As the infamous saying goes, hair is the crowning glory of an individual. It is considered normal to have shed around 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. Although hair loss is a physiological process there are several factors that will cause a concerning amount of hair loss:
- Medical conditions: thyroid problems, alopecia areata, which causes patchy hair loss, scalp infections such as ringworm and a hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania.
- The lack of proteins and vitamins, for instance, Biotin and Niacin as building blocks for hair growth will cause an imbalance rate in hair loss and new hair growth.
- Excessive washing, bleaching, brushing, heat styling and tying your hair for too tight.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy.
- Side effects from medications such as those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, gout, and high blood pressure.
- Radiation therapy to the head will eliminate normal and healthy follicles for new hair growth.
To overcome hair loss, aside from traditional methods using hair wigs with the quality of human hair, the beauty industry has since developed hair transplant treatment, FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant) and the new and improved FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). This procedure, like any transplant procedure, requires a donor and a recipient. In this context, the donor comes in the form of hair follicles taken from the back of the head as it is fuller and thicker while the recipient is at the balding site.
Follicular Unit Extraction
This method is highly recommended for hair transplant treatment because natural-looking hair growth is achieved better aside from better post-surgery management. Hair growth starts from the hair roots, also scientifically known as hair follicles. Hence, the 1st step in this technique involves making tiny punch incisions to remove individual hair follicles from the back of the head, followed by creating tiny holes in the area of your bald spot and adjacent area for receiving the hair transplant. For the final step, the surgeon will place the hundreds and thousands of donor follicles in the recipient site individually.
Although the surgery time for the FUE technique is long, this method has the aesthetic advantage of not leaving behind a perceivable long linear scar and advanced wound care is not necessary. The FUE method also lessens recovery time and post-transplant discomfort.
Hair transplant operation takes about 4-8 hours under local anaesthesia. Hair transplantation may be repeated if the area of baldness is big or if the patient wants thicker hair.
Are there any complications for FUE?
As for any surgery, there will be a number of minor and major complications. However, the risk is minimal if the procedure is done by medical board-certified surgeons. If it does occur, the side effects are minor and will only take days to weeks to recover.
Common postoperative complications include:
- Swelling of the scalp
- Asymmetrical hair growth
- Visible scarring
- Inflammation of follicles
- Hair graft dislodgement
- Reduced scalp sensation
What’s the recovery like for FUE?
After the surgery, you may be prescribed with several medications which will be taken for a few days :
- pain medication
- antibiotics to reduce your risk of infection
- anti-inflammatory medications to keep swelling down
- Medications to improve hair growth or prevent future hair fall
Your scalp will be bandaged for at least a day or two to ensure it is always sterile and no physical contact with your scalp in case of graft fallout or unintentional injury. Most people are able to return to work 2 to 5 days after the operation.
Within 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, the transplanted hair will fall out, but you should be able to notice new growth within 6 to 12 months. Most people will observe new hair growth 6 to 12 months after surgery.