Typically, men experiencing male pattern baldness will remain with a permanent wreath of hair surrounding the sides and the back of their head, this is where hair is harvested from for transplantation. This hair is genetically programmed to keep growing even in the worse cases of male pattern baldness. The exception is men suffering with diffuse hair loss. These men suffer with a similar form of hair loss as women; the hair loss is distributed throughout the entire scalp leaving the sides and the back very sparse. If this hair were to be transplanted, there would be no guarantee that the hair would continue to grow in the recipient area due to the fact that this hair seems to be inherently unstable and just as susceptible to DHT as the hair lost on the top of the scalp. For this reason the vast majority of women suffering from hair loss should never have a California hair transplant.
As in the case of any other medical procedure, the more you know, the better off you’ll be. Gone are the days when people willingly remained in the dark about heir own bodies, their treatments and conditions. An educated and informed person now become an active partner in his/her own health care, which not only leads to better health but also is of great advantage to the doctors because nobody knows his/her body better than they do.
The following questions and answers will prepare you to understand the procedure and methods:
Whose hair will be transplanted onto my head? Does this work like organ transplants where there’s a donor and a recipient?
Unlike the case of organ transplants, in a hair transplant you are your own donor. If you received hair, follicle, and tissue from someone else (other than an identical twin), your body would reject them without immune-suppressant drugs. You donate your hair from what are called your donor sites.
Where are my donor sites?
Male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness are terms that include the word pattern. That’s because there is a pattern to the baldness. You’ve probably noticed, especially in men, that no matter how much hair they lost in the front, top, and crown areas of their heads, the sides and backs of their heads retain hair and sometimes a great deal of it. The sides and back are far less affected by the action of DHT upon their hair follicles. These areas are the donor sites from which the hair you donate to yourself is removed, along with the follicles and some surrounding tissue.
Where does the surgeon put my donor hair during the transplantation?
Once it’s been extracted, it is transplanted to the balding parts of your scalp, into tiny slits that the doctor has created with his or her surgical tools. The donated hair, hair follicles, surrounding tissue, and skin are called grafts, and each graft contains one or more hair follicles with accompanying hair, tissue, and skin. No two heads are alike, and you will see that the art of hair transplantation is just as important as its science or medical aspects.
How do doctors decide which part of my head will receive the transplanted hair?
The front and top of your head will receive transplanted hair first needed because these are the areas that frame your face and make the most impact on your appearance. The crown is usually the last area to receive hair (in later procedures), unless it’s your only balding area.
How many procedures will I need?
The number of procedures depends upon the extent of your hair loss, the projected hair loss rate, the amount of donor hair you can spare, and other artistic and medical considerations. Men can often have the results they’re looking for in just one or two hair transplant sessions in which thousands of hairs are transplanted in follicular units of one to four hairs each. Women need more sessions to achieve proper density. These sessions can last between five and ten hours each. Future sessions can follow if necessary.
What should I expect during my first meeting with a hair transplant surgeon?
During your first consultation, the doctor should examine your head thoroughly and take a detailed medical history. The examination of your head should include the use of an instrument called the Hair Densitometer.T This measures your hair density and allows your doctor to properly evaluate the number of hairs in each of your naturally occurring follicular units and the hair loss pattern you may experience over time if it is applicable to your type of hair loss. This instrument compares fine hair to thick ones, measuring the degree of miniaturization of your hair strands caused by shrinking hair follicles, the progressive diminishing of each hair’s diameter and length. Your doctor should put into writing your hair transplant design and an estimated timeline for any procedures that may be necessary. The doctor should also explain the entire hair transplant procedure, including any associated risks, and tell you what you can expect in the months following the procedure.