Is a Hair Transplant Permanent?
Hair transplant surgery is very popular these days thanks to the outstanding results today’s world renowned surgeons are regularly producing. But are hair transplant results permanent? Does surgical hair restoration stop the progression of hair loss from continuing? How can one ensure they get the best, permanent results?
Surgical hair restoration is a process of moving hair follicles from one part of the scalp or body to another. Hair is taken from DHT (the hormone responsible for carrying out genetic hair loss) resistant areas such as the sides and back of the scalp or the body. This is referred to as the donor area. Follicular units (hair groupings of 1 to 4 hairs that occur naturally in the scalp) are harvested from these areas and implanted into tiny incisions made by the surgeon in the balding areas. Because of the principle of "donor dominance", these hairs, even when moved remain resistant to DHT. Therefore, it is permanent.
However, there are other reasons people lose hair and sometimes, due to illness, stress or other non-genetic conditions, hair on the sides and back of the scalp may be vulnerable to hair loss and thus, so is the transplanted hair. For example, a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy will likely lose all of their hair when undergoing treatment. However, many months after treatment, these hairs will typically grow back.
Additionally, while transplanted hair may be permanent, hair transplant surgery does nothing to stop the progression of female hair loss or male pattern baldness. Therefore, surgical hair restoration should be used in conjunction with medical treatments such as Propecia and Rogaine in order to maximize hair fullness and density.
Surgical hair restoration, regardless of the donor harvesting technique (FUE or FUSS) Is based on the principle of supply and demand. Unfortunately, nobody has enough donor hair to restore a full head of hair on a scalp with advanced baldness. However, by strategically placing follicular units where it makes the most difference, one can achieve a cosmetically pleasing result, making them look younger and feel more confident. This hair is permanent so it’s important to choose your surgeon wisely.
Selecting a Qualified Hair Transplant Surgeon
The skill and experience of hair transplant surgeons vary, as do their results. Thus, it is vital to research all physicians you are considering for surgery. Our hair restoration forum contains thousands of genuine patient reviews, photos, videos and more. Real men and women experiencing hair loss ask questions, share their results and discuss which surgeons are producing the best results. You are encouraged to participate by researching surgeons or getting your own very specific questions answered by veteran hair transplant patients and hair restoration physicians.
The Hair Transplant Network has made your job even easier by pre-screening and recommending only top hair restoration surgeons with a proven track record of producing the best results. All hair doctors recommended here have met demanding standard set by patients for patients.
Once you’ve selected a surgeon based on their skill and ability to produce excellent results, undergoing a preoperative assessment would be the next step. Here, the hair transplant surgeon will check the scalp including the donor area to determine if you are a candidate for surgery. They will also determine the cause of hair loss and which donor harvesting technique is likely ideal for the individual’s specific situation. The doctor and the patient should discuss both short term and long term goals, realistic expectations, whether medical treatment is necessary or appropriate and how many procedures it will take to meet a patient’s goals.
Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) or Strip Harvesting:
In this method, the surgeon will remove a strip of fibrous and fatty tissue from the donor area with a single blade scalpel and close it via the tricophytic closure technique using sutures or staples. Then, the strip will be slivered and follicular units will be dissected under microscopes by experienced nurses and technicians in preparation for implantation into the recipient area.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
In this donor harvesting technique, follicular units are extracted one by one from the donor area using one of many various extraction devices. The process is tedious and time consuming and can take a long time depending on the number of grafts being harvested. FUE has been considered ideal for smaller procedures however, many world renowned hair restoration surgeons have evolved the procedure and can successfully harvest and implant thousands of grafts in a single day with high growth yield.
Hair transplant surgery is as permanent as the hair on the sides and back of your scalp. There are always certain circumstances that could cause this hair to fall out in which case, the transplanted hair would not be permanent. Moreover, surgical hair restoration does nothing to stop the progression of genetic hair loss. However, most patients plan for the long term with the assistance of an elite hair restoration physician and enjoy their results for a lifetime.