For those suffering from hair loss, there are a number of ways you can try to regain your hair’s former glory. From medication and hair products all the way to wigs and hair systems, there are a number of options available — so what if you want a maintenance-free solution?
Hair transplants offer a way for you to restore your scalp to a full head of hair without needing to stay topped up on expensive products to conceal your hair loss. But how long do they last?
At FUE Clinics, we’ve created this handy guide to help keep you up to date with all the information you need to know about the results of a hair transplant and how long they really last.
What is a hair transplant?
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure that moves hair you already have to an area that’s either thinning or balding.
Hairs growing on the back and the sides of the head are not sensitive to the DHT hormone that’s responsible for male pattern baldness. This area is known as the “donor area” and is where the hair will be taken from.
A hair transplant is a permanent solution to restore hair growth in areas that are affected by hair loss, and there are two different types of transplants; Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).
What is an FUE hair transplant?
An FUE hair transplant is one of the most popular hair transplants available. During an FUE procedure, the surgeon uses a micro punch device to extract healthy hair follicles from the donor site individually. This is a delicate and precise procedure that results in tiny dot scarring that is almost undetectable to the naked eye.
What is a FUT hair transplant?
A FUT transplant — more commonly referred to as strip harvesting — involves cutting a strip of skin from the back of the head and extracting the follicles. These are then transplanted to the thinning or balding areas of the head and the wounds are then closed.
Typically, a FUT transplant will leave a thin, visible scar, but it will fade over time.
How long does a hair transplant last?
In most cases, a hair transplant will last a lifetime. Transplanted hair retains its properties, meaning the DHT-resistant hair from your donor area will still be unaffected by male pattern baldness, even when transplanted to balding areas of the scalp. You will be able to see the results of your procedure after just a few weeks after your surgery, with your hairline continuing to improve for up to 18 months post-procedure.
Most people report significant changes in hair growth after about half a year and the complete results of the procedure are almost always visible fully after one year.
However, the lifespan of a hair transplant can sometimes be affected by several different factors including:
- Hormonal changes - The implanted hair will remain resistant to the DHT hormone. However, other hormonal imbalances or changes can affect the density of the implanted sites.
- Trauma or injury - Major trauma to the scalp can not only damage the follicles but can also lead to scarring. As scar tissue isn't the most ideal condition for the hairs to grow, it can lead to permanent damage and hair loss.
- Chemotherapy - If you undergo chemotherapy or take regular medication, this may lead to hair loss in the previously treated areas.
- The experience of your surgeon - Your doctor will have to first determine whether you’re a good candidate for hair surgery and then accurately evaluate the donor site.
How many times do you need a hair transplant?
While the effects of a hair transplant are permanent, it’s possible that you may need more than one to achieve your desired results.
If a large area is being treated, you may need to have two or more sessions several months apart. This may be due to the balding areas being too large to complete in a single session or to prevent over-harvesting — a condition caused by a surgeon taking too many grafts from your donor area at once, preventing it from growing back correctly on the back and sides of your head.
Does the transplanted hair fall out?
Hair grafts that have been transferred from the donor area will not fall out naturally, assuming they were left to heal naturally without complications. During the healing process, however, you will likely experience something called shock loss.
After a few weeks of healing, your scalp will have recovered from the surgery and any scabbing will be washed away as you begin to start washing your hair again. At this point, your scalp will have a reaction to the trauma of the procedure and will shed your transplanted hair — which is the shock loss phase.
While it can be alarming for patients to discover their new hair has disappeared, it’s an expected and natural part of the hair growth cycle.
Essentially, the replacement restarts the life cycle of the follicles. So, the hair falls out and the roots enter a phase of rest. Once the resting period ends, the roots will begin to grow new hairs and the density and volume of the treated areas will improve.
How much does a hair transplant cost?
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact price for a hair transplant as there are so many factors that can affect the price. Each individual has unique circumstances; including hair density, level of hair loss and the quality of their donor area.
By booking a professional consultation with one of our in-house trichology specialists, we can assess the extent of your hair loss and your eligibility for a transplant. Once we can evaluate the outcomes that are achievable, we can provide you with an accurate price that’s bespoke to your circumstances.
For more information on how we calculate the cost of a hair transplant, you can visit our pricing page.
Book a Free Consultation with FUE Clinics
If you’re thinking about getting a hair transplant, FUE Clinics have revolutionised the way healthcare providers deliver precision, results and continuity of care.
We have advanced technology to restore hair growth in other areas, such as the beard and eyebrows. If you would like to learn more about our renowned clinics and procedures, take a look at our FAQ section. Or visit us in person for a free no-obligation consultation. Contact us today to make an appointment.