People often take their hair for granted until they realize that they are suffering from hair loss when they are older. This can be frustrating for anyone, and the first thing they want to know is what they can do about it. One option is a hair transplant, which can help make your hair look full again. It will boost your confidence and allow you to stop worrying about what your hair looks like. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about a hair transplant for women.
What Is a Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a surgery where a doctor will move some of the hair you have to fill in an area that has thin hair or no hair at all. Doctors started doing these procedures in the 1950s, and they have evolved over time.
When you go to the doctor’s office for a hair transplant, they will clean your scalp and inject medicine that will numb your head. Then, you will either have FUSS (follicular unit strip surgery) or FUE (follicular unit extraction). For FUSS, your doctor will remove a strip of skin from the back of your head that is six to ten inches in length. They will then sew your skin together, and the scar will be hidden by the hair all around it.
Once that is done, your doctor will divide the strip into between 500 and 2,000 grafts, and each one will have one hair or a few hairs. How they do it is unique to each person because it depends on your hair, its quality, its color, and how much area needs the transplant.
For the FUE procedure, they will shave the back of your head. Then, your doctor removes hair follicles one at a time. It leaves behind tiny dots that will be covered by the hair remaining on your scalp as it grows out.
Once the beginning is complete, the process is similar for both procedures. They will numb the area where your hair will be transplanted, and they will create slits with their surgical tools. They then place each graft into one of the holes. This entire process takes somewhere between four and eight hours.
Options for Hair Transplant Surgery
There are two different types of hair transplant surgery. One is FUSS (follicular unit strip surgery), which is also called FUT (follicular unit transplant) and FUE (follicular unit extraction). You and your doctor will choose the best option for you together. It will depend on the area of your hair loss and how much you need to cover.
As described above, the FUSS or FUT method involves the doctor removing a strip of skin with the hair follicles intact from the back of your scalp. This area of your head is rarely lacking hair and it is the ideal spot. They will sew the skin back together, and then harvest the follicles from the strip and transplant them in the area where you are losing hair.
This method of hair transplant has been used for more than 20 years, and it was developed to restore the natural hairline. The issues are that you will have a scar where the strip was removed from the back of your scalp, but your hair should cover it. In addition, this procedure takes four to eight hours.
The FUE method is newer, and it was developed to try to eliminate some of the issues with the FUSS procedure. It also harvests hair follicles, but this process doesn’t remove an entire strip from your head. Instead, they collect individual grafts with a follicle or two and transplant them. It does take longer, but you won’t have to worry about a large scar or wound care after you finish the procedure.
Who Is Suitable for Hair Transplant?
It is important to understand that men and women often experience different types of hair loss. In other words, if you know a man who has had success with a hair transplant, the results may not be the same for you. Studies say that nearly 90% of men who have hair transplant surgery have success, but the case is not the same for women.
Many women have what is called diffuse hair loss, which is an overall loss of hair everywhere. If you are losing hair on the sides and in the back of your head, you are not a good candidate because these are the areas where they graft the follicles to transplant them.
In alopecia for women, the donor areas may also be unstable. They are usually thinning because the donor areas in women’s hair are affected by DHT, which kills follicles. If they do the transplant, the new hair will fall out, so it isn’t a great option.
That said, there are women who will benefit from hair transplant surgery. First of all, any women who have lost hair due to mechanical or traction alopecia, which is nonhormonal, will be good candidates. Women who have had plastic surgery and want to add hair around the incision sites are also good candidates. In addition, women who are suffering from a specific pattern of baldness in a specific area, such as hairline recession or a specific area on the crown of the head.
Other good candidates include women who have suffered a trauma, such as from a car accident, chemicals, or fire, as well as women who have a condition called alopecia marginalis. These women usually experience success with hair transplant surgery.
How Much Does a Hair Transplant Cost?
The cost of hair transplant surgery will vary depending on where you live, your doctor, and how much hair you need to transplant. Most insurance plans do not cover hair transplants, so you will need to pay out of pocket. The cost can range from $4,000 to $15,000. It is important to remember that you can lose hair again; in other words, this procedure is not permanent, and you may need to repeat it down the road.
It is important to discuss your situation with your doctor and make sure that you are a good candidate for the procedure. In addition, make sure that your doctor understands your goals and explains to you the chances of successfully meeting them. It is important to go into this procedure with your eyes open, and you need to have realistic expectations.
Hair Transplant Procedure
The hair transplant procedures are similar, but the exact procedure will depend on which type of hair transplant you get. In addition, it may take a few sessions to achieve the amount of fullness you are looking for. Lighter colored hair that is coarse gives better coverage than dark colored hair or fine hair. The average number of grafts is 50 per person, but it can be as many as 700.
If you are having the FUSS or FUT hair transplant, your head will be numbed, and they will cut a strip from the back of your scalp. It is usually between six and ten inches, depending on how many follicles they need. Once they remove it, they will sew your skin back together.
Next, they will remove the individual follicles with one hair or a few hairs, and they will start grafting them onto your head where you need to add hair. The entire process takes between four and eight hours depending on how many grafts you need transplanted.
For the FUE technique, they will shave the back of your head first. Then, they numb the area, and they have an instrument that can punch out the round grafts that will be transplanted one at a time. They will continue the procedure until they cover the area that needs the hair. The grafts are usually placed around an eighth of an inch apart to make sure that your scalp has healthy circulation.
Once the grafting is complete, your doctor will clean your scalp and cover it with gauze. You may be asked to wear a pressure bandage for a few days, but some doctors don’t use the bandage.
How Long Does the Hair Transplant Process Take?
The hair transplant process takes between four and eight hours. The length of time depends on how much hair you need to have transplanted as well as the type of procedure you and your doctor choose. The FUSS or FUT procedure lasts four to eight hours per session, and the FUE procedure can take from two to eight hours.
You may need to return for a second and even a third session, depending on how much hair you need transplanted. The reason that this process takes so long is that they take tiny grafts of one or two hair follicles and transplant them individually. These grafts are vulnerable, and they cannot be done in larger chunks. This is the best way to have success with this procedure, so it will take some time.
Is the Hair Transplant Procedure Painful?
Most people who have had the hair transplant procedure done say that it is uncomfortable more than painful. Part of the discomfort is sitting in the chair for so many hours. Most doctors will give you an anesthetic in both the donor areas where they remove the grafts and the recipient areas where the hair is transplanted. This should prevent you from feeling it while it is happening.
The FUSS procedure has more pain associated with it after the surgery because there is a wound that needs to heal. This area can be sore for a few days after the surgery, and you need to take care to keep your wound clean. If you have the FUE procedure, they do not remove a strip of skin. They remove hair follicles individually, and there is less of a recovery. The little holes from this procedure heal on their own.
Most people do not feel pain after the FUE procedure, although they may have some discomfort. Each person is different, so your recovery time will depend on your body and how it heals. However, you should not experience any severe pain. It is more of a slight discomfort. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication for you if you find that you have any pain after the procedure.
What Are the Dangers of Hair Transplants?
There are several different potential side effects that can come from a hair transplant. Most of them are minor and will be gone within just a few weeks. For example, you can experience bleeding on your scalp. You need to look out for an infection from the procedure, but you will be taking antibiotics after the procedure to make sure that an infection doesn’t develop.
You may suffer from swelling of the scalp or bruising around your eyes. In addition, some people have a crust form on the areas of their scalp where hair was either removed or transplanted. You might experience numbness on the areas of the scalp that were treated, and you could have folliculitis, which is inflammation of the hair follicles.
Sometimes, people have what is called shock loss of the transplanted hair. This is where the hair falls out, but it will grow back. You may also end up with tufts of hair that are unnatural looking. The other dangers are having a reaction to the anesthetic or the procedure not taking. All of these potential side effects are uncommon and will clear up quickly.
The long-term outlook is positive for people who have a hair transplant. They usually continue to grow hair in the areas where they had the transplant done. There are factors that will determine how much hair you grow, including the following:
- How loose the skin on your scalp is
- The density of the hair follicles in the transplanted area
- The quality of your hair
- How much curl your hair has
Who Is Not Suitable for Hair Transplant?
When you have hair transplant surgery, they graft hair follicles and transplant them on parts of the scalp where your hair is no longer growing. One important fact is that hair will no longer grow in the areas where they remove the hair follicles. For this reason, you need to have areas on your head with a lot of healthy hair.
Someone who is experiencing general overall hair loss is not suitable for hair transplant surgery because there is nowhere to retrieve the hair follicles. If hair is thinning everywhere, they won’t be able to transplant it. The reality is that without any quality donor follicles, they won’t be able to do the surgery.
Another type of hair loss that is unsuitable is thinning hair throughout the entire scalp. If your hair is thinning everywhere, there may not be space to transplant the hair follicles. The problem is that you will have some thick hair and some thinning hair, and the results can look unnatural when they are placed together.
If you have what is called diffuse hair loss, you are not a good candidate for this procedure. Another name for this condition is Chronic Telogen Effluvium, and it occurs when your hair is falling out all over the scalp. When you have this condition, you aren’t losing any follicles. The likelihood of transplanted follicles also dropping hair is high.
People who have Alopecia Areata should not have this procedure done, nor should people with Pseudopelade and Lichen Planus. These types of hair loss can affect any part of the scalp, including the area where it is transplanted.
Generally speaking, good candidates will have specific areas that are suffering from hair loss and other areas that have normal hair growth. This way, the doctor can remove healthy hair follicles that are still working and transplant them on parts of the scalp where follicles are not.
Precautions Before and After Hair Transplant
When you decide to have hair transplant surgery, there are procedures that you will follow both before and after the surgery. When you first make your surgery appointment, you should consider making arrangements for someone to bring you to and from the appointment. You will also need to take a few days off from work to recover, so be sure to plan ahead.
Around a month before the procedure, you can start massaging your scalp for 10 to 30 minutes each day. This helps improve your blood flow and evens out your skin tone. In addition, it will help you heal after the procedure.
Your doctor may schedule some blood work before you have the procedure, as well as Minoxidil or another hair regrowth drug. You need to make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do, which may involve taking medication, or it may not.
About two weeks before you have your surgery, you should stop taking anti-inflammatory medication and aspirin. They can make it harder for your wounds to heal. You should also discuss any medications that you take regularly with your doctor. You should try to avoid drinking alcohol during these last two weeks. Alcohol widens your blood vessels, which can increase the swelling where they make incisions.
You should not cut your hair for the last two weeks before the procedure. Your physician can blend your hair after the procedure, but you want to keep the hair until after it is over. You might also take some vitamin C for these two weeks.
When you have one week left before the hair transplant surgery, most doctors will tell you to stop taking vitamin B and E. They can both make it harder for your wounds to heal. If you smoke, you should try to quit at this time because smoking also makes it harder for your wounds to heal. Your doctor might give you antibiotics at this time.
On the day of your surgery, most doctors will have you shampoo and condition your hair as you normally do, but don’t use any styling products. Normally, you will want to have an empty stomach before surgery, so make sure you follow the doctor’s orders in regards to when you should abstain from drinking or eating.
Wear comfortable clothing, and make sure that you can remove your shirt without rubbing your head. You might want to wear a loose fitting shirt or a button down.
After your procedure, there are going to be a lot of rules to follow. Your new hair grafts are very fragile, and they will take some time to take root. Make sure that you follow any recommendations from your doctor.
You should have someone to drive you home. Although they don’t put you to sleep for the surgery, they do give you anesthetic, and it is a long procedure. You might feel groggy and distracted. You should sleep with your head elevated for a week in case of swelling. It may only last a few days, or you may not have it at all, but keep your head elevated to make sure.
You can also put an ice pack just above your eyebrows to help prevent swelling. Swelling usually happens around the third or fourth day after your procedure. You should be very gentle when you wash your hair, and most doctors have you wait at least three days. You should not scrub your hair, and don’t let the water hit your scalp with a lot of pressure. You can use a cup of water to rinse, which is far more gentle.
Make sure that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This helps your scalp recover. You may notice some hair falling out between two and four weeks after the procedure, but this is okay. The hair will regrow within a few months.
You should not sleep with your hair rubbing against a pillow for a few weeks because it can rub the new grafts and irritate them. Even if you have swelling, you shouldn’t place ice directly on your scalp. You shouldn’t touch your scalp at all.
You may notice scabs forming, and you need to let it happen. This is part of how your body heals, and you shouldn’t pick them loose. If your scalp is itchy, do not scratch it. You can gently use conditioner to relieve itching. You should not wear a hat and try to prevent anything from touching your head for about a week.
Another precaution is to stay out of the sun. You don’t want to risk your scalp becoming sunburned. You should also avoid any strenuous activities that will make you sweat. You can’t dye or highlight your hair for four weeks because the chemicals can damage the transplanted follicles. You should not drink alcohol for at least five days because it can interfere with the blood supply getting to your head. You should also avoid smoking for a month for the same reason.
This procedure is time-consuming and expensive, so you should follow your doctor’s recommendations to ensure that your hair transplant has the best possible chance of being successful.
How to Reduce Hair Loss After Hair Transplant
Your hair grows from the hair follicles on your scalp. When you have hair transplant surgery, the doctor basically takes healthy hair follicles and transplants them to areas where your follicles are no longer growing hair. The follicles are glands that hold the part of your hair that is alive.
Most people lose around 100 hairs each day, but they always have new ones growing in. That is why it isn’t noticeable when people lose hair. However, when the normal cycle is disrupted by stress, hormones, damage to the follicle, and other reasons, you notice the loss of hair.
When you have the hair transplant surgery, you want to make sure that it is successful. When you first arrive home, follow your doctor’s orders. Don’t wear a hat for the first three days, don’t wash your hair for a few days, and make sure that you understand how fragile the newly transplanted hair follicles are.
One way to reduce hair loss after your procedure is to minimize the amount of shampoo you use. Shampoo is great for cleaning your hair, but if you use a lot of it, it can remove the natural oils that help it stay healthy. It dries it out, which leads to breaking. You should avoid any products that dry your hair out, especially products that contain GMOs, mineral oils, parabens, dyes, and sulfates.
When your hair is wet, it is actually more fragile than when it is dry. Rather than rubbing your wet hair with a cotton towel, you can use a lighter fabric, such as an old T-shirt. If you detangle and comb your hair before you wash it, you won’t have to do it while it is wet. Make sure that you use a comb that has wide teeth rather than a small one with the teeth close together.
Another way to reduce hair loss is to keep the heat away from your hair. If you use a hair dryer, make sure it has a cool setting. You may still use a hair straightener, but you can opt for one that doesn’t get as hot. The heat will dry your hair out, and it can cause it to fall out.
When you style your hair, opt for softer styles. You can wear a loose ponytail, loose braids, and other hairstyles that reduce the stress on the roots. You should try not to use hair styles that pull your hair tight. You should also avoid styling products that stiffen your hair. The key is to keep your hair soft and loose so that it doesn’t stress out the roots and follicles.
Another way to reduce hair loss is to eat a healthy diet. There are actually foods that give your hair the nutrients that help it grow and stay healthy. Foods including salmon, trout, and tuna are great choices, as well as eggs, walnuts, blueberries, and spinach. All of these foods have valuable vitamins and minerals that promote healthy hair growth.
Another way to protect your hair is to use gentle leave-in conditioners. Make sure that you follow the directions, but it will keep your hair soft and light.
If you do suffer from what they call shock loss, it will be between two and four weeks after your surgery. This is normal and happens to many people. Your hair should grow back within three months.
How to Wash Your Hair After Hair Transplant
Whether or not your hair transplant procedure succeeds depends as much on how you care for your scalp when you get home as it does on the procedure. You need to make sure that you do everything your doctor tells you, and be careful when you wash your hair. The important thing to remember is that your hair follicles are fragile, and rubbing them too hard or using too much product can damage them.
Most doctors want you to wait until the third day after your surgery to wash your hair. They may give you a saline spray for your wounds. You might consider using a gentle baby shampoo during this time. You should try to avoid washing the area that has the new grafts, but gently wash the donor area.
You can take a tiny dab of baby shampoo and gently massage it into the donor areas. Then, use a cup of warm water to rinse. Do not disturb the area with the grafts during this time.
Most doctors tell you to start washing the entire head on day five after surgery. You should still use the baby shampoo for two weeks. Be gentle when you massage the shampoo into your hair, and make sure that you are gentle when you rinse. Don’t have a strong stream of hot water rinsing your head; use warm water in a cup.
The key is not to pull out any of the transplanted hair. Here are the steps to washing the donor area of your head after surgery:
- Start by filling a cup with warm water and a few drops of baby shampoo
- Pour the contents of the cup on your hair
- Rub the soapy water very gently and don’t press on any scabs
- Fill a cup with warm water to rinse the area.
- Rinse until there is no soap left
- Let your hair dry naturally
Once you are five days out from surgery, you can change your hair washing process. Follow these steps:
- Put some baby shampoo on your hands, and rub them together
- Apply the lathered shampoo to your head.
- Gently spread it without rubbing it into your scalp
- Rinse it until all of the soap is out
- Let your hair dry naturally
Once you are two weeks out from your surgery, you can resume your normal hair washing process. However, try to use gentle products, and avoid using high heat on your hair. The key to letting your hair take root is to be careful with it and avoid anything that will damage the roots and follicles.
How Long Does It Take to Recover After a Hair Transplant?
The recovery time for a hair transplant will vary from person to person. It also depends on which type of hair transplant procedure you have. If you have the FUSS procedure where they cut out a strip of your scalp, you will need to treat the wound while it heals. However, if you have the FUE treatment, you just need to wait for your scalp to recover.
It typically takes a few days to recover from any swelling or other uncomfortable symptoms. This usually happens on the third or fourth day, and then it should get better.
You can wash your hair with baby shampoo starting on the fifth day after your procedure. Continue this for two weeks. In two weeks, you will be able to go back to your normal way of washing your hair.
Although you are technically recovered after two weeks, you will need to wait longer to see the effects of your treatment. The first thing to be aware of is that you may suffer shock loss around two to four weeks after your procedure. This is perfectly normal, and it will be about three months until your hair grows back normally.
Your transplanted hair basically goes into a state of shock from the trauma of the surgery. The follicles then go into a resting stage that lasts three months, and then they begin a new growth cycle. In the beginning stages, the hair may grow unevenly, but by the fifth or sixth month, it should be growing normally.
You need to be prepared to wait a year to see the final results of your transplant, but your hair will start growing in before then. You will start to see the results when new hair grows in at around three months after surgery, but it will be longer until your hair is grown in.
How to Choose a Hair Transplant Hospital
When you decide to get a hair transplant, there are a lot of choices out there. You need to be cautious and choose a hospital that has an excellent reputation. There are a number of factors that you should consider. The first is the credentials of the doctor. You need to make sure that your doctor has experience and is a surgeon who is trained to do hair transplants.
Next, you need to check out the doctor’s experience. The doctor should have experience doing hair transplant surgery. You should also make sure that the doctor is experienced in FUE and FUSS techniques so that you can make the best possible choice for your hair. The doctor should be up to date on the current methods for hair transplant surgery.
Another factor to consider is the staff at the clinic. This is a time-consuming procedure, and it is important that the doctor has a reputable and qualified team available to help with the process. In addition, a clinic with a team of doctors is great because they are more likely to be exposed to different methods and the current trends.
When you visit the clinic or hospital, they should be friendly and courteous. They should be willing to answer any questions you have, and you should feel at ease when you talk to them. Make sure that they have seen other patients who have a similar situation to you. Whatever the reason is for your hair loss, they should have had successful results with other patients who suffer the same issue.
You should also look for reviews by their patients. Make sure that they have plenty of patients who are happy with the procedure and their results. You should also make sure that they are genuine reviews by honest reviewers.
Another factor to consider is what technology they use. The hospital should have the latest technology available to show that they are up to date on their techniques. You should also find out if they store personal information securely. They should have accurate medical records, and they should make sure that it is safe.
If you have the opportunity to speak to another patient, you will find out firsthand everything you need to know. Ask the hospital for any references. They may let you speak to someone who has had the procedure done.
You should consider the cost, but do not take the least expensive choice just because it is inexpensive. More experienced surgeons will cost more money, so you want to find a balance between price and experience.
If you are looking for a hair transplant for women, there is a lot to learn. This procedure can change how you feel about yourself and give you confidence. It is important to choose an experienced surgeon who has had successful results. You need to be sure to follow the recommendations of the doctor before, during, and after your surgery. If you notice hair falling out a few weeks after the hair transplant, don’t be alarmed. It is perfectly normal, and the hair will start growing in about three months. Your hair should be fully recovered within about a year.
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