WHAT IS HAIR RESTORATION?
Hair restoration is a treatment or series of treatments used to restore a person’s hair loss. Hair Restoration, sometimes called Hair Replacement, can be achieved through specialized medication or a medical procedure. This procedure is usually a localized surgery in which a small graft of healthy hair growing scalp (top layer of skin) is grafted into an area of the scalp where a bald spot is present. Hair Restoration can be complimented with medications that aid in hair growth. Any region of the head or body parts that are capable of growing hair can be used in this procedure with the support of a skin graft; however, the back of the head is preferred in most circumstances. The operation is considered to be one of the safest elective procedures and rejection rates for these types of skin grafts are low. Like any surgery Hair Restoration does contain some risks more specifically in the post-op and recovery period. Although Hair Restoration is relatively quick and an outpatient procedure, a follow up appointment is required for successful hair growth and lowering the risk of infection. Your physician will go through the risks associated with this procedure in more detail.
WHO PERFORMS THIS PROCEDURE?
A medical doctor and specialized surgeon perform the skin graft procedure on the body part of your choosing. A hair restoration specialist can also prescribe medications for a non-surgical method to help the hair growth process. These practitioners are professionally trained and are dedicated to the art of replacing hair and improving the quality of life of each of their clients. These doctors have custom facilities, equipment, and trained staff that can facilitate each client’s specific needs and protect each patient’s privacy. The procedure is an out-patient treatment and can be completed within a few hours. Be advised that the majority of these facilities do not participate in insurance coverage plans. Financing may be available upon qualification.
The Strip Harvesting Technique is one of two popular treatments to remedy hair loss through surgery, it involves removing a large strip of skin from the back of the head and dividing it into follicular units which are then grafted onto the affected area in groups of 4 to 6 follicles at a time. Follicular Unit Transplantation is the second method which involves micro surgery of 4 follicle “clusters” that are taken directly from the donor site (can include hair from the chest and legs) which are then skin grafted into the balding area in hundreds of micro insertion points. A series of these grafts can achieve the natural look of hair and will heal in few weeks as part of the natural hair growth process. A plethora of prescription medications and over the counter medications are also available for hair restoration. Your physician will suggest a treatment that suits you best.
Hair thinning, or “Shock Loss”, can be a common side effect of having a Hair Restoration procedure and has been temporary for the majority of cases. Patches of bald spots can also occur due to the scalps loss of fifty to a hundred hairs that naturally drop off each day. Swelling of the scalp or forehead can also occur which can be alleviated by medication during the healing process. Scratching must be avoided at all cost during the healing process; the urgency to scratch the transplanted area can be great.
Scratching can cause scabbing of the transplanted area which can eventually infect and damage the new hair root. An infection of the hair transplant would result in a failed transplantation or worse. To resolve this most doctors prescribe a shampoo treatment to not only fight against infection of the scalp but also provide a scrub to relieve the uncomfortable itching of the affected area.
The Shampoo is also important to prevent the loss of new hair follicles in the critical first seven to ten days of post operative care. Due to the trauma to the scalp that occurs during the surgery most of the new hair will fall out within the first ten days. If there are no complications new hair will begin to sprout within two to three months from the transplanted area of scalp. Hair will then grow normally and thicken. In extreme cases, bald patches could develop which is called the “incomplete coverage side effect” in the following months after the initial procedure due to the large amount of surface area covered and because of the complex patterns required for natural-looking hair. This can be remedied by an additional transplantation in the areas that develop. Some patients compliment the surgical method with medical drug treatments that may alleviate the natural bald spots that may occur. Additional procedures can be repeated until a natural head of hair appears. No deaths have ever been reported from this type of procedure directly.
Hair Restoration has become a common technique to offset the aging process and naturally occurring hair loss. Though men are prime candidates for this procedure, there are also conditions that can cause balding in females allowing the chance for women to enjoy the many benefits of surgical hair restoration. Surgical Hair Restoration is a permanent solution and can provide a longer term and more satisfactory result than medications can.