Hair Transplant: Is it for you?
A lush head of hair is a thing of beauty. Who doesn’t love have? But stress, lack of nutrition, hormones and even your genes can lead to hair loss. Now it is natural to lose up to 100 strands on a daily basis. It is part of the natural hair growth and fall cycle. However, if you are losing more than that or hair comes out in clumps, and you see thinning of the hair volume, then you are experiencing hair loss.
6 things to know about hair growth and fall
- Your hair shaft grows from the follicle on the scalp. The root or the follicle is located beneath the skin. There are over 100,000 follicles on your scalp.
- The hair growth cycle has four phases – Anagen, Catagen, Telogen and Exogen.
- Anagen is the growing phase, and is the first phase of hair. At any given time around 90 percent of the follicles are in anagen phase. The anagen phase lasts between 2 to 7 years – this determines the length of your hair.
- Catagen is the transition phase. This is when the hair is getting ready to fall. This phase lasts 2 to 3 weeks. This is when blood supply is cut off from the roots. This hair is known as club hair.
- Telogen phase is the resting phase, when new hair growth takes place below the club hair. This lasts for about 3 months. At any given time 10 to 15 percent if your hair is in telogen phase.
- Exogen is the shedding phase when your old hair (resting club hair) falls making way for the new strands to push through. It’s ok to lose up to 100 strands a day.
Hair thinning in men and women
The hormone called DHT in men and women can have an impact on the quality of the hair growth. It can lead to hair thinning. DHT leads to follicle constriction, which slows down the hair growth.
In men hair loss is often called male pattern balding – receding hair line and complete baldness on crown and a horse patch of hair from ear to the nape. In women, it is more about thinning in certain patches rather than complete balding. Hair starts to thin around the hair part. Baldness can occur in patches due to alopecia or due to malfunction in the endocrine glands.
Hair transplant as a solution
Hair transplantation is a type of surgery where your own hair follicles are taken from one site and transplanted into the bald area.
The most common techniques for Hair transplant include Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
In FUT the surgeon removes a 6 to 10 inch skin strip from the back of the head. This is called harvesting hair follicles from the donor area. It is then divided it into grafts of either individual hair or a group of hair. The number of grafts usually depends on the nature of the bald patch.
In FUE however, the surgeon shaves the back of the head and removes (harvests) the follicles one by one. The procedure of planting the graft is same after this for both the techniques.
The duration or the sittings of your procedure depends on the area and severity of baldness.
There is a recovery phase for this surgery is 2 to 5 days. It can be mildly painful, which is expected of any surgery. The transplanted hair falls down in 2 to 3 weeks post-surgery. It takes a few months for the new growth to come – 60 percent of the hair cpmes out in 6 to 9 months.
Who can opt for hair transplant?
Hair experts say that men with more defined balding pattern are better candidates for hair transplant procedure. They have defined receding hairline, and complete loss. Also they are not as impacted by follicle killing DHT as women. Harvesting grafts from donor areas becomes easy and transplants are more stable.
Women,on the other hand, have diffused hair loss and thinning, which means they do not have stable donor areas from where grafts can be harvested. Also the hormone DHT a stronger impact on women’s follicles. So when grafts are harvested from DHT affected areas, the transplanted strands remain unstable. The procedure often fails for women with thinning hair.
There are certain cases where women can opt for hair transplant procedure. Those who have distinct pattern baldness can opt for this procedure. Also women who have lost hair due to trauma like burns, accidents or scarring can go for hair transplantation. Women who have suffered hair loss due to non-hormonal causes can also try hair transplant procedures.