Table of Contents
What is a Hair Transplant (HT)?
Hair transplant is a minimal invasive surgical procedure for the treatment of hair loss. Besides treating hair loss, hair transplant in the recent decade has also been used in the field of aesthetics and plastic surgery for restoration of
- Beard and Moustache hair
- Chest air
- Fill in scars caused by accidents or surgery
Types of Hair Transplant
TWO main types of hair transplants are the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). The biggest difference amongst the two, also the most crucial point to consider, is the extraction technique.
Follicular unit graft: follicular units are the natural groups of follicles on the human scalp. Typically, each follicular unit (FU) contains between 1-4 terminal hairs.
Donor site: the area of the scalp where the surgeon removes our healthy hair follicles with viable, natural growing hair.
Transplant/Recipient site: the area of the scalp where the extracted hair follicles are intended to be transplanted for the purpose of treating baldness/hair loss, for aesthetic and beauty purpose of eyelash, eyebrow, beard, moustache, chest hair, on scar area.
Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)
Step 1: A linear strip of your scalp from the donor region is removed.
Step 2: The strip is then split into sections and prepped for implantation into the recipient site (bald/thinning area) of the scalp.
With FUT, shaving of the donor site is not necessary however, a bigger site with long scar is left after the extraction. Hence, this method is usually preferred in patients with longer hair and cannot tolerate a drastic change in appearance for a short period of time (2-3 months).
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Each follicular unit is extracted from the donor area, usually from the occipital region (back of the head) whereby healthy donor follicles grow.
In male pattern baldness, the occipital region hair follicles are usually spared from the effect of androgenic hormones, hence making the follicles from this region of the scalp suitable for transplantation into affected areas.
What are the procedures of a hair transplant treatment?
In general, hair transplant can be divided into 4 steps:
- Extraction of the donor strip/follicle unit
- Microscopic preparation of donor follicular unit/separation of donor follicular strip
- Creation of recipient incisions
- Implantation of follicular grafts
Before the procedure starts, the surgeon/physician will perform local anaesthesia comprising of local tissue injection and also nerve block over the scalp region. This is to ensure the procedure of extraction and transplantation is done PAIN-FREE.
Female hair line design Hair Transplant
It is becoming more popular for females to seek for hair transplant for the purpose of cosmetic and beauty. With the advancement of technology and techniques of hair transplantation, females are now seeking for hair transplant to lower their hairline or design their hair line to their likings.
The most popular technique of female hair transplant is the full Unshaven Follicular Unit Extraction (UFUE), in which no shaving of donor or recipient site is required. The UFUE is an advance version of the classic FUE (minus the shaving of donor and recipient sites).
The surgeon extracts the hair follicles from the donor site, full length (original length at time of extraction) using a device and the hair is then transplanted into the recipient site. This method of extraction and transplantation is the preferred technique for females due the immediate results and the avoidance of shaving of the donor and recipient site, with minimal down time.
In female hair line designing, the surgeon creates a natural hair line by using a mix of vellus hair and single hair follicles alone the first 2-3 rows of hair, then populates the transition using double-hair follicles, followed by thicker and multiple-hair follicles as it transitions into the top of the scalp.
However, due to the complexity of extraction and transplantation, the procedure time is longer than the conventional shaven FUE. Full length UFUE usually takes between 4-8 hours for the entire surgical process, depending on the number of FUE needed.
I am interested for hair transplant, what should I do?
First of all, you should see a medical doctor to investigate and have a proper diagnosis of your problem. Hair loss has multiple cause and not everyone is suitable for hair transplant. Proper diagnosis will enable the doctor to plan out a suitable treatment plan for you and ensure better outcome of treatment and resolving your concern.
Once the diagnosis is established, next would be tailoring a suitable treatment plan with you.