Hair transplantation provides people who have lost their hair due to various reasons with a way to gain new, natural and permanent hair. It is based on implanting resistant hair follicles from the nape of the neck to the head. The aim of hair transplantation is to provide the patient with a natural-looking head of hair.
Who Can Have A Hair Transplant?
Hair can be transplanted to areas of skin that lost hair for various reasons, including:
- Congenital hair loss,
- Female- and male-pattern hair loss,
- Injuries and surgical scars,
- Psychological hair-pulling,
- Various diseases.
What Causes Hair Loss?
There are many different causes of hair loss. It is important to identify the underlying cause to select and provide the ideal treatment.
- Genetic factors: It is common for people who have a family history of baldness to suffer from hair loss. The causes for genetic baldness are different for men and women.
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency: Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals that contribute to hair growth can lead to hair loss – such as B12, folic acid, biotin, iron, zinc, and vitamin D. If that is the case, the patient should take the necessary supplements under doctor supervision.
- Malnutrition: Inadequate nutrition due to reasons like long-term starvation, or a monotonous or imbalanced diet can cause hair loss.
- Conditions of the skin: There are several skin disorders that are associated with hair loss. If the person acquires diseases like fungal infections, eczema and psoriasis affect the scalp and are does not receive treatment, they can lose hair.
- Hormonal changes: Conditions that cause hormone imbalance including pregnancy, menstrual irregularity, hirsutism, and sudden weight gain cause hair loss.
- Stress and depression: Psychological problems and the associated medication can lead to hair loss.
- Medication: Some drugs that are used to treat internal diseases (thyroid gland, adrenal gland, rheumatism) cause hair loss. Diabetes, insulin resistance and birth control pills are also known to show a similar effect.
- Cosmetic interventions: Procedures that are meant for cosmetic purposes – such as dyeing or bleaching hair, heat treatments and tying the hair too tight – can damage the scalp and hair follicles.
What is the Procedure for Hair Transplantation?
Hair transplantation is an operation that takes approximately 4-8 hours. A team of doctors and nurses perform this operation under a hospital setting. The operation consists of the following stages:
- Hair Transplant Preparation
- Pre-operation Anesthesia
- Graft Collection
- Preparing the Grafts for Transplant
- Preparing the Receiving Skin
- Placing the Hair Follicles.
What Are the Methods Used in Hair Transplantation?
Deciding which method to use for hair transplant is almost as important as deciding for the treatment itself. We believe directly deciding for the most recent or ‘the best’ method is inappropriate. The optimal treatment method varies according to the needs of every person, their hair density or the number of hair follicles they have. An expert evaluation is the best way to decide for the optimal treatment.
- The FUT Method: FUT is one of the older hair transplant methods, and has been majorly replaced by the FUE method. This method will leave stitch marks at the nape of the patient’s neck. The duration of the operation is quite short; however, it takes significantly longer to achieve results with this method, which has caused it to fall out of popularity.
- The FUE Method: FUE allows for easier and quicker hair transplantation. Healing time is remarkably shorter due to not using cuts or stitches. It is possible for patients to go back to their normal lives within as little as 10 days.
- The DHI Method: The DHI method will not cause any scarring as it does not require cuts or stitches, making it one of the most commonly preferred treatment methods. DHI can be combined with FUE. With DHI, it is possible to transplant hair without shaving the scalp, thus the patient can go back to their normal lives very soon after the operation.
- Robotic Hair Transplant: This method uses a computer named the ‘robot’ to collect hair follicles. The procedure is identical to FUE, the only difference being the procedure is performed by the robot instead of a physician. The robot cannot lead the entire operation by itself, and needs to be guided by a physician and their medical team.
- Hyperbaric Hair Transplantation: The transplantation procedure for this method is identical to FUE. However, this method includes hyperbaric oxygen treatment following the transplantation, which will increase the oxygenation of the blood and improve healing. It has been shown that post-treatment hyperbaric oxygen inhalation reduces edema and strengthens hair follicles.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is age an important factor in hair transplantation?
The most important factor in hair transplantation is whether the patient is still losing hair. Hair loss tends to decrease over time, especially in male-pattern baldness. If the patient was treated while still young, and will keep losing hair in the future, they may require second or third rounds of hair transplants following the initial treatment.
- Is there an age restriction in hair transplantation?
Hair transplantation can be applied to everyone aged 20-65. The pattern and properties of the baldness is a more significant factor.
- When will my new hair start to grow?
The healing process varies from person to person, especially depending on the structure of the hair. The transplanted hair will quickly start to grow; however, it may be a year before it starts to look natural.
- Is it normal that I am losing hair when I take a shower?
Losing 30-70 strands of hair per day when washing or combing is considered normal.
- Does stress cause hair loss?
Hair can be affected by many factors, including stress and depression.
- Will my transplanted hair fall out?
The transplanted hair follicles are collected from the nape of the neck, as these hair follicles are known to be stronger and permanent. Hence, any possible hair loss would be significantly later the original scalp hair.
- Is there any guarantee that the transplanted hair will be permanent?
If a person has genetic susceptibility to baldness, there is a possibility, albeit a small chance, that the transplanted hair will fall out. This depends on the hormone DHT, which weakens the hair and causes it to fall out. Hence, it is difficult to guarantee that the transplanted hair will definitely not fall out.
- Is the season of the year important in hair transplantation?
We do not recommend our patients to get hair transplant during summer, as they are not allowed to swim in a pool or the sea for 2 months after the operation.
- Does hair transplantation cause cancer?
Hair transplantation has been available for many years. To this day, there are no cases of cancer associated with hair transplant.
- Does hair transplantation damage nerve cells?
Nerve cells are not damaged when the operation is performed by an expert team under sterile and well-equipped conditions. The physician will make incisions just deep enough that they will not affect the follicles or the surrounding structures.
- Can someone else donate hair follicles?
A person’s own hair follicles are required for hair transplantation, so a different person cannot be the donor.
- When can I start using shampoo after the operation?
We recommend using Bio shampoos for life. Treatment results will be more satisfactory if the patient uses additional care the first 6 months following the operation, such as vitamins and lotions recommended by the doctor.
- Why does hair transplantation cause acne?
Hair transplantation can cause acne in the donor or the receiving skin as the hair follicles try to pierce and grow out of the skin.
- How long do I need to wait before I can swim in the sea or go to a sauna?
The time you need to wait before going to the sea or the sauna is different for each treatment method. You can swim or go to the sauna 1 month after FUE, provided that hygienic conditions are met.
- How long do I need to wait before getting a haircut?
You need to wait until the receiving region has completely healed and the region is no longer sensitive. The first haircut after the operation must be at least 3 months after the transplant, and the hair must be cut with scissors.