Table of contents:
What is a hair transplant?
Male pattern hair loss is obviously a male characteristic. Most clearly seen are temple thinning (widow peaks) and recession. This can be difficult to hide, especially from the side or in windy, rainy conditions. Bad hair can ruin all attempts at a female presentation. Certainly, hairpieces or wigs can be worn to cover this male pattern baldness; these “solutions” are simply not what most people want. After all other gender-confirming procedures have been completed, most people want their own growing real hair in the fashion and style of their true gender.
How many graft would I need?
The number of hair follicles (grafts) that can be used for a hair transplant is limited. In the donor area there are about 5,500 grafts that can be used for a hair transplant. It is therefore not only important to determine how many grafts are needed to improve the hairline, but also the maximum number of grafts that can be used. The average man needs up to 560 grafts and the average woman needs 300 to 500 grafts. Each graft can contain 1 to 4 hairs. Covering a quarter of the bald area requires a few hundred grafts, while a larger bald area closer to the size of an open hand may require a few thousand. The only way to accurately determine how many follicles you need to achieve your goal is to talk to one of our specialists and discuss your goal 1-on-1.
What is the difference between male and female hairlines?
- Hairline is higher
- Hairline is lower
- Inverted U-shape
The female hairline is variable in position. Ideally would be a hairline 5 to 6.5 cm above the brows and usually beginning at the point where the scalp slopes from a more horizontal position to a more vertical position. In males, the average hairline is higher than the average in females. Another difference is the shape of the hairline. A man usually has receded corners above the temples that give it an “M” shape. Conversely, the female hair pattern is oval-shaped, smoother, and full around the facial edge.
Male aging pattern
- Receding hairline
Female aging pattern
- Overall thinning
An additional difference between male and female hairlines comes with the age. There is a typical male pattern of baldness with a recession of the hairline. How many women do you see walking around with a receding hairline? While biological women sometimes do suffer from hair loss, it is usually an all-over thinning of the hair from the entire scalp and isn’t specifically targeted to one area.
When do I see the results of a hair transplant surgery?
The results will be visible 60 days after the procedure. Approximately 14 to 21 days after the procedure, your newly transplanted hair will start to fall out, but don't worry, this is normal. The roots of the hairs are still under the skin and new strong hairs will grow out during the following months. About 6 months after your surgery, about 70% of the follicles will contain new hairs. The remaining hairs can take up to a year to fully develop.
Is hair transplant surgery painfull?
According to most patients, a hair transplant is not a painful experience. Patients are always given local anesthesia and other medications to alleviate the discomfort. Most patients report that the procedure is painless and that the patient's recovery is not necessary.
How long does it take to recover from hair transplant surgery?
The morning after the surgery:
- the hair CANNOT be washed or styled. The hairs is still loose so they would just fall out. The skin needs time to heal.
- You will be given a bandage that must remain in place for at least 2 days. You could go back to work after 3 days, but we recommend taking a week off to fully recover.
3 days after the surgery:
- On the third day, you can remove the bandage very carefully and rinse your head lightly. Do not stand under the shower jet but use a wet washcloth with a mild shampoo and let the foam run over the treated area a few times. Dry your hair very carefully by dabbing and patting gently with a soft towl (no rubbing).
- Avoid physical exertion or exercise during the first week as your body needs time to recover. This reduces the risk of injury or bleeding.
- During the healing process, some small scabs may form and you may experience some slight swelling in transplanted areas. If scabs develop, they usually disappear within 7 days.
2 months after the surgery:
- Only after 2 months you are allowed to dye your hair.
- Wait a few days after surgery to wash your hair. Use only mild shampoos during the first few weeks.
- You should be able to return to work or engage in normal activities in about 3 days.
- Do not brush or comb the new grafts for about 3 weeks.
- Do not wear hats or hoodies, sweaters, pullovers and t-shirts until your doctor says it is okay.
- Do not exercise for about a week.
- Don't worry if some hairs fall out. This is part of the process. It is possible that the transplanted hair will not a lot for a few months or fit seamlessly into the surrounding hair.
We use the FUE technique for hair transplants
FUE stands for "Follicular Unit Extraction". With this technique, individual hair follicles are removed one by one, from different places on the scalp and transplanted to the problem areas. The disadvantage is that your head and donor areas need to be shaved before treatment. Between 1400 and 1500 grafts can be transplanted per day. If more grafts are needed, the treatment is done in two days.
At the o2 Clinic we also use the "no-shave" FUE technique. This is the removal of the hair in its long form where the patient does not have to shave any part of the head before the operation. It is also called "unshaven FUE", "non-shaven FUE", "U-FUE (or Undetectable FUE)" or long hair FUE.
The most common side effect is scarring. A certain degree of scarring cannot be avoided with any procedure. The FUE harvesting technique of grafts causes very small, round and usually white scars in the donor area of the patient where the grafts have been removed. With long hair, these are virtually undetectable.
Other possible side effects might include:
- scabs or pus around the surgical sites;
- scalp pain, itching and swelling;
- inflammation of hair follicules (folliculitis);
- numbness around the surgical sites;
- visible areas of hair that do not match the surrounding hair or are noticeably thinner;
- persistent hair loss if your hair is still balding.
Frequently asked questions
How many grafts do I need?
The number of hair follicles (grafts) that can be used for a hair transplant is limited. There are some 5,500 grafts in the donor area that can be used for a hair transplant. It is therefore not only a question of determining how many grafts are needed to improve the hairline/recipient area, but also how many grafts can be used to the maximum. Transplanting too many grafts at once can even cause hair density to deteriorate.
Is hair transplant surgery painful?
According to most patients, a hair transplant is not a painful experience. Patients are always given local anaesthetics and other medications to alleviate the discomfort. Most patients report that the procedure is pain-free and that the patient's recovery is not necessary. However, the procedure can take a long time as all hair follicles have to be harvested one by one.
Is it necessary to shave my hair before hair transplant surgery?
You can choose. We use both the Shave FUE method (= Follicle Unit Extraction with shaving) and the No-shave FUE method (= Follicle Unit Extraction without shaving). It is also called "unshaven FUE", "non-shaven FUE", "U-FUE (or Undetectable FUE)" or long hair FUE. This entails transplanting long hairs. This way no one knows that you have had a transplant. Of course, the No-shave FUE method is more time-consuming and more cumbersome to harvest and implant. Therefore, the price per graft is also higher.
How long does it take to recover?
After the operation:The hair is NOT washed or styled. The hair is still loose so it would just fall out. The skin needs time to grow back together again. You will be given a bandage that must remain in place for at least 2 days. You could go back to work, but we recommend taking a week off to fully recover.
After about 3 days:Carefully remove the bandage and clean the hair with water and a mild shampoo. Do not stand under a jet but let the water drip gently over your head. Pat dry gently (do not rub). In this stage, slight swelling and scabs will form.
After about 2 weeks:The newly transplanted hair will fall out - this is normal.
After about 2 months:The hair can be dyed again.
After about 3 months:The new hair will start to grow until about 12 months after your hair transplant. And of course, if you have long hair, the new hair will take a while to catch up.
What is the difference between FUE and FUT transplants?
During an FUE hair transplant (= Follice Unit Extraction), hairs are harvested one by one from the donor area and transplanted into the recipient area. This is quite labour intensive for our specialists. Therefore, this method is more expensive and in addition, fewer grafts can be transplanted a day than an FUT hair transplant. However, you can choose the Shave (the donor area is shaved in advance) or the No Shave method (long hairs are harvested and implanted). Kinky-curly hair (e.g. 3 C of 4A, B or C) is very brittle and therefore not suitable for FUE treatment.
During an FUT hair transplant (= Follicle Unit Transplant), a strip of skin is removed from the donor area at the back of the head and reimplanted into the recipient area. This makes it slightly cheaper than FUE and faster, but a major disadvantage of this technique is that it leaves a scar in the donor area. For these reasons we do not use this method in our clinic.
Will I have to undergo an additional hair transplant in the future?
It is possible that your hair loss will continue. Especially if you have had a hair transplant at a young age. All transplanted grafts will continue to produce hair for the rest of your life, but the hair around them that you had at first could fall out at a later time. In that case, you could consider extra treatment.
What is the cost of hair transplant or hairline lowering surgery?
Hair transplants or hairline lowering surgeries vary greatly from patient to patient, which is why it is difficult to put a general price for hair surgery. It depends on what your wishes are, how large the zone is, which method you choose (Shave FUE or No Shave FUE), how many grafts you will need, etc. The costs will be determined during your consultation or you can request a personalised quote to get an idea.
More information about the price per graft can be found here.
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