What is a Hair Transplant? - A guide to Hair Transplant Surgery
As you might have guessed a ‘hair transplant’involves removing hair from one part of the scalp and inserting this into another area.
Description of the procedure
That is a simplistic way of putting it so here is a more detailed explanation:
Male pattern baldness results in hair being lost from the front and the top of the head. This leaves hair around the back of the head, just above the ears in a ‘horseshoe’ pattern.
Hereditary is largely responsible for this loss in which an over production of a male hormone called dihydrotestosterone or DHT, attacks the hair follicles which prevents vital nutrients getting to the hair and stops further growth. It is the hair follicles themselves which determine baldness and not where they are located on the scalp. You will have areas of hair which are termed ‘balding-resistant’. These hairs are located on the back and sides of your head and resemble a ‘fringe’ or ‘horseshoe’ pattern which remains in spite of this hair loss. These hairs follow the hair growth cycle as normal.
These healthy hairs are removed in a series of ‘grafts’(groups of hairs) and implanted into the bald areas. The idea is that these new hairs will start to grow and as normal.
Basically, your scalp can be divided into two areas:
- The donor area – the fringe with the healthy hairs
- The recipient area – the bald area which will receive the new donor hairs.
Hair which is placed in the recipient area will not be vulnerable to male pattern baldness. It will look and behave in exactly the same way as the hair in the fringe or donor area.
This is called ‘donor dominance’.
Some people find that they require more than operation to achieve their desired results.
The success of this procedure depends upon the type of baldness (what ‘type’on the Hamilton-Norwood Scale), the likely progression of your baldness, the texture of your hair (thin, curly etc) and the contrast between the colour of your hair and your skin.
If you have thick, curly hair then you will probably get a better result than someone with fine, straight hair. Plus if you have a mild degree of hair loss, as determined by the Hamilton-Norwood Scale, for example a Type 3 or less, then you are more likely to have greater coverage than someone of a higher type.
Another factor is that of the number of grafts or ‘follicular units’and sessions required. A high number of units will help towards a better result as will two or more operations (known as ‘sessions’).
However much depends upon the extent of the hair loss. If there is not enough donor hair then you could be left with areas of new hair growth alongside bald patches which will look strange.
What needs to be understood is that a hair transplant involves re-arranging hair rather than creating new hair. The procedure removes hair from one part of your scalp and places it in another.
It is not a ‘miracle cure’ but it does guarantee very good results.
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- Glossary for Hair loss
- Hair Transplant Surgery
- What is a Hair Transplant?
- Do I need a hair transplant?
- Preparing for your Hair Transplant
- The day of your Hair Transplant
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- Female Hair Transplant
- Finding a Hair Transplant Clinic
- Hair Transplant Surgery Methods
- Costs of Hair Transplants
- Hair Transplant FAQs
- Hair Transplant Glossary