Hair transplants are becoming more and more popular – once deemed rare they’re now seen almost everywhere, especially on those celebs who shall remain nameless! It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and if you’ve been wondering about whether to undergo a procedure yourself, Dr Bessam Farjo, co-founder of the Farjo Hair Institute and medical director of the Institute of Trichologists, has shared his words of advice.
There are different methods used depending on the candidate. The procedure involves relocating hair grafts from donor areas, like the back and sides of the scalp, to the thinning or bald areas which need covering.
So what happens beforehand? “In preparation for the procedure, the donor and recipient sites are frozen and de-sensitized to make it as comfortable and painless as possible,” Dr Farjo explains. “Hair transplants are generally performed under local anesthetic, so there is little to no feeling of the procedure itself. Some patients even choose to sit back and watch TV or listen to the radio while we’re extracting the hair grafts!”
Dr Farjo also detailed the different types, with one called strip follicular unit transplantation (FUT). This involves root hairs being taken from an area at the back of the scalp, leaving a very subtle, fine scar which is barely noticeable. This is a great option for those who don’t wish to shave their hair before undergoing a transplant, especially men and women with long locks.
It’s not the quickest choice though: “The procedure usually lasts between four to 12 hours, with up to 12,500 hairs being transferred per day.”
There’s also follicular unit extraction (FUE). “Hair grafts are individually extracted from large donor areas that are spread across the scalp,” the expert says of the treatment. “The harvesting method is either performed manually or mechanically, with the world-renowned ARTAS robotic procedure.
“The ARTAS Robotic System offers patients a minimally invasive procedure, automatically finding the best donor hairs to harvest for transplantation. The machine, which is guided by the surgeon at all times, is capable of extracting up to 1,000 hair grafts per hour.”
As one treatment restores around 30 per cent of the original density of the treated area, Dr Farjo explains patients will benefit most from a couple of sessions per area. This will see a more natural, even finish.
What’s vital is to keep your scalp nice and clean after the surgery, so Dr Farjo advises patients wash their hair 24 hours after the session has ended. Likewise, results won’t be obvious straight away and may take six to eight, or even 18, months to be apparent.