Some cases of hair loss require a hair graft to recover the lost hair. Demand for this technique is on the rise, so much so that according to some specialists, it has tripled in recent years.
There are certainly numerous factors to explain such an increase.One is that the procedure is no longer a male thing.Increasingly natural results has encouraged women to undergo this type of surgery.According to some experts, women now represent 30% of all clients, which would have been inconceivable a few years ago.
Another reason to explain the increase in demand for hair grafts is that it is a simple operation, producing no minimal discomfort and no need for hospitalisation.
Furthermore, so-called ‘doll hair’ is a thing of the past, as hair grafts now use the client’s own hair.This means that, as well as producing more natural results, there is no risk of rejection.
In addition to these factors, hair grafts can now also be carried out at any time of year.However, during the first weeks, it is advisable to avoid getting sun on the area of the transplant.
Along with the above arguments, a further reason why this procedure has been in such high demand in recent years is that, as well as on the head, hair grafts can now be performed on areas such as the eyebrows and on patchy beards.
In this post, Dra. Gilene Durán, a specialist in trichology and hair loss medical treatment at Nordetia Clinics, explains everything you need to know if you want to have a hair graft.We suggest you keep reading…
What is a hair graft?
It is minimally invasive surgery carried out under local anaesthetic.It basically consists of performing a transplant from a donor area, which would be the occipital zone, where the client normally has hair, to an area of hair loss.People who undergo hair grafts normally have problems of male-pattern baldness, or areas of hair loss secondary to trauma, a burn, a scar and so on. It is usually performed on the scalp, with the idea that the micrograft regenerates the hair in the area of hair loss.
The FUE technique, the state-of-the-art treatment for baldness and hair loss
This is currently the most advanced technique there is.Just one session is required to achieve the desired results in the treated area.If another area needs to be treated, you need to wait 6 to 8 months before undergoing the second operation.It is completely feasible to have a hair graft in the brow area for example, and then another to cover the crown, but the time the specialist sets between operations must be respected.The procedure takes about 7 hours for 3,000 follicular units.The results are visible after 8 months.
It is performed by extracting follicular units follicle by follicle from the donor area (under local anaesthetic), after which incisions are made in the recipient area.Finally, the implantation is carried out, also follicle by follicle.This is a minimally invasive surgical technique performed under local anaesthetic and on an outpatient basis, which reduces surgical risk.The client’s recovery afterwards is fairly quick and painless, so they can return to their usual routine almost immediately.
What anaesthetic is used for hair grafts?
It is performed under local anaesthetic.It is similar to a dental procedure.The first pricks in the donor area are the only ones the client will feel.There is no discomfort after that, as the zone is anaesthetised.The only thing the client will feel is that they are undergoing treatment, as with a dental procedure.
Does a hair graft require hospitalisation?
It is an outpatient procedure, so does not require hospitalisation.In the first year, the client will receive postoperative assessments.
How long does a hair graft take?
It is carried out in a single day, taking about 6 to 8 hours, depending on the number of follicular units that need to be transplanted. In some cases, such as clients who might have two areas of treatment, i.e. hair loss at the brow and the crown, two operations are recommended, the first to cover one zone and the second to cover the other.
When do you start to note the results of a hair graft?
The results are visible after 8 months; however, the definitive results appear after a year.
Can hair grafts be carried out on both men and women?
Yes.In both cases, there is usually an initial visit to determine the cause of hair loss, identify whether there is an underlying disease and recommend other treatments, where necessary.Whatever the case, both men and women are candidates for hair grafts, as long as they have a donor area.
When is it advisable to have a hair graft?
A hair graft can be performed as soon as the client notices a lack of hair in a given area, such as a receding hairline or hair loss on the crown; there’s no need to reach the point of baldness, with obvious hair loss, you can have one when you notice lack of density.At our centre, we see clients of different ages.The youngest are aged between 23 and 25.
Does a hair graft require any kind of preparation?
Yes, ideally there is an initial visit, a medical history is taken, conditions associated with the cause of hair loss are identified and, in most cases, a treatment is required to help improve and prolong the results.This will depend on the specific characteristics of each client, and the type of problem they have.
What is the best time of year to have a hair graft?
There is no ‘best time of year’ for a hair graft.For work reasons, some people prefer the operation in the summer, while others prefer to do so in the winter.The important thing the client needs to bear in mind is that, from the moment the surgery is over, for the next 3 to 4 weeks they should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, swimming pools, the sea, saunas, use of caps, helmets and hats.
When can the client return to their normal daily life after surgery?
Immediately, as recovery in the postoperative period is immediate with the FUE or ‘hair by hair’ technique.The day after the operation, the client does not usually experience discomfort, although there might be some mild swelling in the area of the brow or eyelids, which lasts 2 to 3 days and clears up on its own.