Are you planning on getting a hair transplant anytime soon? Then you may now be swimming in questions and tallying a list of concerns. Allow us to address seven important queries that most potential patients ask. We hope that this can enlighten and help you in your decision-making process.
At what age can I have surgery? When is young, “too young” for a hair transplant?
This has always been an ethical dilemma for hair transplants. Hair loss in men often starts at the frontal hairline. When the regression is obviously progressing is when the patient would start to ask for professional advice. However, approaching a frontal hairline reconstruction in younger patients should always be approached with caution and prudence.
The problem with hair transplant in a young person is that there is no solid idea of how much hair loss is going to occur over the next several years. This is why hair specialists advise patients to first undergo preventive therapy to see if the progression of the hair loss can be controlled by medications, LLLT or PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) therapy. You may have to wait for at least a year to see the results of the treatment.
However, this decision differs from doctor to doctor. Most surgeons do not recommend a hair transplant in patients younger than 23 years of age. The reason being that a definite hair loss pattern and degree of hair loss has not been established at that young age.
Is there a minimal amount of surgical hair restoration that can be done if my hair loss has not advanced yet?
Yes, there are hair transplant procedures that are done to cover small areas like scars on the scalp. Even though it is done rarely, but during these situations, the hair transplant surgeon use as little as 50-100 hair grafts all the way up to 3,000 grafts. However, if you are under 35 years of age with a noticeably receding hairline, there really is no minimum amount of work to consider. You will be committing yourself to more procedures in the future to create an aesthetically pleasing outcome. Potential patients should consider at this point that if you are now showing signs of hairline recession, what is going to happen to you tomorrow, the next month, or the next year?
You should be evaluated by a hair specialist or a hair restoration surgeon so that you can be informed or advised of all your options – medical, surgical or even doing nothing at this point in time. A personal consultation will also allow the surgeon to assess your case more carefully since each patient is unique. Your pattern of hair loss, current hair density, personal history of hair loss, and expected future hair loss based on your family’s history are all taken into consideration to address this matter alone.
What makes a natural-looking hairline?
A natural-looking hairline is where nobody ever comes up to you and says, “Wow, you had a great hair transplant”.
A natural-looking hairline is influenced by different factors like age, hereditary traits, and ethnicity. The surgeon’s expertise also plays an important role in ensuring that the new hairline will be suitable for the patient’s face and age.
Without a doubt, a natural-looking hairline is crucial to the success of surgical hair restoration. There is no technology, no matter how aggressively promoted, that can replace the skill and artistic ability of an experienced and reputable hair transplant surgeon. As the techniques advance, skilled surgeons should not only restore the previous appearance but also enhance it to make it look more aesthetically pleasing. Also remember that no two doctors, even with the same training, will produce the same results. A surgeon who is artistic and who has an understanding of proportions and aesthetic design can give you a better result. The devil is definitely in the details, so choose your surgeon wisely!
How can I avoid a pluggy look with a hair transplant?
A hair transplant that results in a pluggy look is a technical complication that caused by unskilled surgeons or hair technicians. It also stems from antiquated methods, but you can spare yourself from this trouble when you make an effort to find a hair restoration surgeon with the skill and artistic propensity.
A good outcome should go unnoticed by others. Therefore, research hair transplant surgeons extensively, and do not just pick anybody arbitrarily. Furthermore, modern techniques like the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) offer a better capacity to create natural-looking results. So, be sure to do your homework to achieve undetectable results!
How much time does it usually take for a hair transplant to show results?
Typically, no growth or very little growth can be seen before three months pass, since many of the hairs go into Telogen or the sleeping phase following surgery. It often takes 3-4 months to start growing. You can see about 60-70% of the results at the 6-month mark, while a full response can be noticed within 9-12 months. The best option would be to talk to the doctor who performed your procedure. Overall, patience is key.
Do you always have to shave before an FUE hair transplant?
In an FUE method, you will need to shave the donor site which is at the back of the scalp before your procedure. However, the good news is that the rest of the head doesn’t necessarily have to be shaved, especially in the hairline area. There is also no need for this if the recipient site is easily accessible.
If your hair is long enough at the back, you can camouflage your donor site. In fact, there are patients who are not able to tell their hair was even shaved. With the right hair length, it can be very discrete. Shaving the head may not be required, but some patients decide to cut their hair short to facilitate the procedure. However, this will depend on the surgeon’s approach. This is why you should express your concerns with your surgeon so you can both arrive at a treatment plan which you can be comfortable with.
Is FUE the best hair transplant technique?
The FUE technique isn’t necessarily the best – it’s just different. It is important that patients who are considering surgical hair restoration understand the unique differences between these two procedures.
The advantage with FUE is that there is no linear scar as is typical of FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation), but multiple minute scars that are generally not visible. This is suitable for individuals who want to wear their hair short. With FUE it is more about answering the question of how short do you want to wear your hair. However, you must expect that the cost of FUE is often three times the FUT hair transplant cost in Sydney.
The preference will depend on the patient. Both techniques are valuable, but the comparison of each technique and the criteria for each technique’s suitability is a complicated topic. But, you can discuss this extensively during a face-to-face consultation.
We hope that these questions were able to shed light on some of your concerns. For advice on your next step, talk to Dr. Daood of the Sydney Hair Transplant Clinic today. Whether you go for an FUE or FUT hair transplant in Sydney, we customize our approach to address your hair loss concerns. Book your consultation now, here.