The hair transplant procedure
Once you have decided to undergo a hair transplant it is time to book a visit to a clinic for a consultation. You can find clinics that perform hair transplant procedure in our clinic directory.
The purpose of your consultation visit is to allow a specialist assess your condition and thereafter discuss your expectations and desires.
Your consultation visit will take approximately half an hour and you will be informed about what the surgeon thinks he/she can achieve, the procedure, cost of hair transplant, and how you should prepare yourself.
You can choose to book your hair transplant procedure during your consultation visit, ot you can wait as it is not a requirement. Sometimes it can be good idea to take some time and think about it.
The waiting time for a consultation is anywhere from 1-4 weeks. If you decide to undergo hair transplantation after your consultation, the waiting time for surgery is approximately 3-6 weeks depending on the clinic.
The surgical procedure for hair transplant
Different clinics have developed different routines for their surgeries, whereby the description of the surgical procedure is not to be taken literally. Yet, they do provide you with a general understanding of how the procedure is going to be performed.
Hair transplantation with STRIP method
The information below describes how a hair transplant with strip method is performed. Today’s modern method of hair transplantation allows the surgery to be performed in 6-12 hours and the patient can leave the clinic the very same day.
There are clinics that keep their patients until the next day, in order to avoid risk of driving under the influence of drugs given during the treatment.
The hair transplant is performed under local anaesthesia and most patients are surprised over how little pain and discomfort they experience during the procedure. Many patients sleep, read or watch TV throughout the surgery.
Step-by-step description of the surgical procedure for the STRIP method
- The patient arrives to the clinic and is prepared for surgery that involves the hair follicles and group of hair follicles from the neck, which are genetically programmed to grow the entire lifetime, and are moved to the bald areas of the scalp.
- The patient is seated comfortably whereby the donor area of the neck is prepared by trimming a narrow strip of hair and rest of the hair is tied back so it won’t get in the way of the surgeon. Once the transplant area is prepared, local anaesthetic is given which last for approximately 15 minutes. Some clinics use heavy sedation (in a sleep-like state) with substance similar to valium directly into the blood to minimise the patient’s discomfort.
- The donor tissue, which is approximately 10-20 mm wide and 10-25 cm long strip of skin consisting of 1000-2500 grafts, is removed with a scalpel and the incisions are closed with sutures. The tied back hair above the donor area is released and combed over the stiches, which can be hidden by the surrounding hair.
- From the removed strip of skin, with a use of precision tools and a microscope, the individual hair follicles/hair follicle grafts are harvested and prepared for transplantation to the recipient area. During harvest and implantation the follicular units are kept in a special solution that protects them from external influences.
- The recipient area is prepared and local anaesthetic is administered. The existing hair in the recipient area does not need trimming, but it is always an advantage if the patient agrees to shave such areas.
- The harvested follicular units are placed one by one into tiny holes in the area of hair loss with the help of a special punch tool. The holes are placed in the right direction of growth in order to achieve a natural looking hairline. Some clinics perform the “stick-and-place” technique, where the surgeon makes a recipient site incision and then immediately places the graft the follicular unit graft into it.
- Individual hair follicles or follicular units are placed separately in the prepared holes in the recipient area. Hair follicles/follicular units of 1-2 hairs are placed at the front of the head and create the new frontal hairline. Hair follicle grafts containing 2-4 hairs are placed further up into the crown, in order to achieve a completely natural looking hair growth.
After undergoing a hair transplant, there will be hundreds of pin prick holes (0,6-1mm) that contains functional hair follicles with tiny short hairs sticking up.
The tiny pinprick holes heal quickly and after approximately two weeks there are almost no sign of scabs or redness of the scalp. However the healing process varies and patients with sensitive skin may experience redness for longer.
Hair transplantation with the FUE method
The FUE method is different from the STRIP method in regard to the extraction process from the donor area. The actual transplantation step, where the individual grafts are put in place is identical for both methods.
Hair transplantation is performed under local anaesthesia and most patients are surprised over how little pain/discomfort they experience during the procedure. Many patients are sleeping, reading or watching TV throughout the surgery.
Step-by-step description of the surgical procedure for the FUE (FUT) method
- The patient arrives to the clinic and is prepared for surgery, that involves hair follicles and follicular units from the neck and temples, which are genetically programmed to grow for a lifetime to be moved to bald areas of the scalp.
- The patient lies down on the treatment table and a local anaesthetic is administered to the recipient areas. At this stage some clinics choose to heavily sedate the patient with a medication named Dormicum directly into the blood. Even if the local anaesthetic can be painful, the sedation often means that the patient usually has no memory of this.
- Hair grafts from the donor area are picked manually, one by one using of a special punch tool. Each harvested graft is protected by a cylinder shaped tissue tube, with the circumference 0.6-1 mm. During the harvest and implantation steps, the follicular units are stored in a special solution, which protects them from external influences.
- The recipient area is prepared and local anaesthetic is administered. None of the existing hair in the recipient area needs to be trimmed, but since the donor area has already been shaved, the patient often chooses to shave hair on the crown at the same time.
- Tiny holes are then placed in the recipient area and the grafts are placed in the holes with a help of a special punch tool. The holes are placed irregularly and in suitable angles to achieve natural-looking hair growth.
- Individual hair follicles or follicular units are placed separately in the prepared holes in the recipient area. Hair follicles/follicular units of 1-2 hairs are placed at the front of the head, which will create a new natural hairline. Grafts of 2-4 hairs are placed further up on the crown. This is done to achieve an appearance of natural hair growth.
After the hair transplant surgery, the patient has hundreds of small pinholes (0.6-1 mm) containing hair follicles with tiny short hairs sticking out.
The tiny pinpricks heal quickly and after approximately two weeks there are almost no signs of scabs or redness of the scalp. However, the healing process varies and people with sensitive skin may experience redness for longer.