For decades, surgeons have been able to perform non-extensive operations called skin grafts to cover permanent scarring and blemishes on people’s skins. During a skin graft, skin is usually taken from non-afflicted areas of the body and grafted over the problem area.
This same principle is applied during the surgical procedure, the hair transplant. During a hair transplant, people who are balding or who have difficulty growing hair on their heads may have skin patches which contain hair follicles from other body parts grafted onto their heads.
Follicular Unit Transplantation, the clinical name for hair transplants, is carried out in two ways:
1. Individual follicles from the donor portion of the patient’s skin are removed one at a time, under anaesthesia, and reinserted into the bald scalp area. Because this type of hair transplantation uses individual follicles and not skin, it leaves no scarring.
2. Strip harvesting is the second method. During this treatment, strips of skin are removed from non-afflicted areas and transplanted onto the damaged areas. This method does cause scarring and demands a considerably longer recovery period.
No matter which method of follicular unit transplantation you receive, hair growth will follow your biological hair growth and loss cycle. For most people, hair growth from newly transplanted grafts takes three to four months, although it could take up to six months. The only pain felt during hair transplants tends to be the initial injection of the localised anaesthesia, although some patients may experience a tugging or pulling sensation during the surgery. Since the surgeries are performed with the patients fully conscious, surgeons can be alerted if the pain is too discomforting.