Hair loss & treatments

Myths & FAQs

Dr. Christopher Tzermias

Dermatologist | Contact
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FAQS before Hair Transplantation

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Is hair transplantation a new method for the management of hair loss?

No. Since the beginning of 1930s Japanese doctors had already started to transfer successfully healthy hair follicles from the affected areas of the scalp and body.

In 1959, the American pioneer doctor in hair transplantation, Dr. Norman Orentreich proved scientifically the dominant trait of the area on the head where hair follicles are being extracted from (donor dominance), whereby the transferred hair is not susceptible to the deleterious effects of androgens on the hair thinning area and, therefore, they never fall.

Since then 85 years have passed during which hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have had hair transplantation.

How many hairs are transplanted in hair transplantation?

Our hairs do not grow on a hair by hair basis, but in the form of hair follicles, i.e. in “families” of 1 to 5 hairs maximum. This is the basic anatomical unit of hair. In modern hair transplantation procedures follicular units are transplanted, not groups of hair follicles.

Hair collection: which areas of the scalp and what about the procedure?

We harvest hair follicles from the zone at the back of the scalp, where hormones cannot affect the quantity and quality of hair.

Fifteen years ago special tools (incisors) were used to extract the grafts. In this technique extraction of hair follicles was performed blindly and significant amount of time was necessary (i.e. more than 10 hours for 1000 grafts), as well as shaving of the hair. This technique was appropriate for less than 5% of hair transplantation cases.

As time passed, techniques for the appropriate exploitation of the donor area have been improved amazingly, through the use of microscopes and special instruments, allowing the extraction of individual follicular units and their transfer in areas of hair thinning. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is considered to be the most advanced method of hair transplantation. It can be performed without pain and stitches and leaves no scars.

Can hair thinning occur in the donor area?

Νο. Due to its hair density, the donor area allows us to use fifty percent (50%) of its hair follicles which corresponds to an average quantity of about 10,000 hair follicles, or otherwise of approximately 30,000 hair units.

Will I have any scars on my scalp getting a hair transplant?

No. The advanced FUE hair transplant is a minimally invasive method. Unlike older hair transplant techniques, FUE uses specific microscopic tools to extract follicular units one by one and implant them in the recipient areas. In this way, FUE leaves no scars or marks in the hair thinning area.

How long do hair transplantation hairs last?

The result of hair transplantation lasts forever. The permanence is due to hair stability of the area where grafts are collected from. Other features which are also transferred during hair transplantation include the texture of the hair and their colour. So when hairs at the donor area become white, also the hair of the recipient area will become white.

The permanence of the result is one of the greatest benefits of hair transplantation and is a fact. But it can turn into a problem when the method is applied by inexperienced physician. An inaccurate design may be satisfactory for someone at the age of 25 but it will be the same throughout his/her life.

Is it necessary to provide special care to the transplanted hair?

No. You can brush, cut, dye and provide no special hair to these hair so that to maintain them in good condition.

Are there cases that hair transplantation cannot be performed?

Yes, for instance when there is no zone of stable hair growth or in cases of non-androgenetic alopecia.

Another case is when the area on the scalp provided the grafts has very little hair or when this area is too small to provide an aesthetically satisfactory result.

Now, with the right design and distribution of the grafts, in combination with the donor area’s best exploitation and the use of microscopes, we can manage even advanced cases of hair loss, always taking into account certain limitations.

Today only rarely do we observe medical reasons to avoid hair transplantation, and these are only seen in people with blood clotting disturbances.

The complete and objectively assessment and diagnosis will give you the right and accurate answer.

For the right diagnosis, trichoscopy is the most objective “tool”, with which scalp condition is studied per square centimeter and it is possible to identify the potential and needs of the donor and recipient areas.

Is it painfull?

FUE hair transplant is performed following topical anaesthesia in a medical environment. There are people saying that this technique looks like a visit to the dental office. Often people who get a hair transplant feeling really anxious end up sleeping because they feel calm and trust in the physician and his/her team, not because of the drugs.

Will I have overnight hospital stay for hair transplatation?

Once hair transplant is completed, you can go back to home. There is no need for hospitalisation, however it is advised to not drive after procedure.

FUE hair transplant makes no incisions and uses no stitches. In this way, there is no need for the patient to take any type of painkiller or other medicines after the completion of the procedure. Also, daily activities performance is allowed after the procedure even for the athletes, for individuals who are doing manual work and for those people who can’t stay out of work for long time.

How long it takes to complete healing?

FUE method is performed without stitches and places no incisions, both in donor and recipient areas. This technique minimises post-treatment care time in just a few days.

How long to stay out of work?

In many cases, it is not necessary to stay out of work not even for one day. FUE is a minimally invasive method allowing you to work again even the very next day. Staying out of work is related only to your desire to avoid your colleagues’ opinion and not to the recovery time. If your hair is enough to hide the sites of your scalp where collection and implantation took place, then the result will be invisible. If your hair loss is of grade VI, then it will be fine if you take some days away from work.

Depending on your needs, you can choose the hair transplantation procedure to be performed without shaving either donor or recipient area. According to the unshaven fue hair transplant, we collect follicular units in the donor area after hair cutting. Then we implant these units to the hair thinning area between the uncut hair. The result is invisible because follicular units are harvested from small areas which can be hidden by uncut hair of the surrounding area.

How long do I have to wait to wash my hair?

Hair on the donor area can be washed during the next day after the procedure, while all scalp on the 3rd day. Shampooing your hair everyday keeps scalp and hair clean to complete healing as soon as possible and stimulate the new hair growth.

Will this be obvious to my close friends and family?

As already mentioned, this depends on the hair you have. For your close relatives (husband/wife, parents, etc.) this is not true. Do not forget that hair transplantation is performed for you above all and you want them next to you to support you in your choice. There is no reason why you should keep this a secret.

How long will it take my hair to grow?

Once the follicular units are placed on the scalp they contain small hair. Some of this hair (actually a percentage between 30% and 90%) will fall within next 3 weeks. The new hair remaining on the scalp will grow 1cm. The rest hair will grow between the 2nd and the 12th month.

Is hair transplantation a surgical procedure?

Actually it is a pure medical procedure and it is performed by trained doctors and nurses in a suitable septic area.

Can women take advantage of hair transplantation?

Yes, of course. Hair transplantation is performed in cases of male-pattern hair loss with a good donor area either to cover up the areas of hair thinning from the frontal hairline or to make hair thicker, following the appropriate preparation. By choosing the right grafts and the right amount of thinning we can improve the appearance of even the most demanding woman.

Is hair transplantation performed on the scalp only?

Hair transplantation is a procedure that can be performed in any part of the body if there is need for permanent hair growth. Hair transplantation can be performed to cover up scars or burns at any part of our body. We can restore hair loss in sideburns, beards, moustaches, eyebrows, eyelids.

The new techniques that we use allow us to do so.

Is the result natural?

The result is absolutely natural. FUE hair transplantation goes invisible, resulting an absolutely natural look. We usually say that if we put a hair follicle in the middle of a large hair thinning area, nobody will be able to understand that it has been performed by a human.

How long does it take to see the final result?

In most cases, to see the final result it needs at least ten months.

I use a wig (additional hair). Can I have hair transplantation?

Yes. No special care is needed for transplanted hair, which is the main problem of using additional hair. However, we cannot provide hair density similar to a wig.

Apart from this, the natural appearance of transplanted hair cannot be compared to the stability and lack of natural appearance of even the best wig.

Furthermore, hair transplantation in people using a wig requires special monitoring so that not to destroy the transplanted hair by the wig.

Nevertheless, a wig or something similar can be used 4 days after a hair transplantation session.

Does hair transplantation stop hair loss?

Hair loss is a progressive process and it won’t stop through hair transplantation. This is why special attention and experience is required when designing the hair transplantation, so that to meet the aesthetic needs of a person throughout his/her life and to be able to predict the future progress.

A great advantage is to take care of the existing hair thinning problem through hair transplantation, before a gap is created on the scalp. This way it is possible to do hair transplantation without being noticed and without the effects of baldness.

This way we can perform more quicker sessions for hair transplantation, depending on the progress of hair loss, so that to never look bald.

Up to what age can I have hair transplantation?

There is no limit in terms of your age.

Our team has successfully performed hair transplantation in an 8-year-old child for the treatment of burns, as well as in men and women at the age of 70 to treat their hair loss.

When do we consider a hair transplantation successful?

A hair transplantation procedure is considered successful when a large number of follicular units are transplanted, when the donor area is fully used, when the follicular units have a similar to natural hair thickness. When these conditions are met we can have an excellent and naturally looking result that nobody can notice.

What is the role of technology in hair transplantation?

The use of microscopes to distinguish the grafts and various automatic devices, such as various implanters which are used to place them have improved the quality and the speed that hair transplantation is performed.

At the same time digital trichoscopy and digital dermatoscope allow us to make objective diagnosis and monitoring of the results.

These tools are mandatory for any colleague who is performing hair transplantation.

What has changed over the last years in hair transplantation?

Only in the early 1980’s was it been recognised that hair grows not singly, but in specific anatomic units that are called follicular units (FU’s), which consist of 1, 2, 3, 4, or rarely 5 hairs, with discrete nerve and blood vessel supply, a connective tissue sheath, and sebaceous gland.

These FU’s are the natural groupings of the hair, the way it normally grows and should be used in hair transplantation if we want to achieve a natural result while taking full advantage of the donor area. This is possible only through the use of microscopes.

With respect to natural hair anatomy – apart from greater using this method would allow us to create the most undetectable result, and also allow us ease in following the natural angles of emergence from the scalp, from an angle of 10 degrees in the region of the temples and at the back of the scalp to 60 degrees at the center of the scalp. The angle of growth is another critical factor for the naturalness of the result. These angles at which hairs grow from the scalp are quite important, as they vary widely depending upon the area of the scalp we are observing.

Imitation of nature is inviolable rule in terms of the hair volume. For example, there can be no effect when transplanting one-hair hair follicles only – as some people attempt to do, as this is something that is not happening naturally. The volume of hair is the result of hair follicles more than one hair, which we must maintain and strengthen at specific areas, such as the central area of the scalp.