How does hair transplant work? These days there is a range of different surgical and non-surgical procedures offered for hair restoration. Today we’re going to look at how does hair transplant works, particularly the FUE hair transplantation technique.

What is FUE hair transplant surgery?

Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is a no-scalpel, no-suture procedure that transplants hair follicles to the thinning areas of the scalp to increase the hair density under local anaesthesia. It is suitable for both men and women who are experiencing hair loss.

How does hair transplant work?

An FUE hair transplant involves the excision of healthy hair follicles from donor areas found at the back and sides of the head with small punch incisions before they are implanted in small holes in the recipient area.

An FUT hair transplant involves the removal of a strip of scalp from the back of the head, followed by stitching this area, the separation of the extracted strip into small pieces of hair, and their implantation into the recipient area.

The hair transplant procedure can take four hours or more. If you have non-dissolvable stitches, they will be removed about ten days after the procedure. Most patients are able to rest and recover at home without any issue. You’ll be given clear and easy instructions on your aftercare for the days following the procedure.

Different procedures available

Different procedures available

After we know how does hair transplant work, The two main hair transplant techniques are FUE and FUT. Let’s look at them in closer detail:

FUE Hair Transplant Surgery

Using the FUE hair transplant surgery technique, hair grafts are removed from the back of the head as individual follicles. This is done with hundreds or in some cases thousands, of tiny ‘punches’.

The hair follicles can then be placed gently in the small holes which have been created at the recipient site. Once all the individual hair grafts have been transplanted, the back of the scalp where hairs have been taken from will be bandaged, and remain so for 24 hours.

FUT Hair Transplant Surgery

The FUT hair transplant involves the removal of a strip of scalp from the back of the head. This strip is typically several inches long. This site can then be stitched up with the strip of scalp split into several smaller sections of hair grafts with a surgical tool. These hair grafts are then implanted into the recipient area.

Does a hair transplant hurt?

Does a hair transplant hurt

Is a hair transplant painful? This is a common question from somebody considering an FUE hair transplant procedure.

Some people might have the belief that the procedure is very painful. However, many of those who have a hair transplant doesn’t feel anything during the procedure itself. After a local anaesthetic has been administered via an injection into the target area of the scalp, a patient should not feel any discomfort.

We can also provide pain-relieving medications to help reduce discomfort further. Many measures are used to increase the comfort level of patients during the procedure. You may like to watch TV or listen to music, to help keep your mind off the procedure. All of this is offered at The Treatment Rooms London, our custom-built hair transplant clinic is temperature-controlled, and we offer aromatherapy to help relax your body and mind.

During recovery, you will not usually feel significant pain. You should aim to take sufficient time to rest (usually 4-5 days) and follow your aftercare and recovery instructions. A patient’s recovery should be relatively pain-free with any discomfort easily managed with Paracetamol or Ibuprofen.

Antibiotics will help to guard against infection, and if you do have post-operative swelling, medication for this is provided.

Advantages of a Follicular Unit Extraction

After we know how does hair transplant work, There are many advantages to this form of hair transplantation, for example:

  • The procedure does not require you to take any heavy pain-relieving medication post-procedure as they are not necessary.
  • The recovery time post-procedure is limited, and you can return to work or responsibilities the following day.
  • There are no stitches or staples to be removed from your head that may cause scarring as the procedure does not involve long incisions and is therefore significantly less surgically invasive.
  • If you have limited hair on the back and sides of your scalp (the traditional donor area), hair follicles can be extracted from elsewhere on your body instead.
  • The result of the procedure is natural, and the hair growth looks authentic. The doll’s hair or hair plugs appearance of 30-40 years ago do not occur with today’s modern procedures and instruments.

Hair loss stages (Norwood Scale)

Hair loss stages (Norwood Scale)

After we know how does hair transplant work, You should always have your hair loss examined by a certified hair transplant specialist. They will be able to analyse your hair loss and recommend the best course of treatment, be it surgical or non-surgical.

Male hair loss is classified by the Norwood Scale, which provides pictorial representations of the different balding stages. You should note that some doctors and surgeons may use a different classification scale.

The Norwood Scale defines its seven stages as follows:

  • Stage 1: No significant hair loss or recession of the hairline
  • Stage 2: There is a slight recession of the hairline around the temples. This is also known as an adult or mature hairline
  • Stage 3: The first signs of clinically significant balding appear. The hairline becomes deeply recessed at both temples, resembling an M, U, or V shape. The recessed spots are completely bare or sparsely covered in hair
  • Stage 3 vertex: The hairline stays at stage 2, but there is significant hair loss on the top of the scalp (the vertex)
  • Stage 4: The hairline recession is more severe than in stage 2, and there is sparse hair or no hair on the vertex. The two areas of hair loss are separated by a band of hair that connects to the hair remaining on the sides of the scalp.
  • Stage 5: The two areas of hair loss are larger than in stage 4. They are still separated, but the band of hair between them is narrower and sparser
  • Stage 6: The balding areas at the temples join with the balding area at the vertex. The band of hair across the top of the head is gone or sparse
  • Stage 7: The most severe stage of hair loss, only a band of hair going around the sides of the head remains. This hair is usually not dense and may be fine

Using the Norwood Scale as a reference point, the extent of baldness can be diagnosed, the correct treatment option can be provided, and the effectiveness of the treatment can be measured. The scale is also used to help plan how many grafts a patient may require in order for them to achieve coverage of hair following surgery.