Hair Transplant

Latest update: April 19, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD

Details

Hair transplants, also known as hair restoration or hair grafting, involve the implantation of hair follicles from the back of the scalp into the thinning area in the front of the scalp. Losing 50-100 strands of hair a day is normal. However, excessive loss and a receding hairline can be causes of concern. These are usually caused by genetics.

During the procedure, doctors take hair follicles from other body parts, such as the back of the scalp and neck. They graft these follicles to the affected site. Hair transplants are usually performed on the scalp but can also be done on the beard and eyebrows. 

Successfully transplanted follicles continue to grow throughout life, but not all transplanted grafts survive. The results look natural and blend in with the rest of the remaining hair. Some slight scarring may be possible after the procedure.

Ideal candidates for hair transplant are patients in their late 20s or older with healthy areas of hair growth to use as the donor site. 

There are two main techniques used in hair transplant surgery: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).

During the FUT technique, doctors remove a strip of healthy skin and hair from the back of the scalp. They close the site with sutures that might leave a faint scar. They extract the follicles from this graft and then transplant them to the affected area.

FUE is a lengthier procedure. During this, doctors take many tiny, round grafts from the donor site and transplant each strand one at a time. The donor site needs to be shaved first before extraction. The harvested follicles will then be placed into the thinning area. This technique leaves tiny dotted scars, but the new growth will cover them over time. This method is suitable for candidates who need a large number of grafts. 

A hair transplant procedure can take up to 8 hours and is usually performed under a local anesthetic. Artas and NeoGrafts are devices used to help extract the grafts from the donor sites. These areas will heal within three days after the procedure, but the transplanted site will be slightly tender and swollen. Scabbing is normal and can last 6-7 days. Doctors recommend gently washing the hair with mild shampoo in the first five days. The transplanted hair will fall out 2-3 weeks later, but new and healthy hair will grow in 3-4 months. More noticeable growth appears 6-10 months after the surgery.
Anesthesia
local
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
n/a
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
6 weeks
Invasiveness
yes

FUE vs. FUT Hair Transplant - What You NEED to Know!

Entertainer and YouTube channel host, David DiMuzio struggled with hair loss before having a Follicular Unit Transplantation procedure. Since the procedure, while he is happy with his hair, he is less so with the resultant scar. In this video, he asks Steve Cook, a hair loss specialist, whether he should have gone with the Follicular Unit Excision procedure instead. Steve explains the differences between the two procedures. What will the conclusion be?

Reverse Hair Loss with Surgery (Hair Transplant)

Dr. Gary Linkov, of City Facial Plastics in New York, answers about hair transplants. He explains that jargon and talks about the effects of the procedure. He describes the most common examples of where hair can be taken from. He talks about advances in technology and techniques. He covers features of the procedure that are worth noting including angles of the hair and fading.