One inevitable change to your appearance during the aging process is a progressive loss and thinning of the hair. This rate and time of onset of hair loss can vary among individuals. At Carolina Facial Plastics, we understand the loss of hair can be very concerning for patients as it can negatively affect the self-esteem and can prematurely create an aged appearance for both women and men.
Working with a hair maintenance and restoration expert can help reverse hair loss, using innovative techniques like hair transplantation. Hair maintenance and restoration must consider the cause of the hair loss, patient’s age, the rate of hair loss, family history, and the patient’s ultimate goals. After exploring all of this during a consultation, patients may have an option of a permanent restoration of hair by a hair transplant procedure.
The Hair Transplant Procedures at Carolina Facial Plastics
The basis of all hair transplants in our practice is based on the follicular unit transplant modality. The follicular unit is the natural pairing and organization of hairs on the scalp and body. A follicular unit main contains 1 to 5 hairs. 70 to 80% of the hairs on the body grow out of a follicular unit that contains more than 2 to 5 strands of hair. The other 20% of the follicular units contain a single hair.
During a hair transplant procedure at our practice in Charlotte, these individual naturally occurring follicular units are transplanted from one area the scalp to another area of the scalp. Transplanting the natural groupings of follicular units create a natural result.
How Transplanted Hairs are Harvested
Transplanted hairs can be harvested by two methods at Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte. They are:
- Cutting a strip of hair out of the back of the scalp (Strip Method)
- Delicately removing individual hair follicles (FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction)
At our practice, we have found the method to remove the individual hair follicle or FUE method to yield the best results for most patients. Another benefit is the FUE method has the quickest and easiest recovery. However, there are occasions where we will recommend the strip method.
For example, we would recommend the strip method in cases where we will not be able to get enough hair to be transplanted using the FUE method. In current practice, it is uncommon to make the cut on the back of the head.
The Advantages of Follicular Unit Extraction
The main advantage of the follicular unit extraction technique is the scar-less nature of the procedure. Because only individual hairs are removed by a handheld instrument, there are no cuts or incisions in the skin. This allows for an invisible harvest of hair. For this reason, patients will have the option to wear their hair very short and not have any signs that a hair transplant was done. The recovery for this method is quicker and less painful than the strip harvest method.
The Advantages of the Strip Method
The advantage of the strip method is the ability to obtain a larger amount of hair to transplant. With today’s methods, it is rare that we would need to use the strip method.
The incision is closed in such a way to allow hair to grow through the incision. Typically, the incision heals with a fine line. Patients who wear their hair longer than a buzz cut should not be concerned about the visibility of the scar. Patients should only be concerned about the visibility of the scar if they plan on wearing their hair short or a buzz cut in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will patients have to shave their hair before a hair transplant?
A: Patients undergoing the strip method will not have to shave their hair. In patients that have the individual hair follicles removed it will require shaving in the area of the hair that will be harvested. The hair must be shaved in order for the surgeon to be able to visualize the individual hair follicle. This does not require the entire head to be shaved, but only the area for the harvesting will require shaving.
Q. How long does a hair transplant procedure take?
A: Hair transplants are a meticulous and delicate surgery. During the surgery, we will give patients medications that will allow them to relax and possibly fall asleep during the procedure. We will also take a break during the procedure to allow the patient to have lunch. The more hair that needs to be transplanted, the longer the procedure will take. The procedure will typically take between 4 to 8 hours.
Q. Does hair transplant surgery hurt?
A: We take many steps a Carolina Facial Plastics to ensure the procedure is as comfortable as possible. Patients take medications before the procedure to keep them relaxed and comfortable. Additionally, we will use numbing medication throughout the scalp to prevent discomfort. The application of this numbing medicine will have some discomfort, but it will not last long. After an FUE hair transplant, there will be minimal pain.
Q. What is the recovery process after an FUE hair transplant?
A: Immediately after an FUE hair transplant patients will see slight redness and some scabbing over the transplanted area. There will be pain that should be relieved with medications. The next day after surgery, we will have patients gently wash their hair and pat it dry. Patients will have to wash their hair by pouring water out of a cup over the transplanted area. We will give patients special instructions on how to shampoo the hair.
Five days after surgery, the transplanted hair is firmly rooted in the scalp and will allow patients to shower under a showerhead. The tiny scabs on the scalp will slowly resolve over 1 to 2 weeks during normal shampooing.
Q. How long does it take the hair to grow after a hair transplant at Carolina Facial Plastics?
A: We estimate the following timeline of the hair after a hair transplant:
- Day 5———- hair firmly rooted in the scalp
- Days 7-14—– transplanted hair sheds and scabs fall off of scalp
- Months 3-4— transplanted hair begins to grow
- Month 6——- transplanted hair at 50% growth
- Month 12—— transplanted hair at 90% growth
- 1.5 to 2 years— transplanted hair at 100% growth
This timeline can vary from patient to patient.
Q. When will patients be able to exercise after a hair transplant?
A: Patients will be able to resume normal exercise 10 days after a hair transplant at in Charlotte.
Q. Why choose Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte for your hair transplant surgery?
Not all hair transplant surgeries are the same. There are many nuances and steps that we take to ensure that patients have an excellent result. They include:
- Highly trained staff: Your procedure will be performed by double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh and hair transplant technician, Diane Pinson. Dr. Kulbersh has learned from some of the most highly regarded hair transplant surgeons in the country. Diane Pinson has 16 years of experience performing hair transplants. She has performed over 4000 hair transplant surgeries. This experience cannot be underestimated as the ability to implant the hair is a key step in the surgery.
- Techniques: We believe our techniques allow for the highest graft survival for patients. We believe in the SAFE system for obtaining the grafts. This system uses a handheld device to individually extract the hair follicles. The system does not use suction or other methods to remove the hair that may damage the hair follicle. Additionally, we use an additive called platelet-rich plasma, PRP, which has been shown to improve graft survival, growth, and healing.
Visit MedlinePlus.gov for information on your next hair transplant procedure.
Contact Us Today!
To learn more about hair transplants in Charlotte, you may schedule a consultation at Carolina Facial Plastics in the Southpark region of Charlotte by calling 704-323-5090 or filling out the online consultation form here.
Next, read about Platelet-Rich Therapy for Hair Growth.