Hair transplant procedures evolved with the Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) hair transplant technique. It became the go-to method of hair transplantation soon when it came out over techniques that were more than a few decades old already.
And rightfully so since an FUE hair transplant leaves the most natural-looking results without scars remaining, out of all other methods. It is no wonder why celebrities like billionaire Elon Musk or footballer Wayne Rooney underwent one. More and more people are flocking to clinics worldwide in order to get an FUE hair transplant. But just why is it that people want to restore their hair to its former glory?
The Problem with Experiencing Hair Loss
Due to hair being one of the most salient features from our looks, the loss of it is a particularly touchy subject for most. Across the gender aisles, both men and women dread the day they would have to reckon with a diminished amount of hair on their heads. Due to male pattern baldness, men experience hair loss more than women.
Yet, women are not exempted of this particularly odious effect of ageing. It just so happens that female pattern baldness comes in a different shape than males. It is not until it has greatly advanced that its effects become more noticeable and this usually happens at an older age than males. Yet, when it happens, it shows. It is due to seeking a way to improve this cosmetic necessity that a surgical process came to be.
The hair transplant procedure is an inventive way of restoring hair to areas of the body that long went bare of it. Its inception did not come easily by any means. Starting in the 1930s decade in the Empire of Japan, the technique is close to a century-old now. Through many iterations that went from less than impressive results to, ‘you can barely tell you have any work done’.
How Hair Loss Happens
For most of us, male and female alike, it is not a matter of if we are ever going to lose hair, it is a matter of when. Most people will lose a significant and noticeable part of their hair during their lifetimes. This is not up for debate; your hair will go away, and there’s little you can do to stop it. Accidents involving cuts, burns, stressful situations, both physical and psychological, can cause this.
But they do not necessarily have to involve themselves in order for hair loss to happen. That’s because the most common reason for hair loss happens at a genetic level. Deep within our bodies, waiting to start the hair loss process are a certain couple of genes you inherited. The source of those genes? Your mom or your dad or, even, both of them! Genes related to hair loss can actually come from either parent.
They can pass up those genes to their children, even though neither of them experienced any hair loss at all during their lifetimes.
When looking at your family, consider beyond your mom and dad. Look at all immediate relatives you can find. Uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents.
Search for current pictures of them or see them personally to see if there is any prevalent hair loss in any part of the family. If you see it’s prevalent in any side of it, chances are, you are going to deal with it eventually. If that happens, know that it is not all loss, though, except for some hair.
Hair that has been definitively lost to baldness will not grow back. But hair from elsewhere in your body is resistant to baldness, and they are key for hair transplant.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and Hair Loss
Remember that some genes that can come from any or both parents make us likely to go bald at some point. Well, they do so because they make us more sensitive towards Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone circulating on our bodies. To understand what is DHT and how it comes to wreak havoc on our hairline, you need to understand hormones.
Hormones are chemicals that our brains instruct specific structures called ‘glands’ in our bodies to make. Our brains know exactly when our bodies will require these chemicals. A vast amount of hormones release at key point during our lifetimes in order to trigger processes that change us. Puberty is one of those processes. In order for us to grow into adolescence, the body secretes massive amounts of hormones that run wild in our systems.
Chief among these hormones are Testosterone, the male sex hormone, and Oestrogen, the female sex hormone. Both exist to regulate sex drive and develop secondary sexual characteristics. Some of the latter are breast size and hip width for women, muscle size and facial hair for men. Said hormones even determine the depth of our voices and the rate in which our hair grows. There are many other hormones, and many of those are actual derivatives from both testosterone and oestrogen.
One of such is Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT happens when an enzyme called 5 Alpha-reductase converts testosterone into it. DHT initially helps hair growth during our early lives. It is later that it starts doing the opposite. As years pass, DHT will begin to bind with our hair follicles and cause them to shrink. The shrinking thin the hair that grows from that hair follicle, thus, making DHT the main culprit of baldness. Some genes merely make some people much more sensitive to DHT, to begin with.
Hair Transplant as A Solution
So, if your hair follicles shrink due to binding with DHT then there’s nothing more to do, right? Is either baldness or a toupee now, right? Not at all, thanks to advances in cosmetic procedures and further understanding of how hair loss happens. Modern cosmetic science now offers you the choice of having a natural-looking FUE Hair Transplant. But before we get into FUE, how does any hair transplant procedure work?
Common logic dictates that this would be as easy as having hair from elsewhere in your body put into the balding spot, right? Mostly, but it is not simple. A surgeon can extract hair from just anywhere else in the body and graft it on the balding site, sure. But hairs from legs and pubic area are simply different in shape from the hair on the top of the head more often than not. So, choosing hair from the same area becomes a necessity.
Luckily Dr Norman Orentreich
A physician from New York and pioneer of modern hair transplant, uncovered an amazing secret. When studying hair transplants, Dr Orentreich casually stumbled upon a curious fact. He discovered that hair from the back of the head is actually thinning-resistant. That means that the hair follicles from that area are rarely bothered by DHT and, thus, do not shrink.
This is the reason why balding men and even balding females keep the hair on the back of their head while the top thins. Not only that, but Dr Orentreich also saw that if you take hair from there and graft it elsewhere, it retains those properties. He baptized this genetic memory. The area from where he took it became the ‘donor site’ while where he grafted it would be the ‘receiving site’. This became the basis for all hair transplant procedures to follow.
Why A FUE Hair Transplant?
The FUE hair transplant, and any other method of hair transplant procedure for that matter, exist to solve hair loss. The loss of hair is something that shakes people deeply on an emotional level and even on a professional level as well. People that are very conscious of their appearance or need to look good professionally as well are deeply invested in their hair.
So, it is not at all shocking to see rich and famous media personalities freely promoting hair transplant as a solution these days. It was not always this way, though. Before the late 90s hair transplant was a hush-hush little secret. On one part, very few wanted to admit they had some work done. On the other, the results were less than stellar before the advent of the FUE hair transplant. Though the basics of the process remain the same since its inception, the tools employed and techniques changed quite a bit. So much, so that modern results of the FUE hair transplant are night and day when compared to the technique of the 1950s. The ‘punch grafts’ of Dr Norman Orentreich from New York were the first commercially viable transplant.
They were also infamous for the extremely odd-looking results they left. They were derisively called ‘doll hair’ due to the graft looking like tight circular clusters of hair separated from one another. Not unlike the hair from girl dolls back in the day and it was a comical look for any onlookers but not for the patient. This was due to Dr Orentreich using 4mm punch scalpels to extract and implant the grafts which were too thick. FUE solved this by employing 1mm or less scalpel to excise follicular units from the donor site. And the results look better because of it.
Hair Loss, Hair Thinning, and Hair Shedding
When we talk about hair loss, we need to make a distinction between shedding and thinning. The shedding of the hair happens when the total hair density reduces due to hair with a normal diameter falling off whereas the thinning of hair is when the diameter of the hairs themselves begins to decrease.
The latter happens due to the hair follicles where said hair grows from start shrinking. When shedding hair, it can grow back most of the time and with normal density. When thinning, however, the scalp becomes more visible and, thus, you start balding. The thinning process itself is non-reversible for the hair follicles affected. Yet, a hair transplant procedure can restore hair to the area.
Who Should Have A FUE Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant procedure is for any person with any of the following characteristics.
People with A Receding Hairline
The most noticeable of balding cases and one that happens mostly to men and very rarely to females in a limited fashion. Easily identified by the hair follicles at the temples and the top of the forehead shrinking first, effectively making it appear as if the whole hairline is pulling back further on the head.
In males, there’s commonly a lonely spot left at the top of the forehead nicknamed the lone island. This is the type of patient that usually requires the most grafts depending on how severe the receding is. The FUE Hair Transplant effective reconstructs the hairline to cover the area abandoned.
People with Bald Spots
Noticeable, concentrated spots or balding hair, aptly called bald spots, are common in middle age. And are also the reason the procedure started developing in the first place. These already very well-defined spots can happen either due to age or due to injuries with burns or cuts.
They are also ideal for an FUE hair transplant to cover. The defined nature and shape of the spot itself makes it easy to create a pattern with the graft that mimics the hair growing around it, covering it nicely. These patients require a moderate amount of graft, and the procedure usually takes one single session.
People That Just Started to Lose Hair
A partial hair loss can also function as an early alarm of sorts that says it’s time to get a hair transplant, particularly for men. It is not alarmist in the slightest. The partial start of a receding hairline begins at the temples and becomes noticeable as early as the mid-20s.
People conscious of their looks be it by profession or by personal choice are aware of this. An early hair transplant can cover the area nicely and earlier, making pretty well those early signs of ageing. Regardless of how early partial hair loss happens, most patients should be at least 35 of age before undergoing the procedure.
Preparing for an FUE Hair Transplant
Just like with any surgery, before moving forward to do anything at all about your hair situation, there are some things to check first. First is necessary to see if you are, in fact, a viable candidate for the FUE hair transplant. In order to do so, an evaluation appointment where the surgeon certifies your viability has to take place.
During it, you will simply sit tight in the doctor’s office while the surgeon gently scans your hair with a device called a trichometer. A trichometer is a gadget that comes in handy for hair transplant surgeons since it can measure the actual mass of your hair. Also known by its full name, the cross-section trichometer device. It allows a physician to see the exact mass of the hair in your head in less than 5 minutes.
The Measuring of Hair Mass
The mass of the hair comes from the density of it (number of hairs remaining) and the diameter of each hair. The loss or growth of hair comes from a change in the density and diameter of it. The length of the hair itself is not considered when measuring the mass of the hair. This due to it varying dramatically depending on the hairstyle involved. The actual diameter and quantity of the hair are completely independent of the length as well.
Anyway, the cross-section trichometer measures a bundle of hair of an area selected by the surgeon. Said area is the area that you are most likely to start balding in. For males, that is the temples and frontal part of the crown of the head. In females, it would be the centre of the head where the hair parts.
The device returns a value that is the Hair Mass Index (HMI). After obtaining that first Hair Mass Index value, the surgeon moves on to repeat the process but now in the back of your scalp. The reason why it is necessary to measure the Hair Mass Index of the back of your scalp is also the reason why it is integral for a hair transplant procedure. Hair coming from the back of the head has thinning-resistant properties.
This means that this hair is much less likely to thin and leave the area balding than hair from the top of the head. Thus, the Hair Mass Index measured there remains constant throughout life and useful as a baseline to measure against. The surgeon takes the second HMI measure and proceeds to compare both values. If the first HMI value is significantly lower than the second HMI value, then, yes, you are balding. And, thus, are a candidate for Hair Transplant.
The Process of FUE Hair Transplant
Once the surgeon determines you to be a viable candidate, you have the all-cleared to proceed with the surgery. Should you choose to go through with it in order to restore your hair to its previous glory, the surgery happens in three different phases.
At the very start of the surgery, you recline back on a chair and wait for the surgeon’s assistants to tend to you. If you are male, the assistants come and shave the back of your head, known as the ‘donor site’ with an electric shaver like the one a barber uses.
This in order for the surgeon to visualize better the hair follicles at scalp level on your head. The top of your head, known as the ‘receiving site’ is also shaved. It will allow them to better see the surrounding hair and the pattern they grow out when implanting the grafts in order to mimic it.
The remaining hair at the sides of the head is also shaven to level it for it to grow in harmony with the rest later on. For women, this phase is a little different. Since most women wear their hair long, the assistant only needs to shave a portion of hair in the back of the head that the rest of it can easily cover.
Also, the balding pattern of women is different than men’s, and it’s easier to see the balding spot at the crown of the head among all the long hair. Thus, there’s no need to shave the top of the head either. Patients of both genders receive local anaesthesia in the back of the head courtesy of the assistants before starting the surgery. As a side note, the procedure can take quite some time. So, it’s common for patients to watch a movie on a screen in the operating room while the surgeon being in the excision phase.
The surgeon begins the operation by choosing hair follicles from the donor site and cutting near them with a 1mm scalpel. Then he turns the scalpel in a circular fashion around the chosen hair follicle to excise it from the surrounding tissue.
Once there is nothing holding it anymore, the surgeon employs forceps to extract the hair follicle proper. The assistants then come and store the extracted hair follicle in a tray coated with a special solution to preserve it.
The surgeon then repeats the process to extract as many hair follicles as the patient requires. Thanks to the anaesthetic there’s no pain involved.
Finally, once collected all the necessary hair follicles, the surgeon begins the grafting in the receiving site. Either the 1mm scalpel or a set of needles of similar diameter makes the incisions on the site that will house the grafts.
Once they are open, the surgeon and assistants place the grafts inside them mimicking the direction and angle in which the hair grows. When all are into place, the assistants wrap your head in bandages, the surgery finishes and you are off to recover.
Advantages of FUE Hair Transplant
The careful nature in which the surgeon extracts hair follicles during an FUE Hair Transplant offers plenty of advantages. Chief among them:
- Natural-looking results – Since it is with a scalpel of 1mm or less that the excision and grafting proceeds, each graft is individual. Thus, each graft will grow as a single hair follicle in the receiving site as well giving a natural look hard to tell apart from the original hair. This is a sharp contrast to old techniques that made use of tools of much larger diameter.
- Shorter Downtime – Since the incisions are so tiny, the actual recovery time from the surgery is short. You can return to work five days after it. Actual results begin to show after six to eight weeks pass with proper aftercare.
- Long-Lasting – The hair of the back of the head, also known as the ‘donor site’ is thinning-resistant. And it remains thinning-resistant even when transplanted into its new home during the surgery. Thus, hair grafts from there will continue to grow on the chosen spot for many, many years to come.
The best benefit of them all? You get to have the precious hairline you thought you lost long ago, giving you a second chance to look your best once more.
FUE Hair Transplant in Turkey
The Republic of Turkey fast became the go-to place to have a cosmetic procedure during the last two decades. A simple internet search for ‘hair transplant’ can show you just how much Turkish expertise is on-demand these days. An FUE Hair Transplant in Turkey becoming an internationally attractive prospect did not happen without reason.
Turkish surgeons were one of the first in adopting the technique in the early 2000s. And to this day continue to innovate the field and form professionals in 10 different national schools. But what draws most patients in has to be the affordability of its price.
A single FUE Hair Transplant in Turkey goes for around a third of, say, the UK price for the very same procedure. The combination of plenty of talent and attractive prices ensure that an FUE hair transplant in Turkey remains a much-discussed topic for years to come.
Visit Our Facilities to Have a Top-Class FUE Hair Transplant in Turkey
At Estpoint, we provide you with the best possible results of FUE hair transplant technique. With our reasonable prices and detailed consultation offerings, we help you to have a smooth and hassle-free hair transplant procedure. For more information, get in touch with us and let our experts inform you with every detail.
FUE Hair Transplant FAQ
Q: Why is the FUE hair transplant superior to previous hair transplant methods?
A: Previous hair transplant techniques left larger scars on the donor area that was painfully noticeable—something which also left patients needing a longer recovery period. FUE does none of those things.
Q: Do the results from a FUE hair transplant really look natural?
A: Yes, first because it looks better due to using a tool 1mm or less to make a hole for the graft. And second due to, since the grafts are so small, it makes it much easier for the surgeon to place the graft in a way they follow the natural growth pattern of your hair.
Q: Can I sleep during the procedure?
A: Sure. The local anaesthetic ensures you don’t feel any pain and can sleep undisturbed. Our surgeon can also apply general anaesthetic at the patient’s request, but this is uncommon. Now, if you happen to be watching a boring movie during the procedure and fall asleep, that is much more common.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]