Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that involves the transfer of hair follicles from an area that is not affected by hair loss to the area where the hair becomes thinner or bald. It aims to solve the problem permanently by applying it to hair loss caused by male pattern baldness, burns and accidents. The most positive aspect of this process is that the hair continues to grow naturally in the area where hair transplantation is performed. Today, the follicular unit extraction (FUE) method is mostly preferred because it gives a faster and higher quality result. In addition, it is a painless procedure and does not leave a significant scar since the incision is not opened. However, some precautions should be taken for the success of this method; otherwise, hair loss may continue.
Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that aims to permanently treat hair loss. It involves taking the skin (graft) from the area that is not affected by hair loss (donor) and transplanting it to the area where hair thinning or baldness occurs (recipient). Genetically resistant to hair loss, donor hair is usually collected from the nape of the head and the sides of the ears.
If the hair here is insufficient, it can be collected from other hairy areas such as legs, chest and beard. This process can only be done with the donor hair of the person, hair taken from another person is not transplanted. Since it is generally applied to relieve aesthetic concerns, it falls into the field of aesthetic and plastic surgery.
Why is hair transplant done?
Hair transplantation is applied to solve the problem of regional baldness and hair thinning caused by hair loss. It can also be applied to eyebrow, beard and moustache areas.
Who can have hair transplantation?
This procedure can be applied to healthy men and women between the ages of 20-75 with congenital regional hair loss as a result of the following problems:
Scars from burns or injuries
Facelift, brain surgery, etc.
Excessive stretching of the hair (traction alopecia)
The most important condition sought is that the person who will have hair transplantation has enough donor hair resources to cover the areas where balding is experienced and where it is likely to occur.
What causes hair loss and shedding?
Hair loss can occur for many reasons. The most important of these are:
Hormonal (especially testosterone deficiency)
How is a hair transplantation done?
Analysis and hair analysis are made to determine the area to be transplanted. The amount of grafts required is determined and the new hairline is determined to make the hair look natural.
The scalp is thoroughly cleaned with a special medicine to prevent the development of infection.
The area where the graft collection will be performed is anesthetized with local or sedation anaesthesia.
The grafts collected from the donor area are kept in a special solution.
The recipient area is anesthetized and the channels where the hair follicles will be placed are opened.
Grafts are placed in the opened channels.
How long does a hair transplant take?
This surgical procedure is an outpatient procedure and usually does not require a hospital stay. Usually the process takes 6-9 hours. This period may vary depending on the amount of hair follicle the person needs and the method used. If a large area is being treated, 2 or more sessions may be required at certain intervals.
Does hair transplant hurt?
During hair transplantation, since both the donor and the recipient area are numbed with local or sedation anaesthesia, no pain is felt, but painkillers can be prescribed in case of any discomfort.
FUE hair transplantation
In the FUE (Follicular unit extraction) method, the hair is collected from the donor area one by one and transplanted into the channels opened in the recipient area. Its application is as follows:
Usually the whole head is shaved.
In order to directly take the hair grafts one by one, a special punching tool called punch, whose tip looks like a pen, is used under local anaesthesia. In the classical FUE method, punch is used manually and grafts are collected with tweezers.
Grafts are placed in small channels on the scalp opened by the lateral slit technique. The lateral slit technique is the process of directing the canals according to the size and shape of the graft.
It is the most preferred method of hair transplantation as a large number of hair follicles are taken and placed in the opened channels without creating a scar with a seamless technique. With the development of technology, many medical devices have been used in the FUE method.
In this FUE method, to remove hair follicles, punches are placed in an electric micromotor, positioned according to the direction and angle of the hair, and dipped into the scalp. Thus, by means of punches, around the root is loosened by cutting in a cylindrical shape. After the hair follicle is loosened, the hair follicles are collected one by one with tools similar to tweezers.
The punches attached to the end of the micro motor are changed according to the hair structure of the person, preventing the hair follicles from being damaged. For example, larger diameter punches are used for thick hair and small diameter punches are used for thin hair.
This medical device controlled by a doctor is a computer-aided system. The special ends of this device create circular areas around the hair follicles, collecting them one by one and collecting them in the inner chamber. Robotic FUE micro incisions help to collect more grafts without damage, thanks to its special vacuum collection shape and reservoir structure. It can only be applied to people with black or brown straight hair.
DHI hair transplant
This technique is also known as channelless planting technique. For this, a sharp-tipped tool similar to a pen and known as the Choi needle is used. The hair follicles collected from the donor area are placed in the chamber inside the device and transplanted directly with special tips without making any holes in the area where the hair will be transplanted. Thus, the time that the grafts are outside is minimized and they remain stronger.
Sapphire FUE (Sapphire FUE)
The channels where the hair follicles harvested in Sapphire FUE will be planted are opened with tips produced from real sapphire. This tool opens the channels in micro dimensions, providing minimal crusting of wounds and accelerating the healing process.
There is also the Gold technique in which the devices used in hair transplantation are made from gold.
Advantages of the FUE technique
Since only the hair follicles are taken one by one without incision, it leaves no trace. Only white marks remain in the area where the hair follicles are taken, and these are not noticeable from the outside when the hair grows.
More hair follicles can be collected in a shorter time and more hair follicles can be planted in the area to be transplanted.
Since there is no surgical procedure, it is not necessary to wait long between sessions if additional sessions are to be performed. It can be applied every 1 day depending on the patient's condition.
The grafts taken from the donor area can also be used for moustache, eyebrow and beard transplantation.
After the hair transplant procedure, there is no pain or loss of tissue sensation in patients.
When will the hair grow after hair transplantation?
After 3 to 6 months, new hair starts to grow normally. The final result is observed after about 12 to 18 months.
What should be considered in hair transplantation?
Hair transplantation is a serious surgical application and the surgeon and the hospital should be investigated very well to minimize the risks. The surgeon's experience, team, medical devices used, hygiene and conditions of the hospital are extremely important in the successful implementation of this procedure.
Before a hair transplant
When the hair transplant surgery is decided, the things that the person should pay attention to are:
Do not smoke and drink alcoholic and caffeinated beverages 1 week before the hair transplant surgery.
If you are taking heart, sugar or blood pressure medication, definitely tell your doctor.
Do not use anticoagulant drugs such as aspirin 2 weeks before surgery. Do not use multivitamins containing B vitamins and vitamin E for 1 week before they may increase bleeding.
Before surgery, wash your hair and use gel, spray, etc. do not use chemical products.
Since hair transplantation is a long process, you can come to the surgery on a full stomach.
If sedation will be given during surgery, since the effect may last 24 hours, arrange for someone to take you from the clinic.
When coming to the surgery, wear button-up clothes such as a shirt, cardigan.
After a hair transplant
It is necessary to be very careful until the transplanted hair follicles attach to their new places for 15 days after the operation. Things to do are:
Do not wash your hair for three days and do not touch water, especially on the transplanted area. During the washing process, gently wash your hair with your fingertips using the shampoo and lotion recommended by your doctor. (Your doctor will do the first wash.)
After washing, dry your hair gently with a towel, try not to use a blow dryer. If you have to use it, do not put the machine too close to your head and do not use hot air.
Avoid sports that will hit the head area, such as football. The transplanted area should be protected against all kinds of trauma, especially in the first 2 weeks.
Use a hard and small pillow to avoid damage to the transplanted hair follicles while sleeping. Lie on your back as much as possible.
Try to wear buttoned clothes for a while. When removing clothes such as sweaters, the planted area may be damaged.
You can use a hat to protect your hair from external factors such as sun, rain and dust.
Stay away from environments such as sea, bath, sauna.
In general, crusting in the areas where hair transplantation is performed end after 10 days. If the crusting continues for more than 15 days, consult your doctor.
Will the transplanted hair fall out after the transplantation?
In general, the transplanted hair falls out frequently after a few weeks and this process is called Shock Shedding, but then (after about 4 months) permanent hair starts to grow.