Hair loss and hair thinning are common problems for many people worldwide. Since having thick hair is linked with health and youth, many people opt for hair grafting to restore their hair. Here are all you need to know about how hair grafting works.
What is the hair grafting procedure?
Hair grafting is a cosmetic surgery involving moving hair follicles from one part of your body to another with thin hair. The surgery aims to increase hair density and give the patient a more youth-like look.
Types of hair grafting
There are two main types of hair grafting.
1. Follicular Unit Transplant
This method involves removing a thin piece of skin from the non-balding area and moving it to the site with thin hair.
Follicular Unit Strip Surgery includes the following steps:
- The surgeon will take a piece of skin from your scalp,
- The surgeon use stitches to close the incisions,
- The specialized medical team will divide the taken strip into several tinier strips,
- The surgeon will use a special blade to poke several holes in your scalps, where they will transplant the new hair follicles,
- The surgeon will place the small pieces of the skin in the holes (This step is known as grafting),
- Finally, the surgeon will cover the surgical area with a dressing and bandages.
2. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
This hair transplant technique involves taking follicles from the scalp to transplant them in the balding area without removing any skin.
Follicular unit extraction includes the following steps:
- Shaving off the hair on the backside of the head,
- Removing the hair grafts one by one without removing skin tissues,
- Making small holes in the area where the hair will be transplanted,
- Covering the surgical site with bandages.
Recovery after hair grafting
Since the hair grafting procedure is minimally invasive, the recovery period is relatively short. It usually takes only a few days (around five days) for your scalp to heal fully.
During the following days, your incisions will start to heal. You may experience mild swelling that goes away by itself after a few days.
After 3 or 4 days, you will be able to return to work. After the 5th day, you should be able to remove the bandages. On the 6th day, you can wash your head but must do it gently.
After two weeks after the surgery, the stitches are dissolved. Some hair shafts may start to fall, but that is a regular part of the growth cycle. Most of the new hair will have fallen as the first month passes. After six months, the new hair will begin to appear. At this point, you will not be able to distinguish your original hair from the new one.
Tips for better hair grafting recovery
Successful recovery means better results. To achieve healthy hair grafting recovery; there are some tips that you need to follow, such as:
- Avoid vigorous exercise for about two to four weeks after the hair grafting procedure. Exercise can improve the blood flow to the scalp leading to unwanted results.
- Do not wash your head for three days following hair grafting surgery. It would be best to wait until your incision heals before you wash your head.
- When you first wash your head, use diluted shampoo and mix it well with water. It would also help avoid direct water currents from the showerhead during the first week.
- Avoid wearing headwear during the first week after the procedure. If you must, wear a loose hat.
- Do not expose your head to direct sunlight.
- Resist the urge to scratch your head and try to ignore the itchy feeling.
- Avoid sleeping on your belly during the first weeks.
- Refrain from smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages for about four weeks.
- Avoid sexual intercourse for the first week following the surgery. Having sex is the same as strenuous exercise.
- Have a healthy diet with good nutrients.
Does hair grafting work?
Hair grafting is a successful way to restore hair fullness and have a better look. According to studies, about 85 to 95% of the grafted hair will grow. These numbers reveal that the surgery is quite successful.
Some patients may worry that their bodies will reject the planted hair. However, this fear is unjustified because the grafted hair is extracted from the patient’s body; thus, it will not reject them.
Is hair grafting painful?
The surgical area will be numbed during the surgery, so the patient will not feel any pain. However, the patient may feel mild pain or soreness at the surgery site after the hair grafting procedure is over. This pain may remain for the next few days; therefore, the surgeon will prescribe some OTC painkillers.
Are hair graft results permanent?
The results of the hair grafting procedure last for a long time after the surgery. The new hair will continue to grow despite the origin of the follicles. However, hair grafting does not stop hair loss or hair thinning. Many patients choose to have another hair transplant during the following ten years.
Do I need more than one hair grafting procedure?
Although most patients achieve the desired results with only one session, many patients may choose to have another one. Some of them do it because they want denser hair. Others may do it later due to gradual hair loss.
You can also check hair transplant in Iran before and after images.