Does hair transplant work?
Hair transplants are done to add more hair to an area on your head that may be thinning or balding. It’s done by taking hair from thicker parts of the scalp, or other parts of the body, and grafting it to the thinning or balding section of the scalp.
Simply put, a hair transplant takes hair you have and transfers it to an area where you don’t have hair. It’s typically taken from the back of your head, but can also be taken from other parts of your body.
Before starting a transplant, your surgeon sterilizes the area where the hair will be removed and numbs it with a local anesthetic. You can also request sedation in order to stay asleep for the process.
Your surgeon then performs one of two transplant methods: FUT or FUE.
FUT is sometimes known as follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS). To perform a FUT procedure, your surgeon follows these steps:
- The surgeon inserts hairs from the removed piece of scalp into the puncture holes. This step is called grafting.
- They then cover the surgical sites with bandages or gauze.
- Using a scalpel, the surgeon removes a piece of your scalp, generally from the back of your head. The strip size is typically about 6 to 10 inches long but can stretch from ear to ear.
- They close the area where the scalp was removed with stitches.
- Using a needle or blade, the surgeon makes small holes in your scalp where hair will be transplanted.
The specific number of grafts you receive depends on the:
- type of hair you have
- size of transplant site
- quality (including thickness) of hair
- hair color
To perform a FUE procedure, your surgeon takes these steps:
- They shave off hair on the back of your head.
- The surgeon then takes individual follicles out of the scalp skin. You’ll see tiny marks where each follicle was removed.
- As with the FUT procedure, the surgeon makes small holes in your scalp and grafts hair follicles into the holes.
- They then cover the surgical site with bandages or gauze.
The most common side effect is scarring, and this cannot be avoided with any procedure.
Other potential side effects include:
- crust or pus drainage around the surgical sites
- scalp pain, itching, and swelling
- inflammation of hair follicles
- losing sensation around the surgical sites
- visible areas of hair that don’t match the surrounding hair or are noticeably thinner
- continuing to lose hair if your hair is still balding