Is a Hair Transplant Permanent?

Most people know that a hair transplant is a permanent procedure. Taking hair from the donor area and transferring it to another area is an irreversible process. However, it’s important to understand that transplanted hair follicles also have a natural lifespan and may stop growing after a while. 

If you want to understand what makes hair transplants successful, then keep reading. This article will help show you how hair transplants work, and how to ensure you keep your results for a long time to come. 

Understanding Donor and Recipient Hair

Donor hair comes from parts of the scalp that are genetically resistant to hair fall. Experts observed that the back and sides of the scalp are consistently spared from balding. This is because this horseshoe-shaped area is not affected by androgens. Androgens are male hormones that, when produced in large quantities, can cause hair loss. 

The recipient area is where a surgeon transfers the donor hair follicles. This area is usually located above the forehead, near the temples, or the crown of the head. These places are susceptible to androgens which cause thinning and balding. 

When donor hair is transferred to the recipient area, it retains its genetic ability to resist hair loss. This is called Donor Dominance and is the principle that makes hair transplantation successful. Donor hair will not fall out even if they are placed in areas affected by androgens. 

In rare cases, though, the opposite could happen. A patient may experience recipient dominance. In this condition, the transplanted hair will start to thin out and eventually fall off. 

Ensuring an Effective Hair Transplant Procedure

Hair transplant success rates are relatively high. But there are situations where it may fail such as when the hair graft is rejected, poor post-operative care, or if the surgeon is inexperienced. 

To ensure you get long-lasting results, here are some things you need to consider:

The Experience of Your Surgeon and Clinic

The success of your procedure depends in part on the ability of your surgeon. Choose someone who is board-certified and has significant experience with the procedure. It’s important for you to feel comfortable working with your surgeon so you can ask questions and be properly informed. 

The staff should be able to answer your questions or direct you to resources to aid your understanding. The clinic staff is invested in the success of your procedure, so it’s important to have a good relationship with them. The condition of the clinic will also give you an idea of the quality of the service.

Choosing Between FUE and FUT

There are two hair transplantation techniques that can deliver the results you’re looking for. Your doctor will explain to you the differences between FUE and FUT and the benefits and risks of each one. 

FUE is Follicular Unit Extraction. Using this procedure, the surgeon will extract individual hair units and transfer them to the recipient area. FUT is Follicular Unit Transplantation, also known as the strip method. This procedure requires removing a strip of scalp, from the back of the head, leaving a linear scar. 

Post-Operative Care

Beyond the medication you’ll take after surgery, you also need to properly care for your new hair if you want the results to last a long time. Your doctor will advise you on how to look after your scalp post-operation. 

Just like any part of your body, your hair will need nourishment to grow healthy. You can adjust your diet to provide your hair with the nutrients it needs. You can also use a shampoo that is gentle on your hair and scalp. Any step that you can take to preserve your newly-grown hair can go a long way to keeping your results for a long time to come. 

Keeping Your Results Forever

A hair transplant procedure is permanent and irreversible. But this doesn’t mean you won’t lose your hair anymore. Although donor dominance means your transplanted hair will grow in areas of thinning and balding hair, you still need to care for your hair properly if you want to keep your results for the long term. 

Dr. Jerry Cooley has been performing state-of-the-art hair restoration procedures for 25 years.  For hair transplant results that last a long time, get in touch with Cooley Hair Center.