Hair has always been a symbol of beauty and an important part of one’s appearance. Thinning or the loss of hair can be very frustrating to many people. Cosmetic surgery may have an answer: hair replacement.
Hair replacement – or a hair transplant – involves the transplantation of your own hair grafts or micro-grafts to fill places left bald because of missing or thinning hair. The treatment is best for men who have conventional hair loss, after hair loss or thinning has slowed or stabilized. Hair loss is caused mostly by ageing, changes in hormonal processes or a hereditary predisposition.
Hair loss can be also caused by burns or traumas. In such cases the treatment is considered to be reconstructive and therefore is usually covered by an insurance company.
If you and your doctor have decided that a hair transplant is right for you, you can rest easy knowing that this operation has been done for more than 30 years. If you are considering hair replacement, the following text can help you understand the operational procedure, provide information about preparing for the surgery and expected results of hair replacement surgery. It isn’t possible to answer all questions concerning hair transplants as each person’s situation is different. If you have additional questions, speak with one of our hair replacement Prague surgeons.
Prague has many attractive features for those considering a hair transplant abroad. Its location in Central Europe is easy to access; its mild climate is conducive to healing and its experienced clinics and hair replacement surgeons ensure you’ll receive the best possible care. Hair transplant Prague costs are often much more affordable than in the UK or with the NHS. For more information about getting to and around the Czech Republic, please visit our handy cosmetic surgery Prague info guide.
Some doctors estimate one in every five women experience some type of hair loss, usually caused by ageing, illness or hormonal changes. Women´s hair usually will thin slightly all over the head and does not disappear completely in one place as is common in men. Because this thinning is distributed all over the head, transplantation is very difficult however, medication can be useful. The efficiency of these medications is different for each client, but basically, they prevent further hair loss but don’t help new hair to grow.
If you are considering a hair transplant, it is necessary to realize that it is impossible to achieve the same hair density as before the loss. Hair replacement can however cover thin places and fill empty ones.
Hair replacement is done under local anesthesia and is relatively time consuming. It lasts quite a few hours, but naturally, it depends on the area which is being transplanted. The operation begins with a cut of hair graft with good hair cover from the nape area. The size of this graft depends on the size of the bald place which will be covered. Usually it is 1.5 x 10 cm. Immediately before the surgery, just the hair where the hair graft will be done, is cut to 2mm in length. It is not necessary to cut any other hair. The edges of the site of the hair graft are subsequently stitched together and only a discrete scar remains on the nape.
In the next phase, the skin graft with quality hair is divided by a scalpel into small grafts containing either 1 – 3 (micro-grafts) or 3 – 6 (mini-grafts) hair roots. Micro-grafts are used to treat the future front hairline, it helps to give a natural look. The formerly used grafts containing more hair roots cause an unnatural look of new hair cover. You could compare it to the hair of a doll, because a lot of hair grew from one point and between these bunches of hair there were places without hair.
During the most common method of hair replacement surgery used nowadays, the grafts with hair roots are inserted with the help of micro-forceps into incisions in the area to be transplanted. These cuts are usually done with a special scalpel and their size should correspond to the size of grafts to be inserted. In the new area, the inserted transplanted hair has the same characteristics as in the original place of the hair graft. The hair grows naturally, it can be cut, dyed etc. It is however necessary to realize that real hair growth begins later after the treatment and the results of the hair transplant cannot be assessed for about five to six months after the treatment. You can view before and after photos of hair transplants here.
It is possible to use a laser to make the incisions for inserting the hair grafts. A laser is used to create these incisions (in this case small openings) in the area to be transplanted. However only the most efficient laser device can produce rays with high energy and a very short time of impact, made up from the different pulses. This is necessary to evaporate the tissue at the impact point of the laser, but leave other tissue unaffected by the temperature. There are important advantages to this method compared to the traditional procedure, for example, the incisions do not bleed, which makes the hair transplant go faster and much smoother. On the other hand, inter-stitial fluid infiltrates into the incisions, “glues” the inserted graft into the incision and therefore fixes it firmly into this gap. The size of the gap corresponds to the size (diameter and depth) of the graft, therefore the surrounding tissue can not oppress the graft. These grafts are not pushed out from the incisions when new grafts are being inserted. In addition to this, because the grafts are not pressed, hair which is contained in them does not spread out during the healing process. Therefore the hair cover looks much more natural.
There is another advantage. The laser device is controlled by a computer and can make more regular gaps with a higher density of precise depth, diameter and angle which is natural for subsequent growth of transplanted hair. The device’s equipment enables the surgeon to define the size (diameter) of the gap to correspond precisely with the size of inserted grafts. And one equally important advantage – the duration of the surgery is reduced by up to two thirds compared to the common method.
In most cases, if the client is healthy, a special examination before hair replacement surgery is not needed. The hair transplant is done either sitting or lying down; whichever is more comfortable for the client during the treatment which does last several hours.
After the hair replacement operation, a sterile elastic bandage is put on. This not only protects the stitched incision at the original place of the hair graft in the nape area and inserted grafts, but also prevents large swelling at the place of the transplant. The bandage is removed usually the second or third day after the treatment and then the patient can wash his/her hair. Small crusts will appear at the place of the hair grafts, they will fall off naturally after 14 days. The patient should relax at home for about five days following a hair transplant. The sutures in the nape area are removed approximately two weeks after the surgery.
When the crusts fall off, the small grafts will have a slightly pink colour, similar to other scars. This colour however will return to a normal skin tone after a few weeks. A large part of the hair from the inserted grafts may fall out after the treatment, but the hair roots subsequently regenerate and the hair will start to grow. That is why you won’t see final results for about five to six months, after true hair growth has begun. Because it is necessary to leave some space between the gaps for hair grafts (approximately 2 – 3 mm), many patients decide to have their new hair cover densified. Densification is not always necessary and depends on the patient.