Having a head of full, healthy hair will make you look young, vibrant, and attractive. Unfortunately, it’s common for your hair to become thinner and less abundant over time. Losing your hair can make you feel older and less attractive. At Keller Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara, California, we can address this issue with a hair transplant. This minimally invasive treatment can restore your lost hair and enhance your overall appearance.
How Does a Hair Transplant Work? 10 Things to Know
1. It’s a Minimally Invasive Treatment
During a hair transplant, we will remove hairs from areas of your scalp where you are not experiencing hair loss. We will transplant these hairs, which are called donor hairs, into locations where your hair is thinning or balding. At Keller Plastic Surgery, we use two main techniques to perform transplants. Both of these techniques are minimally invasive and effective.
Follicular Unit Extraction
Follicular Unit Extraction, also known as FUE, is our most commonly used transplant technique. During this type of transplant, we will use a tiny punch to remove follicular units from areas where you have abundant amounts of healthy hair.
Once we have removed these units, we will make tiny incisions in areas where you are experiencing hair loss. We will use these incisions to transplant these units into this area. Over time, these units of hair will begin to grow naturally in their new location.
During this type of transplant, we will take off a strip of skin from the sides or back of your scalp. We will choose a section of skin that contains ample amounts of hair. We will carefully cut this strip into small grafts that contain varying amounts of hair. Some grafts will have one or two hairs and others will have four or five hairs. We will make hundreds or thousands of these tiny grafts.
Next, we will make very small slits in areas of your scalp where you have developed hair loss. We will implant these grafts into these slits. As the implanted hairs grow, the appearance of your balding areas will improve.
Choosing a Technique
The best way to determine which type of transplant is right for you is to have an initial consultation with us. During this meeting, we will examine your hair and analyze the structure of your face and scalp.
We will also discuss your aesthetic goals and objectives. Based on this information, we will recommend a suitable transplant method for you. Under some circumstances, we may advise you to receive a combination of transplantation techniques.
2. Your Results Will Look Natural
When you started researching hair loss treatments, you might have seen images of people whose transplants looked unnatural or artificial. Fortunately, there’s no need to worry about this issue when you receive a transplant from Keller Plastic Surgery.
We use specialized techniques to improve your hair in a natural-looking, attractive manner. In particular, we will use our knowledge of facial anatomy and artistic skills to place your transplanted hairs into carefully chosen areas on your scalp.
For instance, during a transplant that uses the strip method, we will put your transplanted hairs into strategic locations that will enable them to blend in with the rest of the hair on your scalp.
3. It Works Quickly
A transplant is a great way to quickly address your hair loss. That said, it does not create instant results, and it’s common for your donor hairs to fall out about two to three weeks after you receive your treatment. This is a normal part of the treatment process, and you shouldn’t worry or be upset when this occurs.
After about three to four months, your donor hairs will begin to grow in their new location. As these hairs continue to grow, your appearance will gradually improve. Since your body is unique, you may respond to this treatment more or less quickly than other people. In general, however, you should see significant improvements in your hair after about ten to twelve months.
4. You’ll Be Treated by a Skilled Surgeon
Dr. Gregory S. Keller will use his extensive knowledge and experience to perform your transplant in a safe, comfortable manner. Dr. Keller is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who has been performing transplants for over twenty-five years.
As an Associate Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Facial Plastic Surgery Fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Keller has instructed many medical fellows and students in transplantation methods. Further, he is a member of the prestigious International Laser Hair Transplant Group, and he has written medical publications and given presentations on hair transplantation techniques. As a result, you will be in good hands when you receive a transplant at Keller Plastic Surgery.
5. You’ll Have Minimal Downtime
Some cosmetic treatments can be very uncomfortable and taxing on your body. As a result, these treatments may require you to take a significant amount of time off from your job and other responsibilities.
A Quick Recovery
Fortunately, transplants are minimally invasive and straightforward, and we will use advanced techniques that will shorten your recovery time. If you receive a transplant that uses the FUE technique, for example, we will use a specialized method to gently remove your donor hairs. This method will allow your extraction sites to heal within about three days.
Simple Aftercare Rules
Although your recovery will be quick and easy, you will need to follow some simple aftercare instructions. For example, we will advise you to be careful when you wash your hair for the next several days. You also should avoid using harsh hair care products during this time. Further, we may advise you not to engage in rigorous exercise for a couple of days.
6. It’s Permanent
If you’re looking for a low maintenance way to address your hair loss, you’re in luck. After a couple of months, your donor hairs will begin to grow normally in their new locations on your scalp. As a result, this technique will permanently improve your appearance, and you will not need to receive touch-up treatments in order to maintain your new look.
7. You Won’t Have Noticeable Scars
It’s common to worry that you will have large, noticeable scars after you receive a transplant. Fortunately, our specialized techniques are designed to improve your hair without creating prominent scars on your scalp.
During a transplant that uses the strip method, we will collect your donor hairs from locations on the sides or back of your scalp. These carefully chosen extraction sites will allow us to remove these hairs without making large, noticeable scars on your head.
Follicular Unit Extraction Method
Similarly, during a transplant that uses the FUE method, we will use a technique that removes your donor hairs without making scars on your skin. In fact, we can reduce the prominence of pre-existing scars on your scalp during the extraction process. This technique will allow you to continue to wear short hairstyles after you receive your transplant.
8. It Addresses a Very Common Issue
You shouldn’t feel upset or embarrassed if you are developing bald patches or thinning hair. Hair loss is an extremely common issue, and it’s normal for the appearance of your hair to change over time.
Hair Loss in Men
Male pattern baldness, which is also known as hereditary alopecia and male androgenic alopecia, is one of the top causes of male hair loss. A man’s genes play a large role in determining whether he will develop this type of baldness. In addition to male pattern baldness, men can experience hair loss because of illnesses and other health issues.
Hair Loss in Women
Although male hair loss is more well-known, it’s also common for women to lose their hair over time. There are many different factors that can cause women to develop this issue at some point in their lifetimes. For example, androgenic alopecia, also known as female pattern baldness, can cause women’s hair to thin. This hair loss can begin when a woman is a teenager or develop later in life.
Women can also lose hair because of viruses, scalp infections, or other illnesses. For example, loose anagen syndrome is a condition that causes a woman’s hair to fall out when she is brushing it. Similarly, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that can cause a woman to develop bald patches on her scalp. Scarring on a woman’s scalp can also cause hair loss.
9. It Works for Lots of People
Since transplants are gentle and straightforward, if you are an adult who is experiencing hair loss, you are likely to be a good candidate for this hair loss treatment.
That said, you need to be aware that transplants are not an ideal solution for everyone. In particular, you must have enough donor hair to transplant to the balding areas of your scalp. As a result, if you are completely bald, you will not be eligible for a transplant. Further, certain medical conditions may prevent you from receiving this treatment.
10. Your Treatment Will Be Customized
In addition to transplants, we can use a variety of other methods to treat hair loss. The ideal method for you will depend on the degree and type of hair loss that you are experiencing, your overall health, and other factors.
Treating Temporary Hair Loss
Emotional challenges, hormonal changes, and other medical issues can cause you to develop temporary hair loss. In particular, thyroid conditions, autoimmune illnesses, and other diseases can cause you to lose hair. Under some circumstances, we may advise you to address your underlying health condition before you consider receiving a transplant. Fixing your medical issue may stop your hair loss and improve your appearance.
ACell + PRP Therapy
In addition to treating your underlying health condition or receiving a transplant, you can use ACell + PRP Therapy to address your hair loss. Platelet-rich plasma, also known as PRP, is a healing substance that is derived from your own blood.
During this type of treatment, we will collect your blood using a simple blood draw. After we have created PRP from your blood, we will inject this substance and a regenerative protein-based product into your scalp. These substances will encourage the hair follicles in your treatment area to grow. This technique can increase your hair growth for up to five years, and you can maintain your new look with follow-up treatments.
Try It for Yourself
A hair transplant can provide you with a head of full, healthy-looking hair. This treatment is minimally invasive, and you will have limited downtime after you treat your hair loss. Further, the results of this technique will be natural-looking and long-lasting. To learn more about how we can address your hair loss, contact us at Keller Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara, California to schedule a consultation today.