Are you one of many in their thirties or forties affected by the unfortunate and alarming hair loss or balding? Hair braids, thyroid and hormone problems, chronic diseases, taking medication long-term, unhealthy hair habits can all contribute to strong hair loss. It can become truly visible in your thirties and forties; genetic inheritance can also play a major role in your hair thinning, and balding. Don’t lose hope, there’s a solution!
If you feel the urge to treat your serious scalp problem and get back your former healthy-looking hair, having a hair transplant procedure could be your solution! You could find out if this is truly the best option for you, by making an appointment with a dermatologist. Maybe a lighter treatment, like mesotherapy or micro-needling is enough for you. But when all hope is lost, hair transplants could work effectively.
The Two Major Hair Transplant Procedures
There are two main hair transplant methods today, depending on your individual needs and preferences, FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation), and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). Both techniques have pros and cons, and both can be effective. FUE is a more pricey surgical intervention than FUT, this might be the first thing you want to consider. The second key factor is the procedures’ length. FUT can be a lot longer process than FUE.
During both methods, the surgeon places hair grafts in small incisions in the affected scalp area. The aim is the even distribution of small incisions to create a seamless blend with your existing hair. A micro-punch or implanter device can be used, as well as very fine forceps by the surgeon, to insert the hair grafts. The follicles need skillful, and careful handling so they don’t get damaged for optimal survival of the grafts.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) for Shorter Hair
You should consider undergoing FUE, if you want to wear your hair short. The big plus point of this treatment is the significantly shorter recovery time, which can take up to 7 days the most. Even though it takes a lot less time to recover after FUE, it is a very time-consuming process because the hair follicles are placed by the piece. The recovery period following FUE, on the other hand, can take 10-14 days.
The FUE hair method uses follicle grafts from the donor areas (the sides and back of the head). The surgeon uses a micro-punch tool for every follicle graft excision. The scarring following this hair transplant is small and round, about a millimeter in diameter. The punch tool can leave a mark of hundreds or even thousands of tiny scars, depending on the extraction of hair follicles. After healing, these scars can look like small white dots.
You Need Enough Patience for Best Results in FUE
Each follicle scar holds one to four strands. The recipient areas receive the donated hair via small incisions. Please note that FUE is a meticulous process that requires many hours, and even days. It can also be done several times over two or three months for the greatest result. Stitches aren’t required for this procedure, and the recovery time is short generally. It is done on an outpatient basis by applying local anesthesia.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) for Fuller or Longer Hair
If you have longer hair, a big issue with FUT can be the large surgery area that needs to be shaved. It can take even more than a year until your newly grown hair catches up with the rest. You don’t need to worry about the pain factor, both procedures are painless and can be done under local anesthesia. This technique should be more effective for you if you have large areas of missing hair, so you need more grafting.
This intervention requires a strip of scalp extraction from the donor area which usually lays on the occiput. When the surgeon removes the strip, they suture the donor area together. The suturing causes a linear scar of uneven lengths predicated on the extracted strip. In some cases, the scar tissue could elongate from ear to ear.
Your scalp strip was needed to apply the hair follicle grafts (they came from your scalp) onto the recipient area with micro-incisions for each hair. In just ten days you can have your stitches removed by the surgeon. The FUT transplant surgery as stated above also uses local anesthesia and you can get it on an outpatient basis!
The FUT procedure could cause more swelling and pain than FUE, but results should vary based on the individual. The long-term donor hair can be determined based on how loose the scalp’s skin is and how much hair each patient has per square centimeter of donor scalp. Comparing FUE with FUT, the FUT hair procedure could be a better choice in terms of resulting in higher donor hair yield in a lifetime relative to FUE.
How Long Each Procedure Takes
Even though new hair growth might seem slower in FUT, since you have to wait for at least 3-4 months to see some growth, eventually you can end up having a lot fuller hair in return for your patience. The FUT surgery time can be considerably less, 4-12 hours depending on the size of the donor area and the number of grafts required.
FUE can take longer, from 10 hours even up to a day, as the donor area might need over 2000 grafts. If you decide next to FUE, it is good to know that you may want to hide and cover the surgery scar with your remaining hair, provided it is hideable. If the most important factor in regaining your hair’s richness, is that you can wait a bit until it grows back, you could choose this option. Your surgeon can advise the better option for you.
Conclusion: Making the Right Choice
After reading this article, doing your research, finding a good surgeon, and listening to your inner voice, you perhaps find what best works for you. In a YouTube video, a lady who works in the beauty industry shares her entire documented story on how she chose FUT and shows how her long hair had to be shaved in a spot.
She slightly regretted her decision because she had to cover the spot long until it grew to an acceptable length. She stated that if she had to start the procedure again, with her current knowledge she would probably go for FUE. I am sure you will be making the right decision with the help of a great professional! Best of luck!