Though hair transplants have come a long way, and are constantly improving, it is fully understandable to question whether they actually work. Considering the amount of time and money a hair transplant client dedicates to have the procedure done, it is only valid to be concerned with how successful hair transplants really are.
During a hair transplant, hair in the form of a graft or follicle is extracted from one part of the scalp, called the donor site, and then inserted into another part of the scalp, the recipient site. The doctor will use microsurgical, often custom made, tools to create tiny slits where the transplanted hairs will grow. The body will “accept” this transplanted hair as it is the body’s own hair. Transplanted hair is not likely to be rejected as it is not foreign, and will remain its original characteristics, including color, thickness and quality. Eventually, the transplanted hair will function and grow just like any other hair on the scalp. To increase the chance of a completely successful transplant, clients should use only their own scalp hair and not hair from other parts of the body, as is not likely to grow as well.
Though rare, there is a tiny risk that the transplanted hair will not take root in its new location, and this is often due to dry or injured grafts. It is possible for grafts to dry out or get injured between extraction and insertion. An experienced doctor will take steps to minimize any injury to the grafts, and insure that as many grafts as possible are being used to their full potential.
Other factors that will affect the success of a hair transplant include following pre and post operative instructions given by the doctor. These instructions are very important and should be followed closely. Doing so will have a positive effect on the overall outcome of the hair transplant. Taking an oral hair loss medication such as Minoxidil or Finasteride, before, during or after a hair transplant can also positively influence the results, and slightly increase the amount of hair.
Though a hair transplant is an efficient procedure that most definitely works, results cannot be expected immediately. In the initial weeks and months following the hair transplant procedure, patience is needed, as the surgical incisions are healing and the transplanted hair might shed. The hair follicle itself remains and will produce new hair. It can take several months, sometimes up to one year for the hair transplant to reveal its final result. Until then, patience and positive thinking is needed. While it is safe to say that the vast majority of hair transplants do work, it is wise not to assume that any doctor can do the job. To ensure a successful hair transplant it is of utmost importance to choose a highly regarded hair transplant doctor with many years of experience.
Photo via Dr_Alan_Bauman