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What are Hair Transplants? An Introduction to the Process of Hair Transplantation
Hair loss is a difficult thing to deal with. Men and women both face hair loss due to many reasons – illness, genes or trauma. Hair transplants are an effective way of coping with hair loss and baldness. Here is an introduction to this cosmetic treatment – the process, risks involved and post-procedure care required.
Definition and Description of Hair Transplants
According to the book, The Youth Equation: Take 10 Years Off Your Face, hair transplantation “uses the patient’s own hair to fill in thinning areas on the scalp or even in the eyebrows”. Hair loss can be unnerving for both men and women, leading to feelings of low self-esteem and inferiority. Hair transplantation is an effective, though expensive, hair loss treatment which can help improve appearance and reduce the effects of male or female pattern baldness.
For this cosmetic treatment to be carried out, patients must have relatively thick hair on the sides or back of the scalp. The process involves taking the patient’s own hair from a part of the scalp which still has hair and then, reinserting those hairs into tiny holes or slits made in the front of the scalp. According to The Youth Equation, hair transplantation is, “the best treatment for pronounced hair loss in women.”
The Hair Transplant Process
The transplantation process takes place under the effect of local anesthesia. A hair transplant surgeon removes the hair from an area of thick growth to the bald spots. Patients experience very little to no pain and do not require hospitalization.
The process begins with a thorough cleaning of the scalp after which the hair transplant surgeon numbs the area with normal hair growth. A portion of the hairy scalp is removed and kept aside while the scalp is sewn closed. Using a sharp blade and a magnifying lens, small groups of hair or individual hairs are, then, taken out from the detached scalp.
Next, the bald area of the scalp is cleaned and numbed and then, tiny holes are made with the help of small needles. Finally, the hair that had been extracted from the detached scalp are inserted into these tiny holes.
Choosing a Hair Transplant Surgeon
Since the success of the hair transplant procedure depends upon the capability of the surgeon, it is important to choose a surgeon with great care. Drs. Harris and Marritt (The Hair Replacement Revolution), strongly recommend choosing a surgeon who performs hair transplant procedures exclusively. Another good way of finding hair transplant surgeons is to talk to people who have already had a hair transplant since that will allow a patient to actually see the results.
Hair Transplantation Risks and Post-Procedure Care
While the transplant does not require any hospitalization, it does have a few risks associated with any surgical procedure – bleeding, infection and scarring. There are also the chances that the transplanted hair may not look as good as one had wanted it to. Other than that, according to The Hair Replacement Revolution, there are rare cases where the hair transplant may not work – the hair may fall out or not grow at all.
Once the transplant has been completed, patients maybe required to take strong painkillers to reduce the soreness in the scalp and antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs. Also, patients have to wear a surgical dressing on their scalp for a day or two. The replaced hairs are permanent and require no special care and once the inflammation and soreness has subsided, patients will not need any other long-term care.
Although the procedure is expensive, it does help to regain a full head of hair and provides a much-needed confidence boost. Jon Gosselin of Jon and Kate Plus 8 is probably the best example of a celebrity hair transplantation. As with any other surgical procedure, patients considering hair transplants must discuss risks and options with a health care professional.