For as long as humans have been losing hair, we’ve been searching for ways to keep it. Substantial advances in the field of hair restoration mean there are more treatment options than ever before and they are the most effective they’ve ever been. Gone are the days of conspicuous toupees and unsightly hair plugs – today’s hair restoration methods are less invasive, leave minimal scarring and blend in smoothly with the surrounding hair.
One of the main concerns men and women have when considering a hair transplant is whether their results will look natural. The answer is yes, it’s absolutely possible to achieve natural-looking hair restoration with modern techniques, provided you keep the following key considerations in mind.
Choose a State-of-the-Art Procedure
Hair transplantation surgery is the most transformative hair loss solution. Old methods produced an unnatural hairline and doll-like clusters of follicles that clearly revealed a procedure had taken place. The fake, pluggy look is no longer inevitable thanks to two of today’s refined hair transplantation techniques:
Follicular Unit Excision
During follicular unit excision (FUE), the scalp is numbed with local anesthesia and a small handheld punch device is used to remove individual follicular units from the back and sides of the head. Each follicular unit contains up to four strands of hair and the follicle’s underlying root system. Once the necessary number of grafts has been harvested, they are transplanted one-by-one into the targeted areas of the scalp. Scarring is virtually nonexistent after FUE because the procedure does not require incisions.
Follicular Unit Transplantation
During follicular unit transplantation (FUT), the scalp is numbed with local anesthesia and a strip of skin is removed from the side or back of the head. The donor site is sutured shut with dissolvable stitches and the donor strip is dissected to detach the follicular units from the surrounding tissue. Once the grafts are ready, they are individually transplanted into the thinning or bald areas. FUT can leave some scarring, but it can be concealed by the surrounding hair. Many patients find it to be a worthwhile trade-off as more hair can be harvested with an FUT procedure than an FUE procedure.
Find an Experienced Hair Restoration Surgeon
Despite the sophistication of these techniques, the outcome of a hair restoration procedure still depends heavily on the skill and experience of the surgeon you select. Choose a doctor who specializes in these procedures, who thoroughly understands hair loss and who performs hair transplants regularly. A good hair restoration surgeon must also have a strong eye for aesthetics. To create a natural-looking result, your surgeon must take great care in constructing a new hairline and placing the grafts in the thinning areas in a way that mirrors the patterns of surrounding hair growth. This attention to detail is what achieves a seamless transplant your barber or stylist might not even notice.
Carefully Follow Your Surgeon’s Aftercare Instructions
The transplant surgery itself is only one part of the hair restoration process. Your results will be determined in part by how you care for your hair after the procedure. Avoid touching or rubbing your healing scalp, as this can dislodge the newly-transplanted hair or any scabs that form. Your doctor will give you personalized instructions regarding your recovery, including when you can shower and when you can resume vigorous activities like exercise. You may also receive recommendations for maintaining your results following surgery, such as the use of medicated products (Rogaine, Propecia) or platelet-rich plasma therapy to slow down future hair loss.
Confirm You’re a Good Candidate
Even the most innovative techniques and talented surgeons will struggle to achieve natural-looking results if you’re not a good candidate for hair transplantation in the first place. Hair restoration surgery doesn’t create new hair – instead, it works by relocating hairs you already have. You must have a donor area with sufficient density of follicular units to achieve a full, natural-looking result. If you’ve already lost the majority of your hair, it’s unlikely you will be able to restore your hairline or hair thickness with a transplant. Your surgeon should tell you whether your donor area is of good enough quality when you attend your consultation, as well as help you set realistic goals for your procedure.
Schedule a Consultation With the Southeast’s Natural Hair Transplant Expert
Hair transplant surgery can help you turn back the clock on years of hair loss. If you are interested in learning more about your options for hair restoration, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jerry Cooley. Dr. Cooley is known for his natural results and can help you make an informed, confident decision about which procedure is right for you. Call Cooley Hair Center today at 704-542-1601 to book your appointment.