Hair loss can be upsetting, especially if it’s sudden. Whether it is affecting your body or facial hair, the change in appearance can impact your self-esteem and leave you feeling unlike yourself.
There are several reasons for hair thinning or balding, including:
- Illness and/or medication
- Thyroid imbalance
While some hair loss is sadly irreversible, some conditions can be corrected with hair transplantation. First trialled in New York in the 1950s, hair transplants reintroduce real follicles back into the affected area to ensure cohesive coverage and a future of natural growth.
Can I get a hair transplant?
If you are uncomfortable about your hair loss and seeking a permanent fix, you could consider a hair transplant. Temporary solutions such as using products like hair building fibres and doing scalp massages to stimulate growth are effective interim measures, especially in cases of gradual decline.
Hair transplants are most beneficial for those with well-defined male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. It is also an avenue that can be pursued by individuals who have lost hair due to scalp injuries or scarring.
Some conditions cannot be treated with this procedure, such as the autoimmune disease alopecia areata which causes cells to attack hair follicles which prevents hair production and growth.
Types of hair transplant
There are two types of hair transplant: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transportation (FUT). The two procedures work similarly with a couple of key differences.
FUE vs FUT
With FUE, individual hairs are removed from another site and inserted into the affected area through a series of tiny cuts. This causes minute scarring that is not usually visible.
FUT is relatively more invasive. A strip of skin is removed from another part of the body and grafted into the balding area, again using a series of small cuts. Stitches are required to repair the area where the skin was removed, resulting in one significant scar that is visible if you have short hair.
A medical healthcare professional and your procedure provider will be able to recommend which treatment is best for you and your condition.
Pros and cons of hair transplants
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks to be aware of. However, usually, the pros of hair transplants far outweigh the cons.
One of the main pros of hair transplants is improved self-esteem. Revitalised hair makes you look younger and feel more like your old self, both of which give patients a boost of confidence.
The other major benefit is that the implanted hair will grow as normal so there is often no need for further treatments following the surgery. As hair transplants utilise the patient’s hair to treat the condition, this growth looks completely natural amongst the rest of your hair.
Hair transplants usually involve a cost. However, as they offer a permanent solution that negates the need for temporary products, this is cost-effective in the long run.
Other cons include the scarring, although this is often minimal, and a danger of infection following the surgery. If the correct post-treatment advice is followed, infection is usually avoided.