What is Hair Transplant Surgery?

hair transplant surgery diagram

Hair Transplant Surgery– What Is It? Also called hair restoration surgery, hair transplantation is an operation where you relocate hair from one part of the body to a bald area. Commonly, hair transplants are performed to restore hair on the head. This is what we, at The Treatment Rooms London, specialise in.

Why Have Hair Transplant Surgery?

You might find that you are suffering from hair loss due to:

  • Male or Female Pattern Baldness
  • Burns
  • Traction Alopecia
  • Scars

Hair transplants are just one treatment for hair loss. There are many different medical treatments that can stabilise hair loss and you should consider them before undergoing surgery.

If you have considered medical treatments for hair loss and you either decide:

  1. You don’t want to have medical treatment
  2. Medical treatments are not working to stop or reverse your hair loss
  3. You would like to restore hair in areas you have now lost it

Then you can consider a hair transplant as a treatment option to restore hair in areas you are bald in.

How Does It Work?

Hairs at the sides and back of the head are life-long and are not be affected by the balding process. These hairs can be taken out and transplanted into balding areas- this is a hair transplant.

hair transplant surgery diagram

A hair transplant is a permanent solution to balding as the hairs that are re-implanted are life-long hairs. However, like any surgery you will need to carefully consider whether the procedure is the best option for you. One of the main considerations you will need to take is when to have the procedure.

When Should I Have A Hair Transplant?

Hair transplants are not a treatment for those early in their hair loss journey (e.g. age <26 years). This is because the processes driving hair loss (the hormone DHT) are still very active and can cause you to bald further. We encourage our younger adults to wait or commence medical treatments to prevent DHT and stabilise their hair loss before deciding to undergo hair transplant surgery.

This will have a number of advantages:

  1. If you decide to have a hair transplant in the future, your desired hairline and thickness can be planned to suit you for a longer period of time
  2. It reduces your need for a second or third hair transplant
  3. Your surgery will be less complex
  4. You will preserve more hairs in the donor area
  5. The total cost of your hair transplant will be reduced

The back and sides of your head contain a finite number of hairs. This means you and your hair transplant surgeon need to plan carefully how many can be safely taken out and re-implanted to give you a look you desire. This conversation needs to take into account the following factors:

  • How bald are you?
  • Will you bald further? (Dependant on age and medical history)
  • Are you going to start medications that prevent more hair loss?
  • What type of hair style do you ideally want to have?

By considering these questions, you and your surgeon will be able to gleam how many hairs are required to give you the look you want. But most importantly, when you should look to have a hair transplant.

Having A Hair Transplant

If you have decided you are interested in having a hair transplant you will need to choose your surgeon and clinic carefully. We have written a lot about this topic and you can read more about it here:

Ultimately you must choose a licensed clinic with a GMC registered surgeon. Once you have chosen your surgeon and clinic you will then plan to undergo surgery. The procedure usually takes 8 hours and consists of 2 halves. One half you will be lying on your front whilst hairs are taken out from the back of your head.

Once the hairs have been taken out the second half of the procedure involves implanting them back into the areas you and your surgeon have agreed to transplant. You can find out more about this process on our webpage:

This will give you a good insight into what you can expect on your day of surgery.

After Your Hair Transplant

In the days following your hair transplant you will need to follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully. This should involve clear advice on the following topics:

  • Sleep
  • Spraying your grafts with salt water
  • Washing and cleaning your scalp
  • Exercise
  • Medications
  • Going back to work

You can read more about these topics and our own methods at The Treatment Rooms by clicking the following links:

The first 14-30 days after your surgery are crucial. We advise that it takes 2 weeks after your transplant for your grafts to fully settle and “root in”. This means that you need to be extra careful in those initial 14 days. Depending on the size of your transplant and your recovery this period can extend to 30 days. It is always best to check in with your surgeon in this initial recovery period. This will put both yours and your surgeon’s mind at ease!

How Long Will It Take For Your New Hair To Grow?

Frustratingly your transplanted hair will actually fall out in the first 3 months. However, rest assured you hair roots are still in the scalp and they will begin to grow new hairs over the next 12-18 months. You will need to be patient after your hair transplant as the process of regrowth can take a while. So, it is an investment in time as well as the cost of the procedure itself. You eventually get to a hair style you and your surgeon have planned for.

Having Your Hair Transplant At The Treatment Rooms London

If you are interested in knowing more or having your hair transplant at our clinic then feel free to contact us. Our mantra is personalised hair transplants meaning every patient is different. We use different and subtle techniques to plan and recreate your desired hair based on what would suit you best. To see some before and after hair transplant examples at our clinic click the link below:

Our operations are led by and carried out by our lead Hair Transplant Surgeon, Dr Fernando. Contact us today by clicking the following link:

Redness After Hair Transplant Surgery

Redness post Hair Transplant

Do you have redness after your hair transplant? If you do, normally it goes away with time but in some cases you may need treatment. This blog will help you understand more about the redness and what this means for your recovery. At The Treatment Rooms London we always like to check on our patients to see how they are recovering after their transplant. One of the key questions is how much redness they have after surgery.

What is redness after a hair transplant?

The red colour of your skin after your hair transplant can be seen at the back of your head (donor area) and where hairs have been implanted (recipient area). Also called, erythema, it is simply inflammation following your hair transplant. As the surgery involves making cuts into your skin, these cuts will start to heal at the back and around your newly implanted hair. The processes that contribute to healing cause redness and that’s why you see it.

Redness after hair transplant
Normal redness after a hair transplant

How long does the redness last?

As your scalp starts to heal the redness should reduce. Many patients may find that their redness is completely gone after 2 weeks. However, in some large hair transplant cases this healing process can take longer. As a result it can take a while and even up to a month for it to completely go away.

Will it affect my transplant?

Normal healing related redness should not affect your transplant. However, in some cases redness isn’t caused by normal healing and you will need to see your surgeon to check your recovery. These causes are listed below:

  1. Folliculitis (hair infection)
  2. Cellulitis (skin infection)
  3. Cysts (small round swelling under the skin)
  4. Skin necrosis (dead and dying skin)

All the above can affect your donor area or recipient area after a hair transplant and therefore we advise you keep an eye out for them. Their common symptoms and signs are detailed below as well as our recommended treatment.

Folliculitis

Some patients may suffer from an infection around the newly implanted hair follicles. The risk of this occurring can last up to 8 months. You can see folliculitis has small red pimples forming around each hair even with a small pus (yellow) head. It can feel hot, itchy and painful. This is actually a fairly common condition after a hair transplant. The cause can be due to a bacterial infection (10%) but in many cases bacteria aren’t found (23%), (1).

Treatment is simple and effective. You can leave it alone and it will gradually resolve by itself. However, we recommend you see your surgeon to get it properly looked at. You might benefit from warm compresses or a course of antibiotics/ antibiotic cream to help fight any bacteria that could be there. Be sure to keep your scalp as hygienic as possible to prevent any further problems of infection, (2).

Cellulitis

Cellulitis involves an infection of the skin on your scalp, (3). After undergoing a hair transplant you skin is at risk of bacteria finding their way in and causing an infection. If you have cellulitis you will notice your redness may start to spread, your scalp feels painful and you may even develop a fever.

If you have these symptoms it is important you see your surgeon immediately. A course of antibiotics and daily monitoring to make sure your infection is improving should fix this problem. You will know your skin infection is getting better if the redness stops spreading and eventually disappears.

Cysts

Cysts are small circular sacks that grow under the skin. They can occur at your donor or recipient area. They are caused by a number of potential factors including grafts not being taken out of the donor area or implanted properly. Cysts can also be caused by your skin healing abnormally. You can see cysts as they swell, become red and they are painful, (1).

If you think you are suffering from cysts then please see your surgeon. Treatment is straightforward. Your surgeon may decide to take out the cyst or advise you to use warm compresses on the area. Your surgeon may choose to start you on a course of antibiotics if needed.

Skin Necrosis

Skin necrosis is a condition where you skin is dead or dying. This is a complication that should never happen as it suggests poor surgical skill by your surgeon. It looks like a deep scab on your skin and it can appear at the back of your head or where hairs have been implanted. It can appear within the first 2-4 weeks after having surgery. You may notice your skin start to look dusky or purple in colour before the skin starts to die and go black. A picture below is an example of what skin necrosis looks like.

skin necrosis after attending unregulated hair transplant clinic
Areas of skin necrosis after having a hair transplant in an unregulated clinic

If you notice you have any of these signs in your skin you must see your surgeon immediately. You will need to have your necrotic skin removed. The area will scar and no hair will grow there unless you choose to have fat grafting and a second hair transplant procedure.

Itching and Redness

As we have mentioned before, itching is common after your transplant, (click here to read blog). Itching can affect your donor or recipient area following your hair transplant. It can be treated easily and you must see your surgeon if you continue to itch after 2 weeks. Itching can delay healing and in some serious cases can affect the result of the transplant. It is a common cause of redness after 4 weeks.

Still worried about redness after your hair transplant?

Send us an email or Whatsapp us by clicking the icon to ask for our advice. Our Hair Loss Doctors and Surgeons are happy to help!

Suffering from cellulitis (skin infection)? Read here to find out more about what the NHS recommends for treatment.

Suffering from folliculitis (hair infection)? Read here to find out more about what the NHS recommends for treatment.

If you wanted to read more about the side effects of a hair transplant read our blog by clicking HERE.

If you are interested in having a hair transplant at The Treatment Rooms London- click HERE to find out more and book your free consultation today.

References

1) Loganathan E et al, 2014. Complications of Hair Restoration Surgery: A Retrospective Analysis. Int J Trichology 6(4): 168-172

2) Bunagan MJ et al, 2010. Recipient area folliculitis after follicular-unit transplantaion: characterisation of clinical features and analysis of associated factors. Dermatol Surg 26(7): 1161-5

3) Kerure A & Patwardhan N, 2018. Complications in Hair Transplantation. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 11 (4) 182-189

4) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cellulitis/

5) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ingrown-hairs/

Crown Hair Transplant

hair transplant crown

A crown hair transplant uses the hair taken from the back and the sides of the head and transfers this hair to the crown area. Thinking about having a crown hair transplant? This blog will help you find out more about the procedure and what you need to consider.

What is the crown?

The crown of your hair is also called your “hair whorl”. This is a spiral of hair at the back of your head. You might sometimes see that you have 2 hair whorls in your crown- a so called “double crown”. This is also normal.

Hair thinning in the crown

As part of the process of male pattern baldness, you may notice your hair starting to become thin in your crown. This is because dihydrotestosterone (DHT) targets not only the hairs on the front and top of your head but also your crown.

This is depicted in the Norwood scale for male pattern baldness, (see below).

norwood scale for hair loss
Norwood scale of balding showing the different stages of hair loss

You will notice that the crown can be affected in male pattern baldness. In some men the crown can thin and bald quicker than the front of the head. In others it can thin and become bald over time in keeping with the natural progression of male pattern baldness. For example you may realise you have reached Norwood 3 Vertex in your mid 30s or 40s.

Some cases of male pattern baldness can be rapid, with crown and frontal hair thinning & loss by the age of 25-30. This is of course unfortunate for those who value having hair on their head!

Is crown hair loss different?

Losing hair on your crown can appear different to balding on the front. The underlying process that drives crown and frontal hair balding is the same. However, there are subtle differences that mean they look very different.

Because you look at your/ someone else’s crown from a steep angle- you look down onto the hair vertically. This means you can see more scalp- especially if you have dark hair and light skin. Have a look at the example below:

male hair loss crown

You can see that there are still lots of hairs in this gentleman’s crown but as they have thinned, more scalp is now visible. This has consequences for crown hair loss treatment.

Treating and Preventing Crown Hair Loss

The visible scalp in crown hair thinning means treatment can have be really beneficial. By using treatment like Finasteride, Minoxidil and in some cases PRP injections, you can increase the density of each hair and therefore hide any visible scalp. This means that by treating hair loss you have a secondary bonus of hiding signs of crown hair loss and balding.

Have a look at the case below. You will notice he has thinning and balding in his crown. By taking treatment to promote hair growth and thicken hair he has treated his hair loss and hidden more scalp in his crown. This has reversed his Norwood 3 Vertex/4 to a Norwood 2a/3a.

crown hair transplant before and after
Hair regrowth following 5 months of treatment

 

What about a crown hair transplant?

Unlike hair transplants to the front of the head, crown hair transplants generally require a lot more hair. This is because of the angle with which you look at the crown. Take the picture above for an example. We are looking directly down onto the gentleman’s crown. Each hair is pointed directly at us and therefore less of the hair shaft is covering the surface of the scalp from our viewpoint. This means more scalp is visible.

For this reason, when we perform hair transplants on the crown we require much greater numbers of hairs. This allows us to cover more area in the crown and make the signs of hair loss less obvious.

Because crown hair transplants require more hairs, your surgeon needs to carefully plan your operation. With higher numbers of grafts, you and your surgeon will need to take into account the following points:

  1. How much hair do you have on the back and the sides of your head
  2. Are your hairs thick or thin?
  3. The approximate number of grafts required to give you good dense coverage
  4. If you need a high number of grafts (e.g. >1500 follicles) then how will your surgeon plan the operation to make sure they all survive?
  5. If it is a lengthy procedure should you and your surgeon consider splitting the operation over 2 sessions?
crown hair transplant before and after
6 months of early growth following a crown hair transplant

Crown hair transplants can also be tricky to take care of once you have finished your operation. Because new grafts have been put into your crown, sleeping at night can be problematic. You might need to sleep at an angle to make sure you protect your grafts in the first 14 days.

As the grafts are at the back of your head you might find you forget that they are there! We have had a few patients bump their heads getting in and out of cars in the first few days after the operation. This is particularly problematic on the day of the operation. As you have had your head numbed, your ability to know where the top of your head is in relation to ceilings, roofs and doors can be impaired.

Going through this journey with your hair transplant surgeon is important. They need to make you aware of all the nuisances that you might encounter in the days following your operation.

Choosing to have a hair transplant

As we have mentioned before, choosing to undergo a hair transplant should be a well thought out decision, (click here to read blog). A crown hair transplant has some extra points you need to consider (as described above).

We encourage you to make sure your hair transplant surgeon is fully registered and licensed, including the clinic they work at. In the UK this includes both:

  • A GMC registration for the Surgeon
  • A CQC licence for the clinic

At The Treatment Rooms London we welcome new patients exploring treatment options for their hair loss. This includes having a crown hair transplant. Feel free to contact us today and book your free initial consultation, (click here).

How Important Is Your Hair To You?

male Hair Loss clinic london

Hair is one of the best ways to express identity. You often cut, colour and style it in ways that will improve your appearance, but on a deeper level you might even change your hair to reflect mood, personality and even career. Suffering from hair loss can therefore be devastating and with up to 50% of both men and women being affected by the age of 50, the issue is a common one.

The start of a hair loss journey is usually a very personal experience. You may notice hairs falling out in the shower or stuck to your comb. Some people start to notice when they are unable to style their hair in the way they used to. Whichever way it happens, starting that hair loss journey can have many ramifications, both professional and personal.

For women it can be incredibly disheartening to start losing your hair. The reasons behind hair loss in females is still very misunderstood and a huge amount of research still needs to be done. For men, the diagnosis can often be male pattern baldness (present in 50% of males > 50 years of age). However, like females there can be other diagnoses. In all cases of hair loss- please visit your doctor or hair loss specialist to get an expert analysis on what is going on.

How important is hair to men?

The importance of hair and hair loss to each individual is very personal. If you don’t mind losing your hair and are completely content then there is no need for you to actively seek treatment.

Although some men may be able to embrace their hair loss, others are often left with a feeling of dread and a lack of control. Being unable to stop or reverse hair loss can instil a feeling of anxiety and depression in anyone. In extreme cases this may establish itself as a body dysmorphic disorder. This is where a person has an obsessive anxiety about their looks. It can result in self-imposed social isolation, especially if they experience humiliation when being compared to peers of a similar age.

In a social context, our brains are wired to make unconscious associations with hair loss and the end of youth. Some men feel that this turning of age is associated with less vitality, desirability and sexual potency. Consequently, this reduction in self-esteem can have a huge impact on being able to form new relationships.

There are some interesting facts and figures that a study has concluded about men who are suffering from hair loss. In a survey of 1000 men, the study showed:

  • 60% of men aged between 25-44 cover up a receding hairline to impress people at work
  • 53% of men aged between 25-44 feel they lost out on a date due to their lack of hair

So, should you care about going bald?

The psychology of hair and hair loss is fascinating. Hair loss has long been associated with attractiveness in the past but attitudes are changing in modern times. With well known celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham sporting the bald look, many men are happy to follow suit.

This is backed up by studies showing that “men with shaved heads are sexier”. There has been research into the perceived confidence, attractiveness and dominance of bald men. All 3 characteristics were perceived to be higher in groups of bald men compared to those who had hair. The 3 characteristics were linked to these men being rated as more attractive.

Interestingly, bald men have also been perceived as not only attractive and dominant but also friendly. This is thought to be the case as male pattern baldness may have evolved over centuries to act as an “appeasement signal and signal benign, non-threatening dominance“.

So, if you are losing your hair and are comfortable with it then there is no need to have treatment. Embrace baldness!

If you are worried about hair loss- what treatments are available?

Your hair loss can occur slowly as part of your natural ageing process. In some individuals it can be accelerated with the balding process being noticeable in their 20s.

Starting treatment will really depend on the “root cause” for your hair loss and the rate of loss too. In most men who suffer from male pattern baldness, starting finasteride is the first treatment option. Minoxidil can also be used as additional therapy.

To read more about Finasteride or Minoxidil click the following links:

However, in order to replenish hair in areas that have now become bald, a hair transplant can be considered.

To find out more about a hair transplant- feel free to navigate the following links:

References

 

Hair Transplant Success Story

Best hair transplant london

Another hair transplant success story! Here at The Treatment Rooms London we love sharing our patient’s success stories- especially after they have gone through a hair transplant.

A hair transplant doesn’t give you immediate results e.g. within days. As hairs have to be taken from one part of the scalp and re-implanted into another, the roots can take some time to grow. We tend to advise that the regrowth process takes at least 12- 18 months. So you can imagine our patients therefore have a huge amount of patience!

Read more about hair transplant surgery

The patient

Before Hairline Hair Transplant London

This friendly patient is often in the public eye. He takes part in body building competitions so he wanted his hair to fit his style. He was suffering from an early stage in male pattern baldness; receding in the temples and his frontal hairline.

In order to restore his hair to a hairline he wanted, the surgeons in our clinic agreed that he would benefit from a hair transplant.

However, the key to a successful hair transplant was discussing how the patient wanted to style in his hair in the future. Our surgeons are able to implant hairs to match natural hair direction. This patient wanted to style his hair up, giving his hair fullness at the front. With this in mind, our surgeons had to carefully plan how many hairs would be required to give density and volume for this hair style.

The surgery

Extraction of 637 grafts for implantation into the frontal hairline and temple region. This was carried out using the FUE (follicular unit excision) method in one session.

Before and after hair transplantation

This patient’s result is 7 months post surgery. His hair follicles have clearly grown at a fast rate!

Best hair transplant london

As you can see from the photo, instead of combing his hair to the side, our surgeons have implanted grafts so the patient can now style his hair up and back. This added volume and density has also rejuvenated his frontal hairline. You will notice that his hair appears more healthy and thick.

Treatment for hair loss

Some of you readers may also question what this patient will do if he loses more hair?

At The Treatment Rooms London we always think about the past, present and future of hair loss. The future of anybody’s hair loss is particularly important when it comes to choosing to have a hair transplant. If you don’t manage hair loss for the future you may end up with a hair transplant that looks odd in years to come. This is because you will continue to lose hair behind and around the transplant if you don’t take preventative measures against the ongoing hair loss process.

For this patient, taking medication like finasteride was undesirable. So he is currently on a regimen of Minoxidil which he is using to preserve his hair growth and thickness.