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Published On: Fri, Aug 28th, 2020

How Long Do Hair Transplants Last?

A hair transplant is the longest lasting hair solution for those that experience premature balding and thinning of the hair. Other solutions like wigs, toupees, and temporary colorings are temporary solutions that will not stand the test of time. In addition to being temporary these other solutions take time to adequately use every morning. After a hair transplant recovery patients can enjoy waking up and simply enjoying a bald spot free head of hair with little to no extra morning preparation. Nobody enjoys extra work and a hair transplant is the closest hair loss solution to having a naturally occurring head full of hair. Simple everyday hair maintenance is all that is required with a successful hair transplant procedure. Below is a description of how long the hair transplant procedure takes, how long a typical recovery is, as well as how long does a hair transplant last. With this information patients are able to determine if a hair transplant is right for them and their lifestyle. 

photo/ Welshsk via wikimeida

Procedure

The hair transplant procedure can take quite a long time when performed by hand. The main reason the procedure takes so long is because there are actually two separate procedures that are being conducted. The first procedure is the excision of the healthy follicles from the back side of the scalp. This procedure can be lengthy when performed  by hand as each individual follicle needs to be carefully extracted to ensure the follicle unit as a whole is removed undamaged. The process of removing each individual follicle takes such a long time because of the sheer number of follicles that need to be harvested. The larger the area of baldness, the more follicles that need to be harvested. The number of follicles that need to be extracted could easily reach into the thousands of follicles. Once all of the follicle units are extracted they are placed into a solution that keeps the follicles alive and hydrated. The second part of the procedure is the implantation of the follicles into the balding regions. This is accomplished by creating a small incision in the scalp and gently placing the follicle unit into the small incision. Like the extraction, this needs to be performed for each follicle and it becomes quite time consuming. A typical procedure can easily take over 5 hours to complete from start to finish. In the grand scheme of things however this lengthy procedure is no longer that an average work day and is easily fit into anybody’s schedule.

Recovery

In the weeks following the operation it is extremely important to follow the postoperative care set by the doctor. The time right after the procedure is important because the follicles that have been inserted into the scalp have a risk of being dislodged or incorrectly incorporated. These issues will lead to an follicle failing and will result in the follicle not growing hair later on. To avoid this recommendation like routing gentle cleaning of the site, not smoking, and not wearing hats are recommended to ensure the body has ample time to incorporate the follicle before added stresses are placed on them. A couple of weeks after the procedure the original hairs from the follicles will naturally fall out and will look more or less the same as what it looked like before the procedure. After this stage the hair begins to grow back. Results from the transplant typically do not show up until the 2-6 month range when the hair begins growing and coming in thicker. Depending on the success of the procedure it may be recommended to have another procedure done to fill in any of the areas that follicles failed to take hold but this is a judgement that is made between the patient and the physician typically during the 1 year follow up. 

Longevity

While the procedure involves the hairs of the follicles being transplanted falling out, it is not something that will occur again. The hair transplant procedure is a permanent solution to hair loss as you are putting grown and healthy hair follicles into the scalp. Since they are harvested and transplanted from the same person the procedure is able to give natural looking results that both feel and are real. 

Overall a hair transplant is the only real permanent solution to hair loss. Other solutions may be able to disguise the evidence of hair loss but hair transplants are the only real solution that restores hair growth to areas that are balding or thinning. With the solution being permanent patients are able to go out and enjoy a youthful appearance and look the way that they feel. Hats, wigs, and toupees are all things of the past and these patients are able to move on with their lives not having to worry if their balding areas are showing. 

Author: Jacob Maslow

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