Thinking about hair transplant surgery? Transplants are becoming more popular as they are currently the only real way to restore your natural growing hair.
In this type of surgery hair follicles that are not genetically susceptible to balding (usually on the back and sides of the head) are taken and surgically replanted into a balding area (like the top of your head or front hairline). The transplanted hair is not genetically programmed to be lost. So most of this transplanted hair will continue to grow for a lifetime, giving you a fuller head of hair and a more youthful look.
This has some definite advantages over other hair loss treatments. For example, it's a one time cost - you don't have to mess with gels, special shampoos or lotions for the rest of your life. You also don't have to take prescription drugs for hair loss - which can have serious side effects.
But what options do you have if you're considering surgery?
#1 FUT - Follicular Unit Transplant
This is the most popular type of transplant. It's also called FUSS (follicular unit strip surgery) or the strip method and has also been around for a long time.
With this method, a narrow strip of hair is taken from the back of your scalp (where you aren't prone to thinning). The grafts from the strip are then separated and implanted into the balding areas. The donor area is closed up with sutures or staples. These will be removed in several days or absorbed.
Depending on several factors, you may have a small scar in the donor area (which will be covered by your growing hair). Approximate downtime can run from 1 week to a month, depending on the situation, how well you heal, etc.
The benefits of this type of surgery is that you can usually get a lot of grafts transplanted in one session - so results can be dramatic. Also, the cost per graft is more affordable than the FUE method below.
#2 FUE - Follicular Unit Extraction
This is a newer technique that some doctors (not all) are starting to offer. It involves harvesting each hair follicle separately from the back and sides of the head. Then each hair follicle is transplanted into the balding area. There is no scalpel strip cutting or any deep surgery with this method.
The benefits are that you get less scarring with this method plus the recovery time can be shorter. This is a good method for some guys who want to get "touch-ups" as they lose their hair over time.
The downside is that this tends to be pricier because it's more labor intense and you also can't do as many hair grafts per session.