strip harvesting we take a strip of the scalp from the donor area and then suture the area back together. The strip of scalp is then cut into small pieces of hair follicles that have one to four hairs per graft. Holes are then placed in the recipient area and the grafts are placed in the holes in a natural but random pattern. The patient will be left with almost no visible scar on the back of the head and is typically hard to see once the surrounding hair grows out and conceals it.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a procedure that uses a punch method to extract the hairs from the donor area. The head is first shaven and a local anesthetic is used to numb the head. The FUE surrounds the hair follicle and punches the follicle loose so it can be easily extracted from the head. The small holes left behind start to heal immediately and continue to disappear over the next few days. Tiny holes are then placed in the recipient area using a microscope and the hair follicles are planted.
The scalp takes about 3 to 5 days to heal and you should not attempt to resume normal activities for 48 hours to prevent the transplanted hair from falling out. The majority of the hair shafts in the follicle will fall out, don’t be alarmed. After a few months new hair will begin to grow from the relocated follicles. It takes about two days for the transplanted hair to settle permanently into the recipient sites. Small scabs will develop were the grafts were inserted so do not pick them or it will cause the hair follicle to dislodge. The scabs will fall off within 10-14 days. Re-growth is expected to occur within 3 months. It can take up to 6 to 10 months to see full regrowth.
Hair transplant is a major component of hair restoration. With the supporting medical management using 5% minoxidil (Rogaine) and finesteride (Propecia), 97% of androgenetic hair loss can be stopped and regrowth of hair can be seen in the large majority of these patients. Stop by for a In-Office or Virtual Consultation or visit us via internet consult to see if you are a potential candidate for hair restoration or a hair transplant procedure.
This information is brought to you courtesy of Dr. Mark Bishara and The Paragon Plastic Surgery & Med Spa in Mansfield and Southlake, TX
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