Hair transplant is a surgical procedure involving hair removal from one part of the body to a balding area. The method is also used in the restoration of eyebrows, eyelashes, chest hair and pubic hair. The techniques employed in hair transplant mimic original hair orientation to give a natural looking experience. Here is how you can determine which hair transplant method is the best for you:
Follicular Unit Extraction
In FUE, individual hair follicles are extracted from the donor area to the thinning areas one at a time. Scarring occurs, but when the hair grows to average size, the scars are obscured. The good thing about FUE is that you recover fast with little post-operative discomfort as compared to the FUT. This technique mostly applies in tight skulls that FUT cannot apply.
At the end of the day, the procedure scarring results because the donor zone of extraction is greater than that in FUT. If the transplanted hair was obtained from the border regions of the donor site, the hair might be lost. The procedure is expensive and takes longer to perform. If you love short hairstyles, this procedure is not for you.
Follicular Unit Transplantation
In this technique, the surgeon removes hair from a strip of skin at the back of the head, sections it into grafts and transplants the hair units to the receptor areas. The procedure relies on the natural occurrence of hair in groups of 1 or 4 follicular units for a successful operation.
The process produces an immaculate resemblance to a natural look when the transplanted hair grows. The use of natural hair follicular units allows for successful transfer from the donor site to the recipient without damaging the donor site. Besides, the transplant is permanent.
In micrografting and mini-grafting, a thin strip of skin containing hair follicles is transplanted to the recipient site from the donor site. The lasers create the holes for a more natural look. The procedure is however not recommended for people with keloid scars, patients lacking adequate donor sites and women with widespread hair loss.
The good news is that the methods, when combined, provide a more natural look. Micrografting procedure is done on the hairlines to give it a beautiful appearance and mini-grafting on the larger thinning areas. Itching and crusting may occur but usually, resides after a few days. The cost of the procedure is dependent on the desired results and the severity of the condition. It may cost some thousand dollars or several thousand dollars.
Hair Stem Cell Transplant
The technique relies on the fact that each hair follicle has stem cells in different regions. Thus the procedure just takes a small part of the follicle for the transplant. As a result, the donor area is not completely sacrificed for the process, and the site may be reused for future operation.
Since the process includes the use of anesthetic, the procedure is not painful. The small needles used, reduce any chances of post-operative pain. The transplant is quite a success as there is full hair growth in both the donor site and the recipient. The result is quite attractive as there is no scarring and it allows you to wear your hair short with time. The procedure is costly and requires experts trained in stem cell transfer, but the result is worth the investment. The most significant drawback of the method is that the transplanted hair retains the characteristics of the donor site, and hence care should be taken during the procedure.
The punch technique is long outdated and rarely used today. Doctors have also abandoned the multi-strip method due to the extensive follicle damage, and the result is usually undesirable. The patient ends up looking like a puppet with hair facing different directions.
At the day of the day, it is better if you can talk to your doctor or surgeon so that they can explain each transplant method. The doctor will study your hair and determine which procedure will give the best results.