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Hair loss, medically referred to as Alopecia Areata, is a condition in which part or all of a person’s hair falls off as they grow. Many things can cause this, including age, heredity, and mutation, amongst others. Non-natural means also include baldness due to accidents, trauma, and other related issues.
There are a lot of ways developed in recent years to solve this problem. Hair loss can be the reason behind a sizable portion of the hair care products we have around now. There are also a lot of other natural and organic means by which you can salvage this problem. Nonetheless, amongst all the possible solutions available, the most effective is the hair transplant technique. This technique aims to solve the issue of hair loss by tackling the root cause of hair loss in people.
Hair follicles which can be likened to a tunnel hold the hair firmly to the scalp. Alopecia areata refers to the condition in which the immune system affects hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Hair transplant is undoubtedly a significant surgery in which follicles are transferred from a body part to another.
It involves the donor area (the body part wherein the hairs are extracted) and the recipient region (the balding body part where the hairs are grafted). In this technique, hair follicles have been removed from sections of the scalp that are immune to baldness and implanted to the balding areas. The primary benefit of hair transplantation is its excellent success rate and the assurance of hair restoration in previously balding or thinning areas.
Additionally, this treatment provides permanent results since, once done, you will not have to worry about losing your grafted hair again. Further, a significant benefit of this technique above others would be that the ultimate result is as realistic as it can be, perfectly blending into the client’s hair structure. Furthermore, the implanted hair would require no additional care beyond that required for normally growing hair. Following the surgical procedure and recovery stage, the afflicted region can be handled similarly to the rest of the body.
Hair transplant comes in two primary methods. They are follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). In follicular unit strip surgery, the surgeon removes a 6–10-inch strip of skin from your head (usually the back). They placed it inappropriate shelf region and sewed the scalp shut. The hair around it immediately hides this spot. The surgeon’s team then splits the severed scalp layer into five hundred to two thousand tiny grafts, each consisting of one or more hairs. The amount and type of grafts you receive are determined by your hair type, quality, color, and the size of the part where the transplant is being carried out.
FUE (Follicular unit extraction) is the second method that happens to be the most popular. The surgeon’s team will shave the back of your head. The doctor will next remove the follicles one by one. Small spots heal the region, which your existing hair will conceal.
FUE Hair Transplant Steps
The following are the steps involved in an FUE hair transplant:
Just as with any construction-related procedure, visual cues are necessary at every stage of the process. These pictures would serve as guidelines throughout the course. They are taken after mark outs have been made on the patient’s head as to the projected area where the hair transplant is to be made.
Donor/recipient area markings
The donor site is the part of the body from which it is removed, while the recipient side is the balding part of the body where the new hairs are implanted. These sites are marked out with marker or ink before the procedure. The donor site is the part that has regular and complete hair growth, while the recipient site is mainly characterized by sparse hair or even bald spots. It can also be shaved completely depending on the doctor’s preferences.
Follicular unit extraction from the donor region
Since the hair in the donor region is not prone to falling, the plan is to extract these hair follicles and plant them on the other side, which is the recipient area. Hence, it becomes possible for both regions to grow without thinning or baldness in either area of the scalp. The extraction would be done using surgical devices which are millimetric. These devices have precision up to hundredths of meters (0.01m). They have acute cylindrical corners and range in diameter from 0.9 to 1.1 mm. The hairs are retrieved from the hair scalp using extremely attractive forceps after being sliced with the punch. In a one-day process, the follicular units removed range from 1000 to 2000, resulting in 2200 to 6000 hairs. The density of the donor zone (amount of hairs in a follicular unit) determines this value, which varies from one patient to another. After the extraction, we obtain a count of follicles, which we increase by the number of hairs in each to get the actual volume of hairs implanted.
Hair follicles’ preparation
After extraction, the follicles are immediately put in a particular solution to keep their vitality. A special type of microscope is then used to prepare them for planting. It is an essential part of the process as a lack of preparation could hinder the process entirely. They also have to be stored in such a way that they maintain adequate temperature and hydration.
Transplantation of follicles
The follicles are then implanted in the recipient site. Anesthesia is administered to the affected area, and holes are created where the follicles are implanted later. The incisions are done using needles that are less than 1 mm thick. The cut’s depth is the same as the length of the follicle to avoid damage to the patient’s blood vessels. The amounts determine the hair’s future direction and its growth angle, which can be comparable to that of the natural hairs in the donor location. The follicles are implanted in the affected area using sophisticated tools known as implanters.
Within 3 – 4 months of this procedure, the follicles would have fallen off, leaving their roots that would grow out into hair like the other unaffected parts of the scalp. Although like every surgical procedure, it is a pretty complicated and often expensive procedure, hair transplant has been very effective in providing a solution for hair loss.