Hair loss is a far more common condition than you think. However, it is less evident in most people because they have taken significant steps to either combat it, hide it, or terminate the cause. Depending on the reason for your hair loss, there are over-the-counter or prescriptive medications and solutions you can effectuate.
The most common one, and the most effective, is a hair transplant. It is a viable solution to a range of causes of hair loss, but it occurs in stages which you need to fully comprehend to determine if you also want to benefit from its potential results.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the evolution of the hair transplant in stages, from the first session down to the last recovery stage.
A hair transplant is a surgical process that involves harvesting some hair follicles from one section of the body and using incisions to install them into the site where there is thinning or balding. It is only minimally invasive, but you will need some numbing agent for the donor and recipient sites.
While this procedure is a surgery, it requires little to no rehabilitation, and you will be free to leave the clinic immediately after your session. Each session takes about four to eight hours, and there can be more than one surgeon who handles the procedure. It may take anywhere between a session to twelve, depending on the severity of your hair loss, the cause, and the type of hair transplant you opt for.
When choosing to get a hair transplant, you and your surgeon have to decide on the type you are opting for. Typically, you have two choices – the follicular unit transplant and the follicular unit extraction.
During a follicular hair transplant procedure, your surgeon will extract some of your hair follicles with your scalp and install them in the area with receding hair. This method involves making incisions in your scalp, so it is the less common option because of the pain and small scars that it may leave behind. However, it is much faster than the other procedure.
On the other hand, a follicular unit extraction is a procedure where the surgeon extracts each hair unit one after the other. The endearing feature of this hair transplant method is that your donor site can be any part of your body, provided the hair growth in the area is healthy. It also caters to transplants in areas beyond the head – you can get a beard transplant, transplant for your eyelashes, brows, and even your chest.
This method is very effective and affords range, but it requires a lot of time, sometimes as long as twelve hours, with sessions that extend between five to ten days. It is also more expensive, but it certainly is effective.
The transplanted follicles are still in a delicate state for the first two weeks after your procedure. As such, you are not to touch or disturb them. Your specialist will advise you to sleep with an elevated pillow, avoid washing your hair, and generally avoid anything that involves touching your scalp.
Seven to ten days after, you can wash your scalp gently, and touching it will not affect the long-term results of your procedure. The transplanted follicles will be strong enough to withstand any slight disturbance, but that does not mean you can wear tight caps, do strenuous activities that involve your scalp, or take long showers.
You may have experienced some swelling and redness for the first two weeks after the procedure. Fifteen days after, you should feel significantly better, with less or no swelling and no redness. However, you may experience something shocking – the hair will begin to shed, thereby returning your scalp to the state it was before the hair transplant procedure.
This is no cause to panic, as the transplanted follicles are still very strong and are getting integrated into your scalp.
The hair will continue shedding. But again, you have no cause to worry. Your scalp must have completed a significant aspect of the healing process at this stage. Then, you can expect the hair to grow healthier and longer. However, your growth rate is unique, so it may be faster or slower than you anticipate.
Three to six months into your hair transplant, you will begin to reap the benefits of the procedure. At this point, you will have a healthy and natural-looking hair mass, which you will start noticing around the fourth month. The grafted areas will fill up and get thicker, and before you know it, your hair will be back on track to its state before you started experiencing the hair loss. Of course, no one will know you have just had a hair transplant.
Six months to a year after the hair transplant, the scanty areas will be filled up. You can also expect the growth to improve significantly, as at this stage, there is a certainty that your body has accepted the grafted hairs, incorporated them, and will fortify them with the nutrients they need to thrive.
Finally, the grafted hairs will begin to blend thoroughly into your scalp, and you will barely know you had a hair transplant.
When looking to get a hair transplant, you must know everything involved in the process, including how long your recovery will take and the stages that lead to apparent results. That way, you can make adequate preparations regarding your work and post-surgical hair care. You will also know what to expect while you heal, so you will have no reason to panic during the different stages.