A hair transplant is a procedure in which hair is transplanted to a balding or thinning area.
Because it is considered cosmetic surgery, it is not covered by the NHS, and the procedure can be quite expensive.
A hair transplant in the UK can cost anywhere from £1,000 to £30,000, according to the NHS, depending on the extent of hair loss, the type of procedure, and the clinic’s and team’s quality.
According to experts, hair transplants are more effective than over-the-counter hair restoration products.
But, does the pricey treatment actually work, and what should you know before starting the extreme hair regrowth procedure?
Who can have a hair transplant?
Hair transplants can be costly and painful
People who have hereditary baldness can benefit from a hair transplant.
It is usually not recommended for people who have other types of hair loss, such as alopecia areata, which causes bald patches.
Those with alopecia may have their hair transplanted if the affected area has been “burned out” and there has been no change or recurrence in the affected area for a full year after the non-surgical treatments have been completed.
Hair transplants are used to re-grow hair in areas of the scalp where it has been lost or thinning.
Depending on how many follicles the surgeon implants, each procedure takes several hours and both require a local anesthetic.
According to Medical News Today, “They are effective treatments for many types of hair loss, but they cannot prevent future hair loss.”
“People may require follow-up transplants to achieve long-term results.”
“Many factors influence the success rate of hair transplant surgery, including the surgeon’s skill and experience as well as the donor hair thickness.”
Does the hair growth last?
(Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)
There is a possibility that some of the transplanted hair follicles will not “take,” according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
“These follicles die, and new hair does not grow in their place,” it continued.
The ASPS also warns that a “touch-up” procedure may be required.
Follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions for the best results.
They’ll have a better chance of having a successful hair transplant if they do this.
Infections Scalp pain, itching, and swelling Inflammation of hair follicles (folliculitis) Bleeding Losing sensation around the surgical sites Visible areas of hair that don’t match the surrounding hair or are noticeably thinner Continuing to lose hair if your hair is still balding
Important factors to consider when getting hair transplants, according to Healthline, are:
In three to four months, anywhere from 10% to 80% of the hair transplanted will have fully grown back.
Transplanted hair will thin out over time, just like natural hair.
People with dormant hair follicles (sacs beneath the skin that used to contain hair but no longer do) may have less effective transplants, but according to a 2016 study, plasma therapy can help up to 75% or more of the transplanted hairs fully grow back.