Why do we need a hair transplant?
Our hair is one of the most eye-catching elements of our body at first sight. While our hair differs from others’ in terms of quality, characteristics, color, and length, we all do our best to ensure that our hair looks distinctive and nice by styling and combing it in different ways.
The color, style, and length of our hair give hints regarding our stance towards life, our style, tastes, and inclinations. While a hairy head is identified with youth, hair thinning makes us appear older.
The person who experiences hair thinning feels socially and culturally incompetent and loses self-confidence. As a result, these negative feelings have a negative impact on every aspect of the individual’s life. That is exactly why our hair matters for us.
With all the negative impacts it brings, 50% of 50-year-old men experience the problem of hair thinning. In order to resolve this problem, individuals usually resort to various treatment options for many years. Unfortunately, medical treatments cannot grow back the lost hair, and in the modern world, the treatment known to be the most effective against hair thinning is hair transplant.
History of hair transplant techniques
First hair transplant operations were commenced in the 1940s. With the development of the Follicular Unit Technique in 1998, hair transplant began to give a natural and aesthetical appearance, and the foundations of modern hair transplant were laid. In 2003, the FUE method was defined –in which hair follicles are individually extracted- and defined as the golden standard of hair transplant.
Modern hair transplant operations
To make a short description, hair transplant operation consists of extracting hair follicles from the back of the scalp and inserting them on the sites of hair thinning. It may be described as a sort of relocation operation, too.
The hair on the posterior scalp consists of donor dominant hairs which have the ability for growing for a lifetime. These follicles do not lose their capacity of growing hair after being planted on the sites of hair thinning. The dominant donor site comprises the scientific foundation of hair transplant.
Any individual with an adequate amount of donor hair follicles on the posterior scalp is a suitable candidate for hair transplant. While many of the patients who experienced hair thinning did not qualify as suitable candidates for hair transplant in the past, almost everybody who has a hair loss problem can have a hair transplant operation today thanks to the development of modern techniques and the developing perception of hair transplant as a sort of art.
Nowadays, the purpose of FUE hair transplant is not limited to the growth of hair from the transplanted hair follicles; a natural-looking result is aimed, too. Nobody wants it to be apparent that they have undergone a hair transplant operation.
With the great breakthroughs that took place within the last few years, the procedures that resulted in a patched appearance, an appearance that resembled paving stones or looked like a grass head were replaced by transplantation of follicles containing a single hair shaft, and micro- and mini-graft procedures.
Use of gentler and thinner hair follicles and development of more sophisticated, novel surgical equipment has made it easier for surgeons to perform successful hair transplantations specific to the individual, which result in a natural appearance.
Use of those follicles containing a single hair shaft gives a natural and smooth transition at the hairline. Creating a new hairline always requires surgical experience and artistic capabilities. If you observe a person who does not experience hair thinning, you will easily realize that the hairline consists of very thin and gentle hair shafts, it does not continue as a straight line and the hair follicles get thicker towards the front part.
The side effects of modern hair transplant methods include mild pain and discomfort following the operation, and in rare cases, a mild swelling in the eye contour area and red spots and scabs on the recipient site that last about a week may be seen. Bleeding, infection or scars are almost never experienced. Modern hair transplantation surgery is a surgical operation which is comfortable for the patient, which gives predictable results and satisfies the patient.
Hair loss is an ongoing process that takes a lifetime. If the hair loss does not stop and if the person desires to have denser hair, repeated hair transplantations can give the desired result. A great number of hair follicles are obtained within a single session by modern hair transplantation techniques; therefore a smaller number of operations are required in order to achieve the desired result.
What does hair transplant mean?
In the broadest sense, hair transplant comprises the epidermal extraction of hair follicles genetically resistant to balding from that zone of the posterior scalp between the ears, and the epidermal transplantation of these follicles on the anterior scalp where hair is expected to grow.
Does hair transplant give permanent results?
Hair transplant operation gives permanent results. The hair follicles transplanted in the operation are genetically resistant to the impact of testosterone that triggers hair loss. The transplanted hair survives on the transplantation site for a lifetime. If the transplanted hair would later be lost, it would not make sense to have hair transplantation.
What is actually transplanted in hair transplantation; the hair follicles or the hair shafts?
Hair follicles (follicular unit) are transplanted in hair transplantation. Hair follicles (follicular unit) are anatomic structures that contain single, double, triple or more hairs. As these structures show anatomical integrity, using hair follicles (follicular units) in hair transplantation contributes to a natural, aesthetical and efficient result.
Which part of the scalp functions as the donor site in hair transplant?
Hair follicles (follicular unit) are harvested from the posterior scalp between the ears where hair is especially dense and resistant to shedding. Therefore the transplanted hair does not shed and a permanent result is attained with hair transplantation.
What do those numbers mentioned in hair transplant represent?
The amount to be transplanted in hair transplantation represents the number of hair follicles. Regarding the hair shafts, the number of hair shafts may exceed twice the number of hair follicles. In this sense, offering the patient a number for hair shafts before the hair transplantation can be confusing. Considering that each hair follicle (follicular unit) contains more than one hair shaft, transplantation of 3000 hair follicles means that 8000 to 10,000 hair shafts are actually being transplanted.