Hair is an important element in completing the look of your face. In some cases, due to mostly genetic factors, -mainly men- have less hair either all over their head or on particular areas. Hair transplant is the process of transferring and transplanting follicles from areas of the head that exhibit adequate hairgrowth to areas of reduced or no hairgrowth.
The truth about hair loss
Hair loss is caused initially by a combination of aging with hormonal change and family history. It can also be caused by burns or an injury. In this case, hair restoration is realized by surgery.
Hair thinning is often attributed to poor circulation in the scalp, vitamin deficiency, dandruff and even to excessive use of hats that cause damage to the scalp’s hair. But all these theories have been reorganized. What is also untrue is that hair loss can be determined through examination of your family members or that it will never happen to those people who up until the age of 40 have never lost hair. What determines the behavior of hair follicles towards the androgens is each person’s genetic predisposition. In specific areas of the scalp hair follicles resist the action of androgens while in other areas hair follicles are affected and gradually become inactive. To gain a better understanding of how different areas of hair react, it is useful to distinguish between the 2 major zones of hair, that is, the zone of fixed hairgrowth and the zone of varied hairgrowth.
The zone of fixed hairgrowth
It is mostly the area at the back and sides of the hair. The hair follicles in this area exhibit genetic resistance to androgens. Therefore, in this zone the biggest part of the existing hair is maintained for a lifetime. For the majority of men hair loss in the zone of fixed hairgrowth is considered to be negligible. It’s pretty rare to observe hair loss in this area.
The zone of fixed hairgrowth is also known as the donor area because the hair follicles used in hair transplant are extracted from this area. The transplanted follicles maintain their genetic resistance to androgens even in the thinning area, thus, continuing their course of growth unimpededly.
In hair transplant our goal is not to once again reach the initial density (indeed this would be practically impossible for the moment, as hair transplant basically redistributes already existing hair) but to create a satisfying sense of density.
An important feature of the donor area is that it can deliver up to 50% of its hair without any dilution being perceived. This feature is exactly why hair transplant is made possible.
The zone of varied hairgrowth
It is the area that includes the forehead, temples and the top of the head, that is, areas which hair loss normally occurs. The hair follicles in this zone due to the genetic predisposition are prone and sensitive to the long-term presence of androgens and gradually shrink, thus, producing more and more small-sized hair that end up falling.
Therefore, the role of hair transplant is to exploit the hair stocks of the donor area and offer them to other areas of the scalp that loose hair.
Hair transplant addresses both women and men who might have lost some of their hair either because their hair is weak from birth or because of various dermatological diseases. During hair transplant the doctor transfers one by one the hair from the back of the head and implants them in the thinning area. The doctor after harvesting the hair submits them to a special process and transplants them to the empty parts of the head. Prior to transplanting the hair the doctor has created tiny holes in the area that will receive them.
Particular attention must be paid when placing the hair in relation to the angle the hair will have when they begin to grow. The doctor should be extremely careful during this procedure in order to achieve a realistic hair pattern. The donor site at the posterior scalp- when transplanting follicular units one by one- heals within days without any problem. On the other hand, caution should be paid to the recipient site to avoid possible injuries. The patient, of course, will receive all the instructions necessary for the early recovery period. The operation is performed under anesthesia and lasts 1-2 hours. During the first days the transplanted hair will fall out while within 3-6 months a large percentage – 60-90%- of this hair will begin to grow. If necessary, the procedure can be repeated after one year in order to achieve the desired result fully. The transplanted hair carry the characteristics of the donor site. So, the doctor should choose hair that will be appropriate for the recipient site. Also, the patient should take into account that s/he should cut the hair that will grow long.