Expert facts for the follically challenged
If the words ‘comb’ or ‘hairbrush’ have long since lost all relevance to you then you are definitely not alone. Hair loss affects a whopping 6.5 million men in the UK and as many as 40% of men already have noticeable hair loss by their 35th birthday.
Many people find it difficult to adjust to hair loss and those of us who find ourselves follicularly challenged often struggle with low confidence as a result. Mr Amir Nakhdjevani, hair restoration specialist at Bella Vou and one of the UK’s pre-eminent hair transplant specialists, answers our questions about hair transplant procedures.
What is a hair transplant procedure?
Modern hair transplant surgery addresses balding, thinning and receding hair by removing healthy hair follicles from a donor region and grafting them onto the bald or thinning areas, resulting in a completely natural looking, permanent head of hair.
There are two common hair transplant techniques, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT). FUE involves transplanting individual hairs from one part of the body to another, which survive and grow as it did in the donor area, with a natural appearance. This technique can be used to restore depleted eyebrows, lashes, beards, sideburns as well as the scalp.
The alternative procedure, FUT, involves surgically removing a strip of tissue from a donor area (usually at the back of the head) which is cut into many individual follicular units using microscopic dissection techniques. FUT enables large numbers of follicle units to be transplanted in a single session; during FUE treatments, the greatest number of follicle units transferred is about 2,000 while up to 4,000 follicle units can be transplanted using FUT.
How long does the procedure take?
Typically procedures take between four and eight hours to complete. The upside is that there’s very little you need to do; clients simply get to relax while a busy team gently fuss about them – many people even nod off during their procedure!
Is an anaesthetic required?
Both FUE and FUT hair transplant procedures are performed under local anaesthetic, so aside from the short sharp little pricks of the needle, the rest is virtually pain free.
Will I require time off work?
At Bella Vou we have perfected minimally invasive hair transplant techniques that minimise trauma and scarring to the donor area. Patients are fully recovered from the procedure within two to three days, but most shouldn’t require time off work while they heal.
How long does it take for the final results to be realised?
Many patients are surprised that their transplanted hair actually sheds during the first three months and worry that the procedure has not been successful, but this is perfectly normal. Fear not! The new hairs will begin to grow after a couple of months, starting with fine hairs and thickening as the months go on. Most people will see their hair continue to thicken and can expect to see their final results within 12 to 18 months.
Does this procedure cause any scarring?
FUE methods do not result in scarring as individual hairs are extracted and then transplanted to the new site. With FUT procedures, some patients ask whether there will be any scarring at where the donor strip has been removed. Using the very latest techniques, our surgeons are able to minimise scarring in a way that makes hairs grow through the scar, making the scar virtually invisible once the new hairs have been established.
Is the procedure painful in any way?
The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic so it is unlikely that patients will suffer any pain or discomfort. After the procedure you should normally expect some soreness, numbness and swelling from the recipient area, which lasts two to three days and can be managed with pain killers such as Ibuprofen.
How much does a hair transplant cost?
Hair transplants are typically charged per hair graft, so the total cost will be determined by the number of hairs you require. Average costs are around £2 per graft; if you have quite advanced hair loss you may require anything from 3,000 to 7,500 hairs, so costs range from £6,000 to £15,000 but the typical client we see usually requires between 2,500 and 4,000 hairs to give them the result they are looking for.
For more information about hair transplants visit www.bellavou.co.uk/hair
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