A before and after image of hair transplant surgery. A person in left has hair thinning with marking on the scalp and the person on the right has fuller hair.

Hair Transplant Procedure: What to Expect?


Looking young and healthy is a good confidence booster for almost everyone out there. But some lack this confidence due to their early hair fall. For some people a ‘more than usual’ hair fall has passed down to them as a hereditary, but for some, the problem straightaway indicates unhealthy lifestyle. At an early stage, this can be cured through proper medication and by making some lifestyle changes. However, it depends person to person, and therefore, it is important to get your hair and scalp checked from a doctor or a specialist. Getting a hair transplant through today’s modern technology is an easy, safe and efficient method to have your confidence back. Here’s all you should know about the hair transplant procedure.

What is Hair Transplant?

Hair transplant is a simple surgical procedure in which the person’s hair is moved or transplanted to an area having thin or less dense hair or no hair . It’s a permanent hair restoration procedure. Generally, this procedure is done in the doctor’s office or clinic. There are two types of  hair transplant procedures –Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). The doctor can choose any of the two depending upon the various factors like condition of the scalp, amount of the hair-fall, etc.

Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS)

1. In Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS), the surgeon removes 6-10-inch strip of skin from the back of the patient’s head. The surgeon then sets that strip aside and sews the scalp closed. The hair around it helps in covering that area.

2. Next, the surgeon or the surgeon’s team divides this strip of the removed scalp into 500-2000 tiny grafts, each with an individual hair or just a few hairs.

3.Graft in medical terms means- to take a piece of healthy skin, bone, or an organ from one part and use it to replace or repair a damaged part of the body.

4. The quantity and type of graft one gets depends on their hair type, quality, colour, and the size of the area where the person’s getting the transplant.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

1. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure wherein the surgeon extracts follicular units of hair (one at a time) from the donor area of the head (generally back side of the head) and grafts it into the balding/hair-fall section of the head.

2. The donor area gets healed with small dots, which then gets naturally covered with the existing hair.

3. Here, the procedure is similar to follicular unit strip surgery.

4. Depending on the size of the transplant, the process normally takes about 4-8 hours. One might need another procedure later on if the patient continues to lose hair or decides to get thicker hair

What to Expect?

1. Post-surgery, the scalp may get very tender and the patient may need to take pain medications for several days.

2. The surgeon will have the patient wear bandages over the scalp for at least a day or two.

3. The surgeon can prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs for a specific time period.

4. Generally, the patients are able to return to work in 2-5 days after the operation.

5. The transplanted hair will fall out within 2-3 weeks after the surgery, but there’s new growth within a few months.

6. Most people normally notice 60% of new hair growth after 6-9 months.

7. When new hair starts to grow, some patients might have inflammation or an infection of the hair follicles, called folliculitis. The surgeon, in this case provides antibiotics for relief.

8. There are chances to suddenly lose some of the original hair in the transplanted area, which is called shock loss. Mostly, that is not permanent.

9. As with any kind of surgery, hair transplant procedures too have some risks, including bleeding and infection. Also, there is a chance for scarring or unnatural-looking new hair growth.

Consulting openly and honestly with the doctor about the hair transplant one wants to have gives a good idea about how much improvement one is likely to get from the procedure. The doctor can help the patient properly in deciding if it’s a good option.

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The image shows a blue letter “B” logo for Dr Bagadia’s Hair Transplant Clinic in Nagpur.

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