More and more people are resorting to operations to eliminate receding hairlines, especially hair transplantation in men has won special attention, of course, and women are resorting to hair transplantation, especially if we are talking about scars and there is no other solution to the problem. However, this procedure is not only expensive, but also has many pitfalls that you just need to know about if you decide to embark on the path of surgical intervention in your appearance.
The topic of hair transplantation has been developed for a relatively long time. It all started in Japan during World War II. Military doctor Soji Okuda helped people who received burns to the head and face to get rid of a cosmetic defect. To do this, he studied hair transplantation using grafts 1-0.5 mm in size. By the way, nowadays, hair is successfully transplanted with traumatic alopecia, when it is simply impossible to return the hair in any other way, for example, after accidents during eyebrow dissection. Another Japanese doctor, Hajime Tamura, was developing a technique for transplanting single-hair grafts. In 1952, Norman Orientreich introduced a new concept to the topic of hair transplantation. “Donor dominant”, the concept states that the transplanted hair retains the anatomical and physiological properties that were inherent to it in the donarian zone, i.e. if the hair did not fall out in the old place, then it will not fall out in the new one. However, the doctor worked with 4mm grafts and the results of such operations gave the effect of a doll’s head and did not look natural. Emmanuel Marritt in the 80s proposed a very time-consuming and time-consuming method of hair transplantation, which caused a lot of outrage at first, but soon replaced hair transplantation with 4 mm grafts. The micrografting method (0.8-1mm) gave good results and very soon gained popularity. At the end of the last century, American scientists Robert Bernstein and William Rossman put forward the concept of hair transplantation by follicular associations, which is now recognized as the “gold standard”, because it preserves the natural appearance of the hair cover as much as possible. At the same time, this method is very time-consuming and expensive. This method is called follicular compound extraction – FUE. Over time, it became possible to transplant hair from any part of the body, and a trichophytic closure technique was developed to close the wound on the donor site. Due to the fact that in the future the hair grows into a scar, it has become almost invisible.
During the development of hair transplant methods, scientists tried to use artificial hair, but they caused allergic reactions, constant itching and did not justify themselves, as well as follicles of other people, but they were rejected by the body and it was necessary to take immunosuppressants, which they also refused.
One of the most common areas from which follicles are taken for hair transplantation on the head is the occipital zone, where the hair density is 30% greater than the entire head. It is believed that in a healthy body, the hair in this area is resistant to hormonal changes, so the transplanted hair will grow for life.
It is possible to transplant from the body, but the hair on the body is thin, their maximum length is 1.5-2 cm, they often spin, while the hair on the head is even. Therefore, hair is used from this zone for “thickening”, and the bulk of the follicle is transplanted from the occipital zone. Also, body hair is often used to restore eyebrows and eyelashes, the main plus is that new eyebrows and eyelashes do not need to be constantly trimmed.
Today, all achievements in the field of hair transplantation are used, all methods of hair transplantation are combined to achieve maximum results, but each method has its own indications. Let’s take a closer look at the methods of hair transplantation.
Surgical methods of hair transplantation
According to the method of removing material from the donor zone, hair transplant methods can be divided into suture (Strip method or FUT) and seamless (FUE and HFE).
Suture methods of hair transplantation:
Strip method or FUT – follicular unit transplantation. This method involves cutting out an oblong area of skin (stripes, it is from this English word that the name of this method comes) with hair from the occipital or temporal zones. Then this flap is divided into grafts, i.e. small pieces, convenient for transplantation, which contain from 1 to 6 follicles. The whole operation lasts 3-4 hours, but the patient can go home on the same day, although the rehabilitation period is about 2-3 weeks. At this time, you can not visit baths and saunas, lift weights. The disadvantage of this method is the scar that remains in the place where the follicles were taken for transplantation. This scar is not visible at first, but over time it thickens and expands, which forces the wearer to wear long hair to hide it. Now they are doing repeated operations and transplanting hair on a scar or getting a tattoo. Two advantages of this method of hair transplantation: the price and the ability to transplant a large number of grafts at a time.
Transplantation of follicular units by means of their extraction (FUE – (Follicular units extraction). This method of hair transplantation is seamless, but it cannot be called completely non-surgical, because there is still a violation of the integrity of the skin. The donor material is collected using FUE-punches – mechanized hardware tools. Since they are wider in diameter than the follicles, the scars will still remain, but they will be almost invisible. Under local anesthesia, grafts are transplanted into micro-punctures or incisions. The whole operation takes 5-8 hours, it all depends on the zone.
HFE (Hand Follicul Extraction) is a technique that is identical to FUE, but the material is taken with small-caliber hand tools.
BHT (Body Hair Transplant) is a kind of FUE when donor hair is taken from the body.
Non-surgical methods of hair transplantation
As we have already found out, there are no completely non-surgical methods of hair transplantation, FUE is often called non-surgical, however, as we said above, it is seamless, but still involves a violation of the integrity of the skin.
When hair transplantation is used:
- with baldness,
- when restoring hair after burns, operations (unsuccessful face lifting, etc.), all kinds of scars,
- to restore eyebrows, beard and eyelashes,
- to restore hair density.
Preparation for transplantation
This process is quite long and involves many stages.
- 6 months before the operation, potassium channel activators (minoxidin, minoxidil, etc.) are prescribed to prevent further development of baldness.
- In 2 weeks, the use of minoxidin is canceled in order to avoid large blood loss during the operation.
- For 1 week before the operation, it is necessary to abandon the use of anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning drugs (aspirin, etc.)
- 2 days before the operation, it is necessary to give up alcohol.
- A blood test is given (to determine the level of hemoglobin and glucose, clotting, checking for hepatitis B and syphilis).
- An ECG is prescribed
After hair transplantation, potassium channel activators are also prescribed, which are designed to activate the transplanted follicles and help them settle into a new environment.
There is no unambiguous answer to the question whether it is worth transplanting hair, because everyone has their own reasons, and it is always worth weighing all the pros and cons. But we hasten to draw your attention to the fact that very often transplanted hair does not take root well and there is a need for a second hair transplant. The slope under which the hair was transplanted is very important, for the reason that if it does not coincide with the natural growth of the hair, then the new hair will look unnatural. Undoubtedly, in a situation when follicles in the problem area not, transplantation can be the only acceptable way out of the situation (scars, burns, perennial bald head), but still need to take into account the considerable invasiveness of these procedures, remember rehabilitation period after the operation (despite the fact that clinics shouting that you can on the same day to go home and go to work, it’s not without any pain and that the results of the operation are very visible – clotted blood in parts of the “planting” of hair, etc.).
Of course, it is worth considering
contraindications to hair transplantation:
- age up to 25 years. Before this age, it is still difficult to determine the area of hair loss, because in adolescence, metabolic processes are accelerated, which leads to an acceleration of all processes in the body, this also applies to hair loss (if there is such a problem). At this age, there is a high probability that baldness will take on an extensive scale.
- diabetes mellitus. With this disease, the risks of infectious diseases after surgery are high.
- insufficient amount of hair in the donor area.
- high blood pressure and problems with the cardiovascular system may also become a contraindication.
- skin diseases (except for the remission stage).