What Are the Pros and Cons of Hair Transplant Surgery?

If you’ve noticed that you’re losing your hair, you’re not alone. Many men and women encounter some level of hair loss, and it’s usually down to an age related hormonal imbalance. In fact, over half of all men will develop male hormone, or ‘androgenic’, hair loss by the time they reach 50 years old. Some even begin to lose their hair as early as their late teens or early twenties. In women, it’s usually during pregnancy, or as a result of the onset of menopause at around 50 years old.

You may have heard of various hair loss treatments, or even tried some. There are all manner of topical lotions that you can apply to your scalp, laser devices to help stimulate hair growth and medications that block the hormones that cause hair loss.

But all of these have down sides. Some have unwanted side effects such as impotence or lowered sperm counts, and many can’t be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women or can only be used by specific age groups. Many need to be used or taken for a few months before any benefit can be seen. Plus, some simply aren’t proven to work, such as laser or LED light devices designed to be used as a comb, or to be worn on the head for lengths of time.

But perhaps the biggest downside to these is the fact that once you stop them, your hair loss will return and any benefits you have seen, will disappear within a few months.

THE BENEFITS OF HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGERY

Hair transplant surgery however, is extremely successful, and results in long term, noticeable and natural results. More advantages to hair transplant surgery include:

  • It often works where other hair loss treatments haven’t
  • It’s good for treating larger areas of hair loss
  • Unlike other hair loss treatments, treatment can be carried out during later stages of hair loss
  • It produces natural looking results
  • Specific areas of the scalp can be targeted
  • It’s suitable for males and females
  • Once hair begins to grow, it will continue to do so

A Hair Transplant is a Proven Method for Hair Loss

If you’ve looked in to hair loss treatments such as the daily oral medication Propecia, also known as finasteride, you will know that there are limitations to the success of this treatment for hair loss. The same can be said for topical solutions that you apply to your scalp such as Regaine, also known by its active ingredient name, minoxidil.

These treatments will not work if they are started too late. That is, if your level of hair loss is too great, then taking or using these will not work. However, a hair transplant will. It’s unlikely that you’ll find a surgeon prepared to carry out a hair transplant if you have a completely bald scalp, but a hair transplant on a progressively balding scalp will be more successful than medications and lotions. It can also be carried out on anyone over the age of 18. Many medications and lotions will not work on much older people, or on women.

A Hair Transplant Can Boost Self-Esteem

Perhaps the largest benefit of have a hair transplant, is the boost it gives to confidence and wellbeing. Our hair often defines who we are; how we style it, colour it and wear it. If we start to lose it, then it can knock our confidence and change our personality.

The boost from having a fuller head of healthy hair can be enormous and can impact positively on self-esteem, personal relationships, business relationships and social lives. And as the new transplanted hair is your own, it will look and feel just like the rest of your hair, eventually blending in well and looking just like no surgery had ever taken place.

Ultimately, your results will depend on many factors that are individual to you, but our surgeons are all experts and will talk you through your realistic expectations. But as a general rule, you’ll be able to enjoy fuller, thicker hair after your hair transplant procedure.

Hair Transplants Create Completely Natural Looking Results

Hair transplants have come a long way over the past 20 years, and now produce completely realistic and natural results. You can choose exactly where you’d like your hair line to begin, and what areas you’d like your surgeon to cover. Expert surgeons will also take care to make sure any scarring is well hidden by longer hair at the back of the head.

Hair transplantation techniques aren’t only for male patients. Many women successfully have hair transplants to restore areas where hair has been lost. These same techniques are also suitable for patients requiring facial hair transplants too, such as on the eyebrows, or in the side burn or beard area on men.

THE CONS OF HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGERY

As with any procedure or technique, there are some down sides to hair transplant surgery. These include:

  • The length of the procedure
  • The cost
  • The recovery time
  • It may leave scarring
  • New hair takes a long time to grow
  • Areas surrounding the treated area may be prone to hair loss

A Hair Transplant Takes a Long Time and Can Be Costly

A hair transplant is a lengthy procedure, often requiring you to sit still in a chair for up to six or eight hours. The results are definitely worth it, but this length of time and dedication from our surgeons does mean that a hair transplant is more costly than other hair loss treatments.

Most people however weigh up this cost with the fact that a hair transplant is usually a one-off procedure. Once the hair begins to grow in the transplanted area, it will continue to do so. Our hair transplant experts are highly skilled in producing natural, positive results. It pays to visit a trained expert, rather than a clinic that appears more cost effective but may have questionable training and procedures.

Recovering from a Hair Transplant

The length of recovery time and possible scarring will depend on whether you opt for the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method of hair transplantation or the Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), or ‘strip harvesting’ method. (See our page on FUE vs FUT for the differences between the two.) As FUE requires the use of a small ‘punch’ to remove individual hair follicles, rather than a whole strip of skin from the back of the scalp as with FUT, it results in less scarring and a quicker recovery time.

Waiting for your New Hair to Grow

Although a hair transplant is generally a one-off treatment, as opposed to lotions and medications which need to be taken indefinitely, hair growth isn’t instant. You will notice the outline of your new hair line instantly, but you will need to wait a few months before you begin to notice real growth. You new hair will be growing from your own follicles, just in a different place, so your rate of hair growth will be the same as it always has been.

Surrounding Areas of Hair Loss

Finally, there are cases where areas of the scalp next to the transplanted area will begin to lose hair. This is a result of your natural area of hair loss expanding. It’s advisable in these cases to use other hair loss treatments such as medications or topical lotions to prevent this from happening.

To find out more on the this and other aspects of hair loss, contact us today. We can talk through your personal options with you, and help you come to the right decision to suit you and your expectations.