What is Hair Restoration?
Both men and women can begin to lose their hair at an early age. Losses that begin in the early twenties can be an emotionally draining experience. Depression, anxiety, low or lack of self-esteem are just a few of the emotional issues associated with early on-set hair thinning or balding. Hair restoration is the process of restoring youthful, natural looking hair to the impacted areas through either non-surgical or surgical procedures.
There are a number of non-surgical methods that can be used to hide thinning or missing hair. Fibers that attach to the natural hair can give the appearance of thickness, while hair systems/pieces can be used to provide an acceptable appearance. In addition to camouflage, there are a few prescription and non-prescription treatments that can slow hair loss and, in some cases, promote new hair growth. Hair loss is progressive, and though non-surgical procedures can be effective, surgical treatment for hair loss may be your best choice.
The biggest difference between a surgical transplant procedure and other restoration solutions is the final result. Transplants provide results that look and feel natural so that no one can tell you’ve had the procedure.
What is Surgical Hair Restoration?
Surgical hair restoration employs harvesting donor hair through a series of grafts from other parts of the patient’s scalp and transplanting the material to the impacted area. There are several methods of transplantation, but the most common are FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) methods.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)
FUE hair extraction involves individually removing each follicular unit directly from the scalp without a strip of tissue being removed. The lower portion of the back of the head is generally chosen to harvest hair due to its natural tendency to resist balding and the ability to mask the removal of hair. Follicles are harvested in a random manner that can result in less dense hair in the donor area. This change in density is generally unnoticeable.
Once a specific amount of material has been harvested, they are artistically placed in areas that would result in natural looking hair growth. This minimally invasive procedure does not result in linear scars or stitches that would normally be associated with harvesting, therefore, the FUE procedure typically has a shorter recovery period and with less discomfort than that of the FUT method.
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation)
FUT transplantation differs from FUE mainly in the method used to extract donor’s hair. In the same general area as that of the FUE method, donor’s hair is harvested for transplantation. However, in addition to hair follicles, a small strip of tissue is removed from the scalp as well. The follicles are then examined and counted to ensure the appropriate amount has been removed. Once the harvesting has been completed, the donor area is carefully stitched so that scarring is minimal. After the grafted material and the recipient site have been prepped, the grafts are meticulously placed so that the new hair growth blends in naturally with the surrounding hair.
Because FUT transplantation is more invasive than FUE, recovery tends to be slightly longer though still not unbearable. Mild irritation or pain and swelling may be present for the first two or three days but can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications.
How to Choose Between FUE and FUT Hair Restoration?
Both FUE and FUT methods are proven ways to restore thinning hair to its former glory. But why is one method chosen over the other? Since the material for transplantation is harvested from the same areas of the scalp, and the results are virtually identical, the reason to choose one method over the other comes down to two things, shaving or no shaving. FUE doesn’t require a portion of the scalp to be shaved in order to harvest follicular material whereas FUT does. For some patients, especially woman, shaving a portion of their heads makes evidence of surgery more noticeable. During your consultation, Dr. Verona will discuss both options and the best method will be chosen to meet your cosmetic goals.
Who are Good Candidates for Hair Restoration?
Thinning or balding hair can be caused by several issues including genetic predisposition, hormonal fluctuations, and certain health conditions. Both men and woman who find their hair thinning can be candidates for surgical hair restoration. During an individualized consultation, Dr. Christopher Varona will discuss your hair care needs. Once your aesthetic goals have been determined and surgery scheduled, the caring and compassionate team at Varona Hair Restoration will work closely with you to make sure your journey to stylish, thick hair is easy.