Hair Restoration Options
No other feature influences one’s appearance so much as the presence of a ‘normal’ hairline. Many individuals will experience social and psychological distress due to hair loss sometime in their lives. The Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group offers a comprehensive consultation process and a variety of medical and surgical hair restoration treatment options for dealing with hair loss. A combination of hair restoration options may be used to produce the best results.
Medical hair restoration treatments include:
- 2% & 5% Topical Minoxidil Solution
- PRP Hair Therapy
Surgical hair restoration treatments include:
- FUT Hair transplant surgery
- FUE Hair transplant surgery
For those who are searching for a permanent, natural solution to hair loss, hair restoration surgery also known as Hair transplantation may be the only option! The type of hair restoration surgery chosen depends on the extent and pattern of hair loss, along with your individual situation, lifestyle and desires.
Our Hair Transplant Expert team at Elite Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Group, has extensive experience in the advanced technique of FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) including Micro-FUE Hair Transplant Surgery which restores hair without leaving the notorious hair transplant scars. We also offer FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) or Strip Surgery, as an alternative in rare cases.
Hair Transplant / Hair Loss Surgery
Surgical hair transplantation involves moving healthy hair follicles from the back and/or sides of the scalp (called the donor area) to areas that are thinning or bald on the front, top, or crown of the scalp (the recipient area). The hair transplant can consist of anywhere between several hundred to a few thousand grafts (each graft may contain 1-5 hair follicles), depending on and the patients’ hair loss classification and the amount of hair needed to fill in the balding areas. Once transplanted, the hair will continue to grow for a person’s lifetime.
Applications for hair transplantation include:
- Male Pattern Baldness (early or late thinning)
- Female Pattern Thinning or Hair Loss
- Camouflage scalp scars caused by accidental trauma or burns
- To thicken areas of hair loss and scarring following facelift procedures
Hair Transplant Techniques
Modern hair transplantation techniques have ability to transplant hair exactly as it grows in nature, creating totally natural new hair growth that is undetectable, even under close examination. Follicular units can be obtained from the donor area of the scalp by using two different techniques:
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) – this is the more traditional method in which a long, thin strip of tissue is removed from the donor area. The area is then sutured closed. Subsequently the strip is dissected, under special microscope, into 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-hair follicular units (grafts). FUT method leaves a linear scar in the donor area and requires a longer recovery period. Read more in our FUT section.
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) – this is the newer method in which follicular units (grafts) are removed one-by-one directly from a broad donor area, typically the back or sides of the scalp. Using a small, round cutting instrument guided by hand or robotic control, the individual grafts are obtained by punching tiny circular holes with 1mm-1.25mm in diameter, in the skin around the upper part of the follicle which is then extracted directly from the scalp. The small holes that remain are left open to heal. Recovery period is shorter following FUE as it leaves no linear scar. Read more in our FUE section. Micro-FUE Hair transplantation – is an advanced and more precise application of FUE hair transplantation. In this method the individual hair grafts (micrografts containing 1-3 follicular units) are harvested through micro punches less than 1 mm in diameter (typically 0.6-0.8 mm). This method is mainly used to restore the hair line as it requires more precision in order to achieve the most natural results.
Regardless of the method used to harvest the follicular units, the subsequent steps are essentially the same in FUT, FUE and MicroFUE. Hundreds to thousands of tiny circular incisions (needle-sized holes) are made in the thinning or bald recipient area, and the follicular unit grafts are then placed into them. This step of the procedure can take several hours or longer as it is the aesthetic arrangement of these individual follicular unit grafts that create the most possible natural results.
2-3 months following hair transplantation surgery, the follicles begin producing new hair which will be fully grown-in, or “mature,” after about one year.
Candidates for Hair Transplant Surgery
For the right patient, hair transplantation can significantly improve the appearance and the person’s general sense of well-being. However, it is important to understand that not everyone will benefit from hair transplantation. While each person should be evaluated on an individual basis, these are the general rules of thumb for the best candidates who can most benefit from hair transplantation:
- REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS – patients with realistic expectations on what can be accomplished and who understand that their hair loss might continue to progress even if they are taking medication to stop the progression.
- AGE – Men who have been balding for many years and who’s pattern has stabilised and are interested in just adding some hair to provide a more youthful appearance. Young patients (18-25) are usually not good candidates because they have recent hair loss which most likely will progress further. This can result in the person being dissatisfied with the results in the future.
- EXTENT OF HAIR LOSS – Men who have been losing their hair due to MPB for more than five years or who have progressed to a Norwood class 3 or above. Recent hair loss is best treated with medical hair restoration solutions. Men who are 1 or 2 on the Norwood hair loss scale should not be having a hair transplant.
- HAIR TYPE – The thicker and coarser your hair, the more density it will have and the better results you will have from a transplant. Wavy hair gives a more dense appearance than straight hair because it has more body.
- DENSITY – Density is defined as the number of hairs per unit of surface area and as may be expected, the higher the density in the donor site, the more hair available for current and future transplantation
- GENDER – Hair loss in men and women is usually different in appearance. Men have localised areas of thinning, while women have a diffuse thinning throughout their entire head. Most men are good candidates except for those with diffuse type thinning. Most women are not good candidates if they have diffuse thinning but some women do have localised areas of loss which do make them good candidates.
- Individuals who have lost hair due to trauma or burns
- Individuals who have lost hair due to other cosmetic procedures such as face-lifts.
It is important to understand that hair transplantation is not a cure for hair loss as it does not prevent the progression of genetic hair loss which will most likely continue – especially for those who only started losing their hair. On the other hand, medical hair restoration is used for prevention and is best started early. However, there are no medical or surgical benefits to having hair transplantation early, other than for cosmetic purposes.