How Hair Transplants Work

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Hair transplantation is a minor surgical technique for hair restoration which reliably and consistently restores hair, even to a bald scalp. The male hair transplanting technique relies on the fortunate fact that even men who lose a lot of hair will not lose the hair above the ears and the back of their heads. There are many older men with this characteristic ‘horseshoe’ shape of the remaining hair to prove this fact. this is called the hair transplant donor area left with a Norwood Stage 7 in the classification of hair loss.

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FUE HAIR TRANSPLANT

FUE stands for Follicular Unit Extraction, a technique also variously known as FIT, CIT, FUSE, DHI and Woods techniques. This technique uses a microscopic punch to remove each individual hair graft, in the same way as an apple corer removes the core of an apple. FUE is a relatively new technique, and only really established itself in the early years of this century. It still has some way to go in its evolution. Like all things, it has advantages and disadvantages, sometimes depending on patient preference or characteristics. 

An important point to make first is that FUE is a different extraction method for hair transplants but the technique of inserting the grafts is just the same – it doesn’t mean the grafts can be inserted any closer or that they grow any better. Neither is it a method of “hair cloning” nor is it invisible or “surgery-free.” It is however, a very useful adjunct treatment which may be the best technique of hair transplantation for some patients but a waste of time and money for others.

In most cases, the donor area is just the same (although it is the method of choice for body hair HT). The scalp hair is usually shaved all over but it is possible sometimes just to shave small donor areas or to leave the recipient site long. The patient then usually lies face down on something similar to a massage couch and the scalp is numbed up. An FUE punch is used, either manually or by electric handle, to “score” around the hairs, to a specific depth (about 2mm) and angle. The hair is “plucked” out with forceps and then trimmed to a uniform size, prior to re implantation. The hair can be damaged by getting the angle, depth or “pull” wrong. This is why it is slow and expensive. Attempts to make “robotic” FUE so far are not more effective than a skilled human and doesn’t make it cheaper, although potentially a little faster.

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FUT HAIR TRANSPLANT

FUT Strip Hair Transplant (FUT) is the standard technique used in 70% of patients as the strip method of hair transplantation is the “Gold Standard” i.e. the most effective technique for transplanting hair and donor utilisation.

Normally, the patient should leave their hair long (clippers 4 or above) as this will allow the rest of the hair to cover the stitches afterwards. The donor hair is parted and held up with low tack tape and only the donor area required is shaved.

 

After lying the patient down on a couch, the hair transplant surgeon applies local anaesthetic to the donor area we want to take the hair from. We then take a thin strip of that hairy scalp and under a microscope, individually separate all the follicular units. Whilst the technicians are doing that, the doctor is placing the stitches, which are usually absorbable and don’t need to be removed (but can be, after day 10, if desired).

 

After a short break, the doctor numbs up the recipient area and makes pinprick incisions in the recipient area. The follicular unit grafts are then placed into the incisions by the technicians.

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FUE VS STRIP HAIR TRANSPLANT

FUT Strip Hair Transplant (FUT) is the standard technique used in 70% of patients as the strip method of hair transplantation is the “Gold Standard” i.e. the most effective technique for transplanting hair and donor utilisation.

Normally, the patient should leave their hair long (clippers 4 or above) as this will allow the rest of the hair to cover the stitches afterwards. The donor hair is parted and held up with low tack tape and only the donor area required is shaved.

 

After lying the patient down on a couch, the hair transplant surgeon applies local anaesthetic to the donor area we want to take the hair from. We then take a thin strip of that hairy scalp and under a microscope, individually separate all the follicular units. Whilst the technicians are doing that, the doctor is placing the stitches, which are usually absorbable and don’t need to be removed (but can be, after day 10, if desired).

 

After a short break, the doctor numbs up the recipient area and makes pinprick incisions in the recipient area. The follicular unit grafts are then placed into the incisions by the technicians.

Female Services

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HAIR LOSS & HAIR THINNING

  

Both African American men and women can benefit from traditional hair transplant surgery, with a few special considerations. Traditionally, a strip of hair and tissue is taken from the donor site, leaving a long, thin scar that can often be covered with the patient’s hair to disguise it. However, many African American typical hairstyles reveal this scar, making the aesthetic result less positive. To avoid this scarring, another grafting method known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is used, which involves the removal of individual follicles from the donor site for transplantation. The tiny incisions made to extract the follicles leave no obvious scarring and do not require any sutures, allowing patients to shave their heads with no scarring visible. The transplantation process otherwise remains the same.

FEMALE HAIR TRANSPLANTATION

 

Although the public typically thinks of hair transplant as a primarily male-targeted procedure, our team regularly performs hair transplants in women for a variety of reasons. About 30% of women over 30 years of age experience hair thinning, so hair transplant is a very common procedure that improves hair density and provides a solution for female hair loss. Hair transplant can also be undertaken to restore the hairline in women who have either lost the frontal hairline due to ageing hair loss or simply were born with a very high hairline. Finally, in some situations, hair transplant is the only solution suitable for women who have undergone prior surgical rejuvenate procedures like face-lifting and/or brow-lifting and lack hair due to exposed scars in the temples, sideburns, behind the ears, or elsewhere.

EYEBROW RESTORATION

 Eyebrow hair transplant has become in the past few years an increasingly popular procedure that our team regularly performs. Although there can be a host of medical conditions that lead to eyebrow loss, like a low thyroid condition (hypothyroidism), one of the most common reasons for eyebrow loss (besides being born that way) is overplucking. Once hairs from the eyebrow have been repeatedly plucked, these removed hairs can be permanently gone and require surgical hair transplantation. This is typically an easy procedure to perform but it requires absolute artistry by the surgeon and the most technically precise work from the assistant team. 

OVERLY HIGH HAIRLINES IN WOMEN

  

Hair transplant for African American women is often performed to correct abnormally high hairlines, which can occur due to genetics, alopecia, hair breakage from chemical treatments, or medical conditions. Options for treating this problem includes surgical hairline advancement (SHA), which is a 90-minute procedure that can bring the hairline forward by up to two inches. Women with a less elastic scalp can undergo traditional hair transplant surgery and utilize techniques to prevent any further hair loss after the procedure.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Some patients are concerned about preserving an intricate hairstyle, weave, or relaxed hair during the procedure. An experienced surgeon can work between these styles, though they sometimes will need to be loosened during the procedure. Most African-American patients do not have to cut off locks and braids. It is recommended that relaxers not be used on the hair following surgery, as these harsh chemicals can damage all hair. 

Additional Treatments

SCALP MICROPIGMENTATION

Hair microPigmentation Treatment, more commonly know as scalp micro-pigmentation or scalp tattooing is a revolutionary semi-permanent micro-pigmenting technique that offers an alternative option for both male and female patients suffering from hair loss who are not appropriate candidates for hair transplant surgery. HPT® involves the use of a digitally controlled needle that applies medical-grade hypoallergenic colour pigment into the scalp. As well as male and female pattern hair loss, HPT® can create the illusion of hair for patients suffering from a host of scalp conditions including scarring alopecia’s, alopecia areata, totalis and universalis, as well as hair loss due to injuries and burns or disguising older FUT or FUE surgery scars.

HAIR PIECES, WIGS, SYSTEMS & IMPLANTS

These are non-living devices, that are worn on the head, to give the illusion of hair replacement. Obviously, these are not new, reaching both the peak of fashion and literal height, in the 17th century. However, these wigs were used to make a statement, not as a natural alternative to hair loss. Hairpieces can be very effective if good quality, real hair is used and the hairpiece is regularly maintained and replaced. The alternative types of hairpieces are listed below.

 

Synthetic, nylon-like fibres are the very cheapest but also the most long-lasting. The coloured fibres are very artificial in feel and colouration but require very little maintenance.

DRUGS & DEVICES

There are no magic solutions to hair restoration, but there are a variety of techniques that work, all of which are discussed here. These are non-surgical solutions for hair loss treatment that you can buy and use at home, rather than surgical treatments such as hair transplants or stem cell treatments.

Using the information here, you can make the decision that suits you best. We offer all these treatments, enabling us to truly tailor the best hair loss treatment to suit your needs and aspirations. You can buy some of these hair loss tablets and treatments from us directly.

Some of these hair loss tablets require a doctors private prescription, which we can arrange by an easy online consultation. These drugs include the various 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors, as originally used for prostate disease. 

To find more about hair transplant visit our
Hair Transplant Clinic website: 

www.kihtransplantclinic.com