The hair loss in permanent and will not grow back without intervention. Hair transplants are the only permanent true remedy for pattern baldness and other types of permanent hair loss.
For thousands of people around the world, hair loss is a fact of life. Especially, as you get older. There has been very little in terms of treatment for permanent hair loss. Despite the claims of many products on the market, the hair simply will not regrow once it has been gone for a while.
There are many reasons people are heading to Turkey for a hair transplant, almost 60,000 every single year, and at such a low price we can understand this motivation. But let’s take a moment to look at the science behind the procedure, why hair loss happens, and why the innovative new procedures are changing the game in terms of getting the best results.
New treatments and tools are making all the difference and are only available at certain clinics
Providers like Capilclinic.uk are leading the way in new innovation. Take for example their FUE ZAFIRO treatment. This takes sapphire crystals and uses them to open microchannels with more accuracy than the traditional FUE technique.
FUE, or Follicular Unit Extraction is carried out using a punch or a drilling instrument, either manually or using a machine. This technique does not leave a scar in the donor area, which is vital for patients who typically like to wear their hair shorter, and do not want to grow their hair long to cover scarring. Recover is also a lot quick than removing strips of skin.
The punch used is only around 0.6 to 0.8 mm in diameter, so the micro-scars left afterwards heal very quickly, usually disappearing after a week.
The removal technique is tricky, and needs the hand of an expert to do it correctly. Hair may look like it grows closely together, but deeper under the skin, the hair diverge more, this means the growth is not linear and during extraction the surgeon needs to be able to follow the growth of the hair at an angle in order to withdraw the follicle properly.
This technique is great for those who only have a small area of hair loss to fill, or need to return to normal activity very quickly. It is also great for grafts in areas such as a beard.
The removal of the hair is repeated thousands of times. The punch enters the skin with a twist, after threading over the emerging hair. It carefully follows the direction of the hair through the dermis and epidermis. The unit is then removed very carefully using a pair of precision forceps.
The removed hairs are placed in order of the number of follicles that make up each follicular unit, and then allowed to rest in a solution of physiological serum or lactated Ringer until the recipient site is ready to receive them.
Small openings are made in the recipient site, and each unit place carefully in the space to ensure the greatest density of hair in the end result, to make it look as naturally as possible. It is important to consider the implantation line, the graft’s density and the hair growth direction.
What happens during the surgery itself?
Firstly the donor area will be shaved and cooled and a numbing agent applied. This will allow administration of anaesthetic to the area with as little pain as possible. This is local anaesthetic, the patient stays awake throughout the procedure, which can take 5-7 hours. The local anaesthesia lasts around 12 hours.
During the procedure the patient will be lying face down, or on their side to allow access to the access, until the implantation phase when the patient is moved to a semi-sitting position. Once finished, it is time to start recovery.
Recovery is quick and easy
The donor area will be bandaged, however the recipient area with new hair will not be. It is very important that nothing touches the hair during the first 24 hours, when the graft is at its most vulnerable. It can’t even touch the pillow while sleeping.
The bandage on the donor area is removed 24 hours after the procedure, and does not need any additional special care. There should not be a lot of pain afterwards, but small amounts of painkillers can help ease any discomfort. On some occasions there may be a little swelling around the eyes afterwards, but it doesn’t last that long.
After that you should be able to resume normal activities after 3 days, and be ready to travel home, just avoid anything too strenuous for the first month. After 3 days you can also begin washing the new hair.
The washing is important to stop crusting around the new hair shaft, which could cause the newly placed follicles to be lost during the first 7 to 10 days. This washing can take a long time, almost an hour.
First a moisturising and softening lotion should be applied 45 minutes before washing. Then using a neutral shampoo (baby shampoo will work), washing it gently away with warm, low pressure water.
This needs to be done at least once a day. From 5 days onwards you can gradually start to apply gentle pressure to the scalp while cleaning. All clots and scabs should have disappeared by day 10. Do not try to remove any scabs yourself. They will come away naturally. It will be hard to tell that you have had a hair transplant at this stage.
During the first month almost all of the transplanted hair will fall out. This is a normal part of the hair growth lifecycle. Under the skin the hair follicle cells are taking root and preparing to grow new hair. This is why it can take a few months to see the final result. During month three, post op, the new hair will begin growing and will be quite thin and maybe even curly, getting stronger and straighter over time. After 8 months, you will be almost at the final result.