What to Know About Hair Transplant Procedures

Cosmetic surgery takes many different forms, and many Americans today are visiting hair transplant clinics for minimally invasive surgery that will fill out bald spots or thin patches of their hair. Hair loss specialists can help a patient look their best despite hair loss, and a popular type of hair transplant surgery is known as FUE, or “follicular unit extraction.” How often do Americans suffer from hair loss, and why? And how can FUE transplants get the job done?

Statistics of Hair Loss

Man surveys and studies are done to track the current state of American public health, from heart disease to back pain to diabetes, and cosmetic issues such as hair loss are included, too. For the most part, hair loss is a male issue; Androgenetic Alopecia, or male pattern baldness (MPB) affects for around 95% of hair loss among all men, and it is believed that at any given time, around 35 million men are affected this way. On average, two thirds of all men in their mid thirties have experienced some noticeable degree of hair loss, and by age 50, around 85% of all men have experienced significant hair loss on their heads. Typically, about half of a man’s head hairs will fall out by the time the effects are visible. This is not nearly as common among women, but at any given time, a few million women are also experiencing hair loss, and they don’t like it any more than men do.

Statistics show just how unpopular hair loss can be. While this is a natural and perfectly harmless process, the aesthetics of it are generally considered unattractive, and over half of all surveyed Americans said that they would rather have a fully restored head of hair than have many friends. Over half of all surveyed Americans also said that they would spend their entire life savings if it meant they would fully restore their head hair. Historically, many companies and entrepreneurs have tried to make a “hair potion” that would restore lost hairs, and the idea is popular around the world. But hairs that fall out cannot be magically restored with a liquid or pill. Instead, it is hair transplant surgery that can help slow down the visible effects of hair loss, in particular, FUE transplants. With minimal risk and invasive procedures, a patient may have their hair’s luster restored and looking good.

Hair Transplant Surgery

A person who experiencing visible hair loss may consult their doctor and/or look online to find hair replacement clinics, and consult those clinics to schedule an appointment. Both men and women may do this. As for FUE surgery itself, not only is it minimally invasive, but it is a substantial improvement over older methods (which often left scars on the scalp). One such old method is known as FUSS, and it has a higher complication rate and has a long recovery time. By contrast, FUE is simpler, does not leave scars, and has a shorter recovery time period. Thus, FUE transplants are typically preferred.

How does this work? Human hair follicles grow in small groups of two to six, and a hair transplant specialist will remove small patches of the patient’s scalp to move around these small groups together. The specialist will place the extracted skin on the desired area (a bald spot or thinning hair), and implant the follicle group there. In particular, the specialist will orient the hairs so they grow in the same direction as the hairs already there, making for a natural look. This process can be repeated as often as necessary to fill out bald or thin spots, using hair clusters from anywhere on the head. Of course, this does not actually add any hair to the head, but if done correctly, it will result in a more consistent and smooth hair style, and the patient should experience few symptoms afterwards, aside from itchiness and minor bleeding. If the side effects are any more severe than that, the patient should visit the clinic again and get checked out. Otherwise, their hair is practically like new, and it can still be shaved or cut like normal.

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