Losing hair comes as a shock for most of us, male and female alike. The permanent effect it has on the looks you likely were fond of during a long period of your life is a hard change to adapt to. Some do, some go into denial, but to all those undergoing hair losses please know: it does not have to be permanent. Not with the help of hair transplant at least
Most cosmetic procedures help to hide or remove those imperfections, we all have and pretty much wish we did not. A hair transplant operation, meanwhile, helps us put hair back where none of it no longer grows. Through a painless procedure hair from the back of your scalp can step up and take the place of hair long gone. The hair transplant procedure represents a second chance to restore the looks of people that are keenly aware of the importance of hair.
The Importance of Hair
Our hair is most likely and without a doubt one of the first things you and anyone else notice about us. The hair itself is such a salient feature of our looks that you could pretty much be completely defined by it when someone’s describing you. ‘That guy with black hair swept aside’ or ‘The girl with the gorgeous red hair in a ponytail’. Such types of descriptions guide other people’s perceptions of us and, also, our perceptions about ourselves, which is why it is just so tragic when your hair starts to fall off!
It’s simply a fact of life that, given enough or even little time, at some point, your hair is extremely likely to finally fall out of place. Thus, leaving you to rock a hairstyle in which hairs become progressively thinner until it’s mostly gone for good! This is understandably bad news for anyone who loves the head of hair nature gave them from the moment they came to the world. But why does it have to be like this?
Why Do We Experience Hair Loss?
A lot of things can make someone lose their hair, be it little by little having it thin away gradually or it can happen suddenly. Natural causes for the loss of hair start happening at a genetic level. Thus, if your mom or dad or both of them experienced hair loss or the parents of either of them did, chances are, you might as well. As you might have seen in your day to day life, it is much more common to see a balding man than a balding woman. It is because the genetic factors that make hair loss happen are much more potent in men. Despite that, make no mistake, hair loss can also and do happen to women as well and due to the same causes.
The scientific term for hair loss that naturally happens across our lives is androgenetic alopecia. Depending on which gender is going through the effects of Androgenetic Alopecia, it receives a more specific name. When it does happen to men, it will receive the name of ‘male pattern baldness’. In male pattern baldness, the hair starts to thin at the temples and the crown of the head.
The conditions lead the hairline to recede in a distinctive shape that looks very much like the letter M. For women, on the other hand, hair loss usually happens in a different way. Female pattern hair loss most of the time, starts in the centre of the crown of the head, where the hair parts. Hair in that area becomes thinner and thinner, but it does not lead to a receding hairline, rather, to a decrease in volume of hair. However, a minority of women with high testosterone levels can experience a receding hairline, just like males instead. This is, however, very rare.
How Does Hair Loss Happen?
The natural loss of our hair happens due to a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. If there are people on both sides of your family that went through hair loss, that means it can happen to you too. Both your mom and dad can pass the genes that make you more likely to lose hair even though they did not lose hair themselves. Thus, always look further than your parents, have a look at your extended family in order to see if you are likely to have hair loss genes in you.
Now, to understand how you lose your hair first, you have to know what hair really is. See, the hair itself grows out of a cellular structure located under our skin called a hair follicle. These hair follicles use proteins ingested by our bodies to form hairs which grow and spout out of the skin and become visible in our bodies.
One single hair follicle can grow anywhere from a single hair and up to four hairs out of itself, two being the most common number. The hair also has its own cycle to grow as well. Once it becomes visible, a single hair can continue to grow uninterrupted for anywhere between two to six years.
When it does stop growing, it enters the resting phase, in which it will simply wait still until it falls to make room for new hair to grow in its place. But why the large difference? Why do some grow for up to six years, and others only do so for two? That happens because of the effects hormones have inside our bodies, and it’s a key aspect of why some start balding rather earlier than others. The hormone in question is dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) And Hair Loss
Our bodies, whether we are male or female, secrete a variety of hormones. Hormones are, by the way, special chemicals secreted by important glands in your body. Each gland secretes a specific hormone when your brain tells that it’s time for your body to undergo a certain complex process.
Puberty, for example, involves a massive number of hormones released into the body in order to kickstart adolescence. Throughout most of their lives, both males and females continuously secrete amounts of sex hormone. These sex hormones are in short testosterone and oestrogen, the male and female sex hormone. Both of those regulate our bodies’ sex drive along with secondary sex characteristics such as muscle size and, yes, hair production.
It all comes back to testosterone, the main male sex hormone. Various enzymes inside the body have the function of transforming it on a derivative hormone for another purpose. One of those hormones is Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT forms when testosterone interacts with the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase. Initially, DHT does exactly what all other forms of testosterone do. It regulates sex drive and develops secondary sex characteristic such as hair, muscles, voice, etc.
Now, later in life, this can change. Usually but now always, starting in the late thirties and early forties, DHT will become the single central cause of hair loss. This happens because DHT bound itself to hormonal receptors in the hair follicles located on the scalp.
The joining of those two causes the hair follicle to shrink progressively, and with it, the hair that grows out of it. The more it shrinks, the more the hair thins until, eventually, hair ceases to grow out of the hair follicle. The genes that cause baldness simply determine how sensitive to DHT our hair follicles actually are.
What Is A Hair Transplant?
Once hair ceases to grow out of a hair follicle, it will never sprout a single stem of hair out of it ever again. Thus, the area in which it locates will remain bald permanently unless you get a new follicle, of course! That is the idea behind a hair transplant procedure. Hair will no longer grow out of the affected hair follicle. But moving another, healthier one will allow it to start growing hair there, repopulating the area.
But how does this happen? Well, choosing and extracting healthy hair follicles from anywhere else in the body, but the top of the scalp is the first step. Our professional hair transplant surgeon will extract said hair follicle using very thin and precise tools of one millimetre or less in diameter. The surgeon extracts the hair follicle by excising it from the surrounding tissue to later graft it into the balding spot. Once all the necessary hair follicles are in place, the surgery concludes, and they’ll heal for six to eight weeks to start showing results.
The Latest On Hair Transplant
The procedure itself has existed in various forms for over a century, but it was not until the 50s decade that it started to take its current shape. Incredible leaps in the development of the technique during the 90s was, in fact, what brought it to massive popularity. It’s better-looking results in being the main draw. One of the key developments was the discovery that hair from the back of the head is the best to use for grafting. This is because said hair has thinning-resistant properties.
Meaning that the hair follicle is much less likely to shrink than hair from elsewhere in the head. That made it the ideal site to extract hair from, known technically as the ‘donor site’, and graft into the balding area or ‘receiving site’. And even outside the proper zone on which it grows.
Thus hair from the back of the scalp still retains its thinning-resistant properties when transplanted. Thus, a proper hair transplant procedure restores hair to the balding site that will stay there for many, many years to come. The technique for the procedure itself has two district variants in which it performed along with specific tools for each one. The main two of them are the Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) hair transplant and the Direct Hair Insertion (DHI) hair transplant.
A Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) hair transplant procedure is the latest trend of hair transplants. And happens to have fast become the most popular of them all. This is because it is the one that gives the most natural-looking results out of the techniques that preceded it. The procedure itself will require you to have to shave your donor site.
The surgeon assistants will shave it for you along with your temples to match.
The crown of your head might also need shaving as well if the level of your hair, there is still rather high. Before starting, a shot of anaesthetic applied to the donor site will prevent you from feeling pain.
To start the actual hair transplant, the surgeon will select a hair follicle from the donor area and use a scalpel of a diameter of around 1 mm. With the help of a special visor with magnifying glasses, the surgeon can see the position of each individual hair follicle based on the shaven hair visible on the scalp. With the scalpel in hand, the surgeon proceeds to make the first incision around the chosen hair follicle.
The scalpel is then turned around it in a circular manner to excise it from the surrounding tissue and then extract it with forceps. The excised hair follicle then goes into a tray, stored there until the surgeon extracts enough of them as required to cover the ‘receiving site’. After having enough hair follicles taken from the donor site, the surgery then moves to the receiving site. Diminutive incisions on the receiving site made with the scalpel or special needles will house the hair follicles. Once the surgeon grafts all the hair follicles in place, the surgery ends. You are then given aftercare instructions to follow during your six to eight weeks of recovery.
A Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) hair transplant employs a specialized device known as a ‘Choi pen’. This a simple yet revolutionary device that allows simplifying the grafting process of grafts into the receiving site. The Choi pen itself is a pen-like device which has a very tiny hollow needle of reduced millimetric diameter at the lower end. The central part of its body has a tiny chamber which opens up to store the hair implant. And at the upper end of it, a plunger which by pressing it makes the needle descend along with the hair follicle inside the chamber in order to implant it.
The procedure itself goes on pretty much the same way as it does with the Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) procedure. Thus, the assistants of the surgeon will shave the donor site, the back of your head, in order to extract viable hair follicles from there. After administering anaesthesia into the area, the surgeon proceeds to manually extract one by one the hair follicles from there.
A 1mm scalpel and a visor with magnifying glasses to help to see and forceps are usually the tools employed in this part. Every hair follicle extracted goes into a tray for later placing into the Choi pen once the surgeon takes all of the necessary hair follicles. The hair follicles are then carefully placed into the chamber of the Choi pen with the follicle, and the chamber is then closed. The surgeon then takes the Choi pen and places it over the receiving site. Following the angle that most closely follows the hair growth pattern, they proceed to press the plunger. The incorporation of this device into the procedure allows for a couple of advantages when placing the graft into the receiving site.
Benefits of The DHI Hair Transplant.
Since the DHI hair transplant does make use of the unique device that is the Choi pen, there are more than a few unique advantages to it. Those are:
- Simplification of Grafting. The incision and the actual grafting, the placing of the hair follicles into said incision happen at the same time. Thanks to the action of the plunger, the hair follicle on the chamber shoots down the hollow needle immediately after making the incision.
- No bleeding. The happening of both the incision and the grafting at the same time means that there’s no blood coming out of the incision. The grafting immediately falling in places prevents much of the blood that would normally come out to flow out of it. This is beneficial also to the post-care treatment and healing since there’s much less disruption to the blood flow of the receiving site.
- Better Depth Control. When making the manual incision, the surgeon themselves handles the device going deep enough into the scalp. The plunger itself eliminates this by allowing the surgeon to set the depth of the incision with the pressing of the plunger.
- Potentially Faster Procedure. If there happen to be two surgeons involved in your DHI hair transplant procedure, it might go significantly faster. Having one extract the hair follicles and the other immediately place them on the Choi pen and shoot it in place. This, of course, has to be previously discussed with the surgeon you choose.
Despite its many advantages, if you are thinking of undergoing a DHI hair transplant, keep in mind that its results are best for straight hair. Patients with curly hair better try an FUE hair transplant. However, by getting in touch with our experts, you can get tailor-made solutions offered to you.
Beard and Moustache Transplant
Not only hair loss from your head is the only kind of hair that a hair transplant procedure can help restore. Hair from anywhere in your body can, in fact, receive a graft of a hair follicle from your ideal donor area, even your beard and moustache.
A beard and moustache hair transplant ideal candidate is a man that, for one of the multiple reasons, can no longer grow hair there. Scarring due to burnings and cuts are among the main reasons for it. Even beards that are severely patchy by nature can benefit from Beard and Moustache transplants.
Being that facial hair is such a defining feature of masculinity across every culture worldwide, lack of it is very much distressing. A permanently damaged beard and moustache or one that does not grow fully can mess not only with a man’s look but their own self-esteem on a deeper level.
Thus, making the procedure attractive to its adherents if they have difficulty getting a full beard on their own. A beard and moustache transplant requires special care in determining the placing of the graft. Our surgeons take into account the precise angle in which the hair of the beard moustache grows.
Then they make the incision for the graft in the direction that would best allow mimicking said angle. The specifics of the procedure are the same as the basic requirements for the FUE hair transplant. Our doctors extract enough hair follicles from the back of the head to graft on the area. For the moustache, manual incisions are better suited due to the size and position of the area. The beard meanwhile, is ideal for a DHI transplant procedure with a Choi pen due to the size of the area.
Unshaven Hair Transplant
Both FUE hair transplant and DHI hair transplant procedures more often than not require the complete shaving of the donor area. This is to allow better visualization of the hair follicles at scalp level, which longer hair would obscure. Some people are understandably distressed at the idea of having to shave their precious hair for the procedure.
Having to walk around for months sporting a shaved head does not appeal to then at all. In fact, both men and women often cite this as the reason they back out of having the procedure. Even after undergoing the initial consultation, many of them proceed due to not knowing it required for them to have their heads shaved.
It is with these clients that demand both a discreet procedure and to keep their looks as intact as possible that the concept of Unshaven Hair Transplant was born. As the name clearly implies, the procedure will not require to completely shave your donor area. Rather, the surgeon selects a number of specific hair follicles for extraction based on their location.
The hair follicle from which they grow is carefully excised with the grown hair intact for their further placing in the receiving site.
The procedure is best applied to a patient that has still a limited loss of hair on their receiving area. The procedure itself is exactly the same as the FUE hair transplant but collects fewer hair follicles.
This is because the nature of the Unshaven Hair Transplant limits the number of hair follicles to extract. Since only some hair follicles are in a place that allows their extracting with the rest of the long hair still surrounding them. Thus, if the balding site happens to need a high amount of hair follicles then better to have multiple sessions of Unshaven Hair Transplant.
Women’s Hair Transplant
Though mostly associated with males, hair loss can also happen to women. Most of the female hair loss happens with age and its not nearly as noticeable as male hair loss in the beginning. This is due to females having around one-sixteenth the amount of testosterone than a male and, thus, less of it to convert into DHT. The female hair loss pattern begins, as previously stated, in the crown of the head where the hair parts.
The hair there thins gradually, which slowly becomes more noticeable as the strands of hair from there become frailer and thinner. Nonetheless, some women can also experience a receding hairline, that is, hair loss from the temple and top of the forehead.
This is due to the presence of an abnormally high level of testosterone for a female body though it’s very rare. For women, it is extremely common to wake up to a pillow full of hair and regularly see large amounts of it collected on their combs.
This is due to the cyclical nature of hormones in the female body which fluctuate constantly. That, and the fact that females use to sport their hair longer makes it all the more noticeable when they lose hair. Pregnant women are particularly aware of this.
Due to the massive amount of hormones released during gestation, constant hair loss during and after pregnancy is very noticeable for how suddenly it happens. Menopause likewise does influence greatly here. And just like a male, an FUE hair transplant or a DHI hair transplant can help restore hair to the affected areas. The procedure is the same as with males. Harvesting hair follicles from the back of the head to graft into the affected area. The remaining long hair can cover the shaved donor site completely as well.
Hair loss may also happen in both of your eyebrows, naturally making an eyebrow transplant procedure an option to regain a fuller look for them. The loss of hair at the eyebrows can happen due to the natural process of ageing or early due to excessive stress of the hair follicle. Most people prefer to cover up their permanently thin eyebrows using makeup whenever the occasion demands it. Yet, sporting makeup whenever going out in public becomes impossible.
Thus, a demand for a more permanent solution becomes prescient. Thanks to the advance made by the transplant operation, the solution became clear. An eyebrow transplant procedure came to be the go-to solution for finally restoring those eyebrows back once and for all. Before the surgery, an extensive designing session takes place.
The Tragedy Of Thin Eyebrows
Eyebrows are very tragic as a subject of hair loss due to the damage that causes them to lose hair is commonly self-inflicted.
Across the years, many fashion trends have decided at different points in time that eyebrows are better when thin. Thus, leading to a high amount of fashion-conscious people to make the voluntary decision to pluck their eyebrows often to look the part. It would all be good and nice with it if it was simply shaving them as a man would do to their beard and moustache.
Yet, that is not the case at all. Shaving would need constant shave sessions every couple of days. Along with the dexterity required to reach the area properly, shaving eyebrows is simply not an option. Plucking them, on the other hand, is perfect for it. The use of tweezers allows pulling hairs one by one, which gives you total control over the final shape of the eyebrow.
One small problem remains, though. Pulling a hair is horribly damaging for the hair follicle from which it grows. Over plucking eyebrows for a prolonged period of time stresses the hair follicle to the point that it might stop to grow entirely. That can happen to a young person that would otherwise have full eyebrows until past middle age. What makes this deeply ironic is that the same fashion standards that demanded thin eyebrows might very well decide that next year fuller eyebrows it’s what is en vogue.
Eyebrow Transplant to Restore Thin Eyebrows
This understandably leaves those who followed the earlier trend in a pretty hard place. If they already damaged their eyebrows’ hair follicles by constantly plucking them, it is likely that it’s now beyond repair.
In it, you and our experts will decide which shape you would like your new eyebrows to be. This included angle and thickness. The procedure itself follows the same basic process for extracting healthy hair follicles to graft into the eyebrow. The back of the head, otherwise known as the donor site, it’s punctured using a very thin scalpel to cut out the chosen hair follicles.
Turning the scalpel circularly around, the surgeon separates it from the tissue and extracts it with forceps. After extracting as much as needed, the surgeon moves on into making the incisions in the receiving site, the eyebrows.
Both manual FUE grafting or DHI grafting via Choi pen are viable options here. A careful placing of the grafts to follow the natural angle of the eyebrow and the new shape chosen takes place. One thing to have in mind here is that your grafts retain the genetic memory of the donor site. Thus, they will grow at the same rate as hair from the back of your head, making constant trimming of the eyebrows a requirement.
Hair Transplant F.A.Q
Q: Are the results of a hair transplant permanent?
A: Once the hair begins to grow out of a successfully grafted hair follicle, it will continue to grow naturally for a lifetime.
Q: Is there any way to block the effects of DHT in the hair follicles?
A: Recently, a lot of products marketed as ‘DHT-blocking’ have flooded the market. The real benefits of them remain questionable at best. A hair transplant, on the other hand, remains as the most viable solution to permanently deal with the problem.
Q: Why does the eyebrow hair transplant require constant trimming of the successful grafts?
A: The hair used for grafting during any hair transplant comes from the back of the head due to its thinning-resistant properties. This hair also retains the genetic memory of the place it comes from. Thus, it will grow just like it did on the back of the head when grafted on a new place. Since the growth rate of the eyebrows is different from it, it requires constant trimming to keep it a proper length.