How does hair transplant work?

Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that involves moving hair follicles from one part of the body (usually the back or sides of the scalp, where hair is genetically resistant to balding) to another part of the scalp where hair is thinning or has been lost. The primary goal is to restore hair in areas affected by hair loss or baldness.

The most common hair transplantation techniques are Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). Here’s an overview of how each technique works:

  1. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT):

    • Donor Area: In FUT, a strip of skin with hair follicles is surgically removed from the donor area (usually the back or sides of the scalp), where hair is dense.
    • Follicle Dissection: The strip is then dissected under a microscope into individual follicular units, which consist of one to four hairs each.
    • Recipient Area: Tiny incisions are made in the recipient area (where hair is thinning or balding) where the hair will be transplanted.
    • Graft Placement: The dissected follicular units are carefully implanted into the recipient sites. The surgeon pays attention to the natural direction and angle of the existing hair for a more natural appearance.
  2. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE):

    • Donor Area: Instead of a strip, individual follicular units are directly extracted from the donor area using a small, circular punch tool.
    • Recipient Area: Similar to FUT, tiny incisions are made in the recipient area.
    • Graft Extraction and Placement: Each follicular unit is individually extracted and then transplanted into the recipient sites. FUE leaves small, round scars that are less noticeable than the linear scar from FUT.

Regardless of the technique used, the success of a hair transplant depends on various factors, including the surgeon’s skill, the quality of the donor hair, and the patient’s overall health. The transplanted hair usually sheds within a few weeks after the procedure, but the follicles remain dormant for a few months before new hair starts to grow. The final results can take several months to a year to become fully apparent.

It’s important to note that not everyone is a suitable candidate for a hair transplant, and a thorough consultation with a qualified surgeon is necessary to determine eligibility and discuss realistic expectations. Additionally, post-operative care and adherence to the surgeon’s instructions are crucial for a successful outcome.