The decision to undergo a hair transplant is not an easy one, nor is it a decision that should be taken lightly. Before making a decision one way or the other, prospective hair transplant patients should carefully weigh all of the pros and cons associated with the many different hair transplant procedures that are available. Prospective patients should also consider their own specific goals and what they hope to achieve by undergoing a hair transplant procedure, as having a specific goal in mind will serve as a critical guide during the decision-making process.
Hair transplant procedures have come a long way and have benefited tremendously from innovations that have enabled hair transplant surgeons to create completely natural-looking hairlines for men and women suffering from hair loss or thinning hair. Even with all of the advances and pioneering techniques, there are pros and cons involved in the decision to undergo a hair transplant procedure that prospective patients should be aware of. Once the patient understands the various pros and cons associated with the hair restoration process, they can make an informed decision that ensures they achieve the specific outcome they are seeking.
Among the many pros associated with a hair transplant procedure, the restored sense of confidence brought about by the end result of the procedure ranks near the very top in the eyes of many patients. With the advent of new procedures and technologies, hair restoration procedures can successfully create a natural-looking hairline along with a substantially thicker head of hair through any number of hair transplant methodologies, including Follicular Unit Transplants (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). Since these procedures rely on donor tissue taken from the actual patient, the transplanted hair blends seamlessly with the patient’s naturally occurring hair.
Although there are a few cons associated with hair restoration procedures, it is worth noting that the majority of these drawbacks relate to the patient’s own perceptions and expectations. A hair restoration will not restore the hairline one possessed in their early 20s and will not restore the follicular density possessed during youth. It is also unlikely that a patient whose hair loss is ongoing will be able to stop their hair loss through the use of a hair transplant. In fact, most hair transplant doctors in New York City; Greenwich, Connecticut;Chicago, Illinois; Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia; Houston, Dallas, Texas; Manila, Philippines; Dubai, Abu Dhabi,U.A.E.; and Karachi, Pakistan, will recommend against a hair transplant until the patient’s hair loss has stabilized.
Patients should understand that a hair transplant is designed to improve the patient’s existing hairline and hair density while using the patient’s limited supply of donor tissue. A patient with the appropriate expectations regarding what a hair transplant can and cannot achieve is far more likely to be satisfied with the outcome generated through the hair restoration process.
The patient should make sure they ask any questions they may have during the initial consultation process, as it is during this time that the doctor will be able to outline what each procedure may be able to accomplish for the patient. The doctor will also outline the limitations associated with each procedure, thereby helping the patient understand precisely what should be expected of the hair transplant procedure.
Benefits of hair transplants
The benefits of a hair transplant are difficult to quantify, particularly since so many patients choose to undergo a hair transplant with the goal of reestablishing a lost sense of confidence and self-esteem. Part of the reason that a hair transplant is able to influence feelings of confidence and self-esteem has to do with the fact that an improved hairline and a thicker head of hair contribute to a more youthful appearance. Obviously, improvements in confidence and self-esteem can generate untold benefits that include a multitude of aspects of one’s personal life as well as one’s professional life.
Patients in New York City; Greenwich, Connecticut;Chicago, Illinois; Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia; Houston, Dallas, Texas; Manila, Philippines; Dubai, Abu Dhabi,U.A.E.; and Karachi, Pakistan, often report feeling energized after experiencing the improvements made possible through a hair transplant procedure, and they often feel that they benefit from an increase in positive interactions with friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers, apart from potential professional advancement, particularly those in positions that require much interaction including sales and marketing. Since there is little or no evidence revealing the fact that the patient ever underwent the procedure, the patient can choose who they wish to inform about undergoing a hair transplant. This is especially the case with procedures like FUE, which is a no-scar, no-suture hair restoration technique. Even with FUT, the small horizontal scar that is left behind can be easily obscured by the patient’s remaining and naturally growing hair.
The brief recovery period associated with both FUE and FUT is also beneficial to the patient, as there should be little to no interruption to the patient’s normal schedule after undergoing a hair transplant procedure. Following FUE, the patient can return to normal activities the very next day; following FUT, patients will require some downtime, but no more than a few days before resuming regular activity and a few weeks before resuming strenuous activity.
Limitations of a hair transplant
Patients weighing the pros and cons of a hair transplant procedure must understand that there are limitations with regard to what these procedures can accomplish. Since there are limitations, a patient may have outsized expectations that are simply impossible to live up to. A patient with such outsized expectations is likely to wind up disappointed by the work of even the most exceptional hair transplant surgeon, so it is absolutely necessary for every patient to clearly understand what a hair transplant can and cannot accomplish before making a decision.
In the typical hair transplant procedure, the hair transplant surgeon will use hair from the patient’s donor site to generate an appropriate amount of coverage in the recipient site, or the places in which hair loss or thinning hair is most apparent. The most economical method for achieving adequate coverage with a limited supply of DHT-resistant donor tissue is to restore 25 percent of the number of total hair follicles that would otherwise be naturally growing in these areas. Hair transplant doctors in New York City; Greenwich, Connecticut;Chicago, Illinois; Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia; Houston, Dallas, Texas; Manila, Philippines; Dubai, Abu Dhabi,U.A.E.; and Karachi, Pakistan, utilize this 25 percent figure since it has been repeatedly shown to create more than adequate coverage in areas affected by hair loss or thinning hair without requiring the doctor to overuse the available donor tissue.
The goal of a hair transplant is to improve the patient’s existing hairline while enhancing the overall density of the patient’s hair. Patients should therefore not expect that the hairline and hair density of their youth will be completely restored in every way, shape, and form. Vast improvements to a patient’s existing hairline and hair density, on the other hand, are completely appropriate expectations for a patient to possess when considering the possibility of undergoing a hair transplant procedure.
What to expect after a hair transplant
During the course of the initial consultation at a hair transplant clinic in New York City; Greenwich, Connecticut;Chicago, Illinois; Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia; Houston, Dallas, Texas; Manila, Philippines; Dubai, Abu Dhabi,U.A.E.; and Karachi, Pakistan, the hair transplant surgeon will discuss what the patient should expect throughout every stage of the process, including the pre-operative and post-operative stages. It is important to note that these post-operative expectations will depend upon the specific hair transplant procedure, as the recovery process associated with FUE is different from the recovery process associated with FUT. It is also critical that the patient abide by the instructions the doctor provides, as there is a risk that ignoring the doctor’s instructions results in an adverse impact on the overall efficacy of the hair transplant procedure.
Following the completion of an FUE hair transplant procedure, patients can expect a quick recovery process and will be able to resume normal activities on the day after the procedure. This is because the FUE hair transplant procedure is a no linear scar, no-suture procedure. The FUT procedure will require a slightly lengthier recovery process, and many patients take an extra day or two off following the completion of the procedure. After a few days of taking it easy, the patient can resume their normal activities but should still exercise a bit of extra caution during the first week to 10 days.
In both the FUT and FUE procedures, the patient can expect the transplanted hair to fall out after a period of a few weeks. This is completely normal and is not cause for concern. The transplanted grafts will begin to grow new hair after about four months, and the patient should have a clear idea about the coverage the hair transplant has yielded after about six months. If the patient is hoping to achieve greater density, the six-month mark is usually the ideal time to discuss the possibility of undergoing an additional hair transplant procedure.
For patients who plan on undergoing multiple sessions of FUT, the six-month mark is also the most appropriate time to meet with the doctor in order to make a plan of action for the subsequent sessions. In some cases, one or two sessions will prove to be more than enough for patients seeking significant improvements in volume, but it will not be clear whether this is the case until the transplanted follicles have had ample time to grow following the initial procedure.
What kind of results should I expect?
A hair transplant procedure is capable of vastly improving the overall appearance of one’s hair through the enhancement of the existing hairline and through the density added to areas in which hair loss or thinning hair has become noticeable. Although it is possible to achieve marked improvements, patients should understand that there are limits to what a hair transplant can achieve and should set realistic expectations based on those limits.
Quite a few factors will determine the end result of a hair transplant procedure. The amount of viable donor tissue available to the doctor will play a significant role in how much coverage is even possible, as some patients may not have enough DHT-resistant donor tissue to generate the level of coverage they are seeking. Even with adequate donor tissue available, a patient may have to be willing to undergo multiple transplant sessions to achieve the desired amount of coverage.
While there are indeed a number of factors that will influence the possible results a hair transplant procedure is able to achieve, the patient should expect to see the kind of results outlined by the doctor during the initial consultation process. It is during this time that the doctor and patient can discuss the specific hair transplant goals of the patient and how to best go about achieving these goals.
The doctor at a hair transplant clinic in New York City; Greenwich, Connecticut;Chicago, Illinois; Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia; Houston, Dallas, Texas; Manila, Philippines; Dubai, Abu Dhabi,U.A.E.; and Karachi, Pakistan, will be able to determine whether or not there is sufficient donor hair available and can discuss how many follicular unit grafts will be necessary to ensure that these goals are indeed achieved through the hair transplant process. It is also possible that the doctor will recommend strategies for supplementing a surgical hair transplant procedure with a non-surgical hair transplant procedure. FUE and FUT may benefit from the use of a topical solution once the grafts have taken root, and some patients can achieve the coverage they are seeking through the use of a surgical procedure in conjunction with a non-surgical option such as scalp micropigmentation.