When you think of hair transplants, you may think of an outdated image of patchy hair plugs that leave people thinking, “who are they fooling?” But in actuality, hair restoration has come a long way.
The old method, known as “punch grafting,” was used for many decades, where a cylinder of skin containing hair was punched out of a donor area and punched back into an area of baldness. While successful in allowing hair growth, the results looked “pluggy” or “doll hair” like at best, even after multiple sessions.
Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to tell who’s had hair surgery, and it’s all thanks to the latest method of hair transplants, known as an FUE hair transplant procedure.
What Is It?
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplants are a modern hair restoration method. Hair follicles are taken from the back of a patient’s donor area, usually the back of the head, and individually grafted onto the designated area. While this may sound tedious, this one at a time method allows for a natural-appearing growth that seamlessly blends into existing hair, rather than a bunched together “plug” look.
How Do They Do it?
During your surgery, surgeons clean and sterilize your scalp and numb your scalp to alleviate pain.
Surgeons then shave the donor area and remove the hair follicles individually. This area will leave minor marks but be covered once your existing hair grows back. The surgeons then place the hair follicles into the graft and insert them into the designated bald area by creating small incisions. Careful consideration is used when placing the hairs, as not to space them too far apart or in odd directions that could cause displaced hair growth. The whole process usually takes about 4-8 hours.
Does it Work?
The short answer is yes. Overwhelmingly, in fact. FUE hair transplants boast a 90%-100% success rate. Not only that, the results last. In a 2016 study, a group was asked their satisfaction with the procedure three years after it had been performed. The average satisfaction rate was 83%.
While patients may have to return for additional procedures to cover any new untreated bald spots that form over time, FUE is a permanent process.
What’s Recovery Like?
After your surgery is completed, you can expect your scalp to be quite tender in the targeted areas, and you may need to take pain medication during the first week until the discomfort fades. Most people return to work within a few days.
When Will I See the Results?
Don’t panic if your newfound hair suddenly falls out a few weeks after surgery; this is normal! It’s all part of the process, and you should see new hair growth that’s all your own in 4-8 months, with full results roughly a year after surgery.
How Much Does it Cost?
FUE hair transplants are priced per graft implanted into the designated area at roughly $4-7 a graft. Because the necessary coverage can vary so widely, from a few hundred to thousands of grafts, prices can range anywhere between $4000 to $15,000.
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Hi, I am Betty Knight, Owner of this site! I am a 'nearing 30-year-old', happily married to 1 awesome man. We live in the beautiful tourist town of Franklin NY.