Are you curious about hair transplant surgery? We pulled together this listing of FAQs about hair loss, types of hair restoration procedures, and how your own natural hair grows after a transplant. We hope it gives you a better understanding to help make a more informed decision, and we invite you to ask us more questions about our approach and process to hair transplant surgery at The Lumen Center.
During a hair restoration procedure, a skilled surgeon takes transplanted hair follicles from the back of the scalp and implants them into balding or receding areas to restore a full, natural look.
Specifically, there are two common types of hair restoration surgery: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
An FUT procedure is also known as Follicular Unit Strip Surgery or the strip method. It involves taking a strip of skin from a donor area or donor site on the scalp (commonly the back of your head) where the donor hair is growing. The hair follicles are surgically implanted or grafted into balding or receding recipient areas using a scalpel. FUT surgery leaves a large linear scar, the tell-tale sign of a hair transplant surgery.
Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) is an innovative type of hair transplantation that involves harvesting individual hair follicle units, resulting in little to no scarring. This type of procedure is perfect for those who wear their hair short and are concerned about the linear scar that comes with FUT hair transplant surgery.
Unlike the traditional FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant) procedure, an FUE hair transplant involves the grafting individual hairs from the back of the head and implanting them into the recipient area using tiny dot-like incisions.
Both FUT and FUE use existing hair from the back of the head that is thriving and unaffected by alopecia. The surgeon transplants those healthy hair follicles to areas impacted by hair loss. The difference between the two methods is how the hair is harvested.
FUT, or the strip method, is a surgical procedure where the surgeon takes a strip of skin from the back of the scalp, then divides the piece of scalp into small hair grafts. The grafts are implanted to the balding or thinning areas of the patient’s head affected by hair loss. A linear scar forms on the back of the head where the strip of skin is taken. Sutures or staples are needed to close the wound.
During a Follicular Unit Extraction procedure, doctors shave the back of the head, gently extract individual follicles from that area using an automated or robotic device. Once the grafts have been harvested, the surgeon transplants those follicles into tiny incisions in the recipient site showing hair loss. This process requires a great deal of precision and artistry to create a natural-looking hairline that blends seamlessly with the existing hair. This method is considered minimally invasive because it doesn’t require stitches or leave a linear scar.
Both FUT and FUE hair transplants yield effective, permanent, and natural results using your own healthy hair.
Yes, you’ll see hair growth in the recipient area just like you would where the hair was originally growing. It’s just living in a new spot on your scalp! It does tend to grow in waves and may grow more slowly after your hair restoration procedure. The hair growth cycle starts approximately two to three weeks after the procedure when the hair within the grafted follicle will fall out. This event is not a cause for concern since the transplanted hair follicle will remain. Normal, healthy new hair will begin to grow in the transplanted follicles within three to four months after the procedure. You can expect a full regrowth of the transplanted hair and final results within one-year post-procedure.
Hair transplants are a permanent solution to hair loss and can last a lifetime. A hair transplant takes hair from the back of the head, which is resistant to the effects of male pattern baldness. When those hair follicles are transplanted, they continue to grow in their new area, just as they would on the back of the scalp. Patients typically only need one treatment, but some patients decide to return for touch-up procedures as they lose more hair in the affected areas or desire an even fuller head of hair.
Yes, in the hands of a skilled surgeon and technician, a hair transplant is a very effective and permanent solution. Often, patients explore a hair transplant after unsuccessfully trying over-the-counter treatments and medications (such as Propecia, Finasteride, and Minoxidil) with undesirable side effects.
In addition to being effective, an FUE hair transplant is incredibly precise, including the innovative ARTAS iX and NeoGraft Hair Transplant systems we offer at The Lumen Center. As Dr. Andrew Kwak, founder of Lumen, said in an article for GQ Magazine, “Today’s FUE micro grafts are extremely small and can be harvested and transplanted with micro accuracy.”
There is currently no cure for hair loss, most commonly caused by alopecia or male pattern baldness. However, numerous treatments exist to help slow down the progression of hair loss. A hair transplant procedure is as close to a cure that you can get for hair loss since it provides new hair follicles in the balding area.
Although there are many causes for hair loss (including stress, medications, and diseases), the most common form of hair loss in men and women is androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern baldness). A hormone called DHT (a by-product of testosterone) that resides in the scalp is the main culprit of hair loss. It causes inflammation in the hair follicles and a process called fibrosis, which destroys the hair follicles. The hair becomes weaker and thinner until it can’t grow at all. The hair follicles die and cause permanent baldness.
Our patients report that their FUE hair transplant was relatively painless, and we strive to keep patients as comfortable as possible during their hair transplantation surgery. Before the procedure, you are given a local anesthetic to numb the skin and keep you as comfortable as possible. The initial injection from the local anesthesia may cause some discomfort and has been described as a sting. Our hair transplant room is equipped with a TV to keep you entertained, and you are welcome to bring headphones to listen to music during the procedure.
During your recovery time, the process is also relatively pain-free as your scalp heals. You may experience redness, tenderness, and mild pain post-procedure, but you will be provided with pain medication to alleviate any symptoms. You will develop a crust or scabs where the hair follicles were implanted, which will naturally come off a week after your surgery.
The hair transplant cost depends on numerous factors, including the number of grafts needed, the surgical method (FUT vs. FUE), how full you desire your hair, the extent of your hair loss, and the amount of donor hair available. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments can be added during the hair restoration procedure or post-procedure to further thicken and regenerate your hair. Very broadly, a hair transplantation procedure using the NeoGraft® and ARTAS iX® systems ranges from $5,000-$18,000. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation at The Lumen Center to discuss your specific situation and goals to obtain more accurate pricing.
Are you interested in learning more about hair transplant surgery at The Lumen Center? We offer two different ways you can obtain more information.
Numerous other FAQs on our main Hair Transplant page answer specific questions about the FUE Hair Transplant options at The Lumen Center. In addition, we have videos, a patient hair gallery with before and after images, and more information about the ARTAS iX and NeoGraft Hair Transplant systems available at The Lumen Center.
If you are ready to take the next step, we invite you to schedule a free consultation to meet our hair transplant surgeon, Dr. Andrew Kwak. He will determine if you are a good candidate for the hair procedure, answer all of your questions, and discuss what you can expect and your aesthetic goals. To schedule your initial consultation, please contact us at 610.525.0606 or complete the form below, and we’ll get in touch.