Does a Hair Transplant Stop Hair Loss?

If you’re thinking about having a hair transplant because you’re unhappy with your current hair line or level of hair loss, then you’re not alone. And you happen to be in the right place! Here at the DK Hair Klinik in Turkey, we see hundreds of men and women who enjoy the brilliant results of our expert hair transplants.

Hair transplants can, and do, work and can literally change the lives of people. They not only restore a long-forgotten hairline, but they restore confidence and allow people to style their hair how they want to.

But, as with many procedures, there are limitations. For example, a hair transplant cannot be used to help transform a completely bald scalp. And a hair transplant cannot stop hair loss.

How a Hair Transplant Works

When you have a hair transplant, your surgeon takes strong and healthy ‘donor’ follicles from around the back of your head within the ‘safe donor area’. This is an area where the hair follicles are strong and produce strong hairs that have a low risk of falling out. This area of the scalp is more resistant to the risk factors that cause hair to fall out such as genetic factors and hormones. The areas of the scalp surrounding this safe donor area have a higher risk of thinning and it takes an expert surgeon to locate the best and strongest follicles.

Your surgeon will then expertly transplant them to your ‘recipient’ area, the area, usually at the top and front of your scalp, that you’d like hair transplanted to.

These follicles then begin to grow new hairs in this area after a number of months. This patch of scalp may well still be producing hairs naturally, albeit hairs that are sparse, thinning or falling out. And it will continue to do so. Having donor hair follicles transplanted doesn’t mean that your natural hair in this area will stop falling out.

That ‘Pluggy’ Look

You may have seen images of ‘bad hair transplants’ with scalps that resemble those of childhood dolls, with that tell tale ‘pluggy’ look. But this isn’t always the sign of a bad surgeon, rather, that the natural hair surrounding the transplanted hair has continued to thin and eventually fall out, leaving the transplants behind. At best this causes a problem with a lower density, or thickness, of hair and at worst, neat rows of hair plugs that make it obvious that you’ve had a hair transplant.

Even the most successful of hair transplants cannot stop the thinning and eventual loss of hair. However, all is not lost, as there are still things you can do to help prevent hair loss after a hair transplant.

Hair Loss Medications

The success of your hair transplant depends greatly on the skill of your surgeon, but also on how well you look after the health of your hair afterwards. Hair doesn’t just suddenly start falling out (except in certain medical conditions). Instead, individual hairs gradually grow through thinner and thinner over time. As one hair sheds, a new hair grows back thinner and so on. Eventually the hair is so thin, or ‘miniaturised’, that it completely disappears, and no new hair grows in its place.

We know that hair loss in men is primarily caused by genetic factors and hormones. Therefore, it’s no surprise that there are thankfully many products on the market that help to prevent hair loss by having an effect on the hormones that cause it.

When you have a hair transplant, you may be advised to use these medications to help prevent losing the natural hair that grows around the newly transplanted hair. This will help to avoid the pluggy, doll’s hair look, and help to ensure your hair transplant is as successful as possible.

They can also be used on their own without a hair transplant, but they will not cause hair to grow back thicker or fuller and cannot result in thicker, fuller hair as a hair transplant will. They simply work to stop the natural hair you do have, from thinning and falling out.

However, they do need to be taken indefinitely, or for as long as you want to keep your hair from falling out. They usually take a few months to begin working and produce noticeable results, but if you stop using them, within a few months, your hair will begin to fall out once again.
Here’s the two main types of hair loss medications on the market:

Finasteride – this is a daily tablet designed for males with typical male pattern hair loss. It works by blocking the action of an enzyme within the body called 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme converts the male hormone testosterone into another male hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is responsible for male pattern hair loss by interfering with the hair follicles. Finasteride can cause problems with sexual desire and erectile dysfunction and isn’t suitable for use in women.

Minoxidil – this is a topical solution (either liquid or foam, whichever you prefer) that you apply to your scalp twice a day. When hair grows, it’s known to be in the ‘anagen’ phase. When it stops growing, it’s known to be in a resting, or ‘telogen’ phase. It’s during this telogen phase that hair naturally falls out. Minoxidil works by extending the anagen phase and delaying the telogen stage. It doesn’t prevent the thinning of the hair, but as it keeps hairs in the scalp for longer, it gives an overall thicker appearance. There is a minoxidil for men and one for women. Minoxidil can also cause problems with sexual desire and erectile dysfunction in men.

Shock Loss

So, we know that hair loss can still occur within the treated area of scalp after a hair transplant procedure. But you can also lose hair from the actual transplanted follicles in the weeks and months after a hair transplant. This is known as ‘shock loss’. If you think about what those delicate and tiny follicles go through during hair transplant surgery, it’s no real surprise that they can go into shock afterwards!

Doctors call this Telogen Effluvium, during which the trauma of surgery causes the follicles to enter the telogen, or resting phase, too early. This means the hair falls out, quite the opposite of what you’d expect after a hair transplant. However, it is usually temporary, and the hair follicle will kickstart back into its usual anagen, or growth, phase soon enough. Shock loss can often be helped by using finasteride or minoxidil.

Normal Male Pattern Baldness Continuing

After a hair transplant, it can also be common for male pattern baldness to continue, and for the hair in the area of the scalp surrounding the treated area to begin to thin and eventually fall out. In other words, the area of balding spreads further outwards. This can also be helped by the use of finasteride or minoxidil. A second hair transplant in this situation can also be considered.

Whatever your concerns about hair loss or having hair loss surgery, we’re here to help. Contact our friendly team today to see how we can help you.