Hair transplant procedures have come a long way from the unnatural looking hair plug procedures of yesteryear. When proven surgical hair restoration techniques are administered by an experienced surgeon, modern hair transplants are virtually indistinguishable from a natural head of hair.
To help demystify modern hair restoration procedures, take a look at this infographic.
Step 1: Consultation
- Evaluate hair loss location and extent of loss
- By understanding how much hair has been lost, the doctor will have a good idea of how much hair will need to be grafted, where it should be implanted, and how many procedures may be necessary.
- Decide on best strategy for grafting
- Depending on the the extent of hair loss and the patient’s personal preferences, the doctor will choose the most appropriate grafting procedure.
Step 2: Pre-procedure preparation
- Demark the area that will receive the hair transplants
- This important stage is where the new hairline is “designed” with input from the patient and with the experience of the surgeon. The area that will receive the grafts is drawn for reference during the transplantation process.
- Numbing medication and a Mild sedative is given
- No general anesthesia is necessary during the procedure – only numbing medication (local anesthesia) is administered to the patient, similar to what is used by dentists. A mild oral sedative can be provided to help calm the patient if needed.
Step 3: Graft extraction
- Hair is cleaned and disinfected
- A clean and disinfected area makes it easier to safely extract the grafts.
- Grafts are extracted via two different methods:
- Strip method
- A strip of skin with healthy follicles is surgically removed from a concealable area, usually the back of the head.
- The incision is painlessly closed with sutures or staples.
- FUE method
- Groupings of follicles are removed by punching small holes in the surface of the donor scalp.
- These shallow punch holes are distributed evenly across the donor area leaving tiny scars.
- Strip method
Step 4: Graft implantation
- Grafts are prepared under microscopes to become “follicular units” that are ready for implantation.
- Each follicular unit contains a group of 1 to 4 healthy, living follicles.
- Hundreds or thousands of these follicular units are implanted in the demarcated area.
- Initial procedure
- Graft extraction and implantation sites mostly heal after about a week
- Hair will grow from the implantation sites for about four weeks and then go into a sleep phase
- By the fourth month new hair will begin to grow