If you had a hair transplant operation during past decades, you might not be happy with the result. You may have the type of hair transplant called hair plugs. These make the hair stick up out of your head like the bristles of a toothbrush. If you want to take advantage of modern methods, it is not too late to have more natural-looking hair.
The first thing you need to do is to find a hair transplant surgeon who has done many hair transplant repair surgeries. Fixing bad hair transplants is somewhat of a specialty for certain doctors.
Your own primary care physician may know of a surgeon who is involved in this sort of work. Otherwise, you can look for ads in the yellow pages to start your search. Contacting professional organizations is also a good idea.
Once you have found a doctor or doctors to consider, make sure they let you see examples of their work. It will not be enough to see what they can do with a virgin scalp. You need to see how successful they have been in dealing with problems such as the ones you have. If you cannot see the patients directly, at least ask for a look at some photos.
Talk to the surgeon about what can be done to fix your inferior hair transplant job. If you have large hair plugs, ask if the doctor will be removing the plugs. The surgeon may want to take them out, break them up into smaller units, and reinsert them. If your plugs are smaller, he may just want to add some new donor hair to lessen the effect of the doll head look.
If cost is an issue with you, discuss it with your surgeon. Cost is a very real problem for many who want to have bad hair transplants fixed. It may be more expensive to do the correction than an original surgery would cost. If you do not have the cash, your doctor can usually point you to several different financing methods. That way, you do not have to come up with the money all at once.
Discuss healing with your hair transplant surgeon. Because you may be having plugs removed, you have more healing to do than someone who is having a routine hair transplant. You need to let the plug sites heal as well as the new insertion sites and possible new donor sites. It may take special post-operative care and longer down-time.
Ask your doctor if she expects you to have more than one surgery session. You may need to have the plugs removed in one session and allow that to heal before going on to the next phase. Your doctor may not know the answer to this until after she sees how your first surgery has gone. In any case, it is wise to go in expecting that you probably will need more than one hair transplant surgery.
Getting a bad hair transplant result is difficult to live with for years as many have done. The fact that there are surgeries that can correct these problems is music to their ears. It is hope they may have never dreamed possible.
Hair transplant procedures have changed in the decades since they were first done. The earlier methods of using hair plugs were not satisfactory. People looked like they had doll’s heads, with hair sticking out of their hair in clumps. Now hair transplants are more natural looking because of a procedure called micro grafting.
Most hair transplant surgeries today involve micro grafting to some degree. Micro grafts hold about three or four hair follicles. Older style hair grafts often held more like a dozen hair roots. These new micro grafts are only possible because skilled surgeons have refined the methods of extracting them.
Micro grafts are useful in hair transplant surgery because they can give the hair a quite natural appearance. The hair emerges from the scalp in the most natural way, with the same number of hairs that nature intended. If the procedure is done correctly, no one can tell the difference.
Natural looking hairlines have been difficult to achieve with hair transplant surgery. Micro grafts make it possible for a brand-new hairline to be attained that does not call attention to itself in the least. This is quite an accomplishment after the stares that many people endured in the past because of bad hair plugs.
However unnoticeable and natural micro grafts appear, they do not give you a full, thick head of hair. For that, many hair transplant surgeons will use micro grafts for the hairline and the front and edges of the hair. Then, they will use mini grafts farther back on the scalp.
These mini grafts used in hair transplant surgery contain three to eight shafts of hair. They give the hair fullness in areas where they will not stand out as looking fake. It is a common circumstance to have the mini grafts in the central and crown of the scalp and micro grafts at the hairline and around the edges.
If a person had this arrangement after a hair transplant and then shaved the micro grafts, the mini grafts would look decidedly unnatural. However, with the micro grafts on the leading edges, they blend in and give the hair fullness. They serve an important function.
Previously, when hair plugs were used, doctors did the hair transplant surgeries much differently. They used an instrument called a trephine to cut circular grafts from 2mm to 5mm in diameter. These plugs were inserted into the balding area.
Now, a multi-bladed knife can be used to cut long thin strips of donor tissue. The strip of scalp will be about an inch wide and five inches long. Then, the hair transplant doctor pulls the skin together where this was taken out, and stitches it together.
Finally, the micro grafts will be finished by being divided into individual grafts by using a stereomicroscope. The surgical team will make a variety of grafts from eight-shaft mini grafts to one or two shaft micro grafts. These will be moved during hair transplant to the recipient sites so that the hair will have a natural hairline with fullness on top.
Hair transplant today would not be the same without the use of micro grafts. They make for more natural-looking results. Also, the pain factor goes down with the use of the smaller grafts. They have proven to be an excellent discovery.
It is easy to assume that any doctor will do everything in his power to do right by you. However, it would be naïve to think that there are no hair transplant doctors that are dishonestly trying to use you to make money and nothing more. There are a few things to take into consideration.
1. Watch out for high pressure tactics. One example is when a promotion is run guaranteeing a special price if you schedule your procedure by a certain date. Most reputable doctors charge a fair price for the hair transplant surgery and so do not need to discount it. Another example is when you go in and the doctor or other people in his office will not take no for an answer. Any good doctor knows the decision is yours to make.
2. Try not to use a doctor who starts you off with a salesman or other person who has nothing to do with the health occupations. You need a person with good training to show you all you need to make your mind up about the surgery. You do not need a person whose only agenda is to sell you on getting hair transplant procedures done.
3. You should start to get concerned if your doctor has no specific good stories to tell about hair transplant surgery they have done. You need to see before and after photos. You need a way to contact former patients. If at all possible, you need to be able to visit with patients the doctor has treated so they can show you the results in person. You are not asking too much – it is a major commitment you are making.
4. If your doctor says to try a few hair transplant grafts and then decide, run. This is never a good idea. Once you start having the grafts done, you are committing to a full set of procedures. Otherwise, your hair will end up looking out of balance.
5. Do not get involved with a doctor who does not listen. A good doctor knows how important the hair transplant is to you. He will listen to your questions about hair transplant and provide intelligent answers. He will also try to find out what your goals are to see if they are realistic.
6. Keep it realistic. If the doctor says the hair transplant will cost an exorbitant amount of time or money, be wary. You should have a basic idea of the going rates before you make this decision. On the other hand, if the doctor talks about how little it will cost and how quick and easy it will be, be suspicious of that too. The answer should lie somewhere in the middle.
7. Not all hair transplant stories are good ones. If the doctor you consult with claims that his are, you cannot trust what he says. Virtually every doctor has some procedure that has gone wrong to some degree. A good doctor will admit this and provide a plan to avoid it.
There are hair transplant stories that would make most people think twice about having the surgery. However, it is not a good representation of the fine work that most hair restoration surgeons are doing. Just make sure you find one of those good surgeons.
It is not unusual for men to have hair transplant surgery for male pattern baldness. Even female baldness is discussed on commercials for hair transplant clinics. A less common use of hair transplant surgery is to replace eyebrow hair. However, this procedure is quite different from other hair transplant surgeries.
It is important to replace eyebrow hair that has fallen out because it is such an integral part of the human face. People realize that men have receding hair lines and balding on the tops of their heads. It is not out of the ordinary to see a woman with thinning hair. Yet, look at a person without eyebrows and the effect will be disturbing. Eyebrows are just expected.
Some people have hair transplant surgery to their eyebrows because the hair has simply fallen out over time. Others have thyroid disease or other diseases that affect their hair. A certain type of alopecia results in eyebrow loss. Excessive plucking can be a problem, too. Burns, tattoos, and infections can cause the eyebrow hair to fall out, and some people just are not able to grow eyebrows at all.
Hair transplant surgery for eyebrows is different because eyebrows are different from scalp hair. For one thing, the hair has a distinct growth pattern with each section of the eyebrow pointing in a different direction. The hair forms a sharp angle so that it grows out and then flat to the face. Scalp hair has a much gentler angle.
Eyebrow hairs do not grow in the same type of follicular units as scalp hair. Rather than growing in groups of one to four hairs, they are simply single strands of hair. You can see this if you look carefully in the mirror at your eyebrows. Hair transplant methods have to take this fact into account.
When doctors do hair transplant surgery to replace eyebrows, they have to make sure that they put the hairs in so that they will point in the natural hair direction. For this, the surgeons use very fine gauge needles. They must also use this to help the hair to lie flat.
Because the eyebrow hair is made of individual hairs, hair transplant surgery must involve creating those single units of hair. To do this, hair is taken from the scalp, just as in other hair transplant procedures. Then, the follicular units are divided into individual hair grafts. This is done with a stereomicroscope.
Inserting these micro-grafts is a very tricky business. Creating the correct angles is difficult. If the patient does not have straight hair, her curly hair must be inserted by rotating it so that it lies even with the curve of the brow that is being made.
One drawback to eyebrow hair transplant surgery is that eyebrow hair, which usually does not grow, will grow and need to be cut because it is actually scalp hair. Also, when the wounds heal, the lay of the eyebrows may change and not be so natural.
However, if you need hair transplant surgery to replace your eyebrows, it is usually a much better alternative than other choices you have. Eyebrows drawn in with eyebrow pencil do not look natural at all, and the option of going without eyebrows is unthinkable to many people. Hair transplant surgery may just be your best bet.
Hair transplant surgery is not for everyone. In fact, some people have been so disappointed and even angered about their results that they have filed class action lawsuits against hair transplant surgeons and clinics. There are several reasons they give for their dissatisfaction.
1. Underestimating Procedures. Certain surgeons and clinics underestimate the number of procedures necessary to achieve the desired effect. This leads people to have a false hope of having a full head of hair in a very short time. When this does not happen, they are understandably angry. They did not get what they were promised.
2. Underestimating Price. Surgeons usually do give some sort of estimate of the cost of the entire procedure of a hair transplant. A reputable surgeon will emphasize that it is only an estimate and that things may change once the procedures are started. Also, she will give an honest accounting of what she expects the procedure to cost.
An unscrupulous surgeon, on the other hand, will distort the facts about his hair transplant procedures. He will try to get the patient started by stating that the price will be very low. He will know all along that the procedures will cost much more, but he will lowball the price anyway just to get the patient started so that they have to finish.
3. Creating Scars. All hair transplant surgery will create small scars. Some people find them unacceptable. They want to wear their hair short, and they see the scar peeking out from under their hair, even if no one else does. Of course, there are also physicians with poor skills who create large scars and people who are prone to scarring. Hair transplant scars are a sore subject for man people.
4. Uneven hairlines. Some people who have hair transplant surgery end up with uneven hairlines. This is caused by the oversight of negligent doctors. If a person gets to work with a reputable surgeon, things like this just do not happen. However, if someone has seen a person with this problem, it will likely turn them off to hair transplant surgery for good.
5. Old-Fashioned Plugs. People with the large plugs that look like doll’s hair or toothbrush bristles are still around. While this type of hair transplant is rarely done anymore, the effects are still evident among people of a certain age. If someone who knows one of these people has a balding problem, they are not likely to think of hair transplants. The only way they would is if they have some other, good, experience with them.
6. Doctors Who Put Money above the Patients’ Interest. Any doctors who make decisions that are not based on the welfare of his patient are following their Hippocratic Oath in its intentions. Doctors are held to a high standard and when a surgeon tries to convince a patient to get hair transplant surgery when it is not best for him, he is not really acting as a doctor should. The horror stories are out there and many people are aware of them.
There is a higher rate of suicide following hair transplant and other cosmetic surgeries. This is partly because the patients are disappointed that their lives do not miraculously change overnight. However, other reasons for their despair are poor results and unscrupulous doctors. People who are afraid of this misery are likely to bow out.