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Can You Have A Hair Transplant With Long Hair?


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    Are you considering a hair transplant but have long hair? Traditionally, hair transplants such as follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT) involve extracting hair follicles from the donor area (normally at the back or sides of the head) and implanting them into the balding part of the head. This usually involves the surgeon shaving your head, as it’s easier to extract and implant shorter hairs – which begs the question, can you have a hair transplant with long hair?

    In this article, we’ll confirm whether a hair transplant is possible with long hair, before covering how the procedure works, its advantages and drawbacks, its recovery process and what The Treatment Rooms London can offer for your long-hair hair transplant.  

    Can you have a hair transplant with long hair?

    If you have long hair, the good news is that you can have a hair transplant which doesn’t involve shaving the entirety of the head, this is called an unshaven hair transplant or minimally shaven hair transplant. There are factors at play that make it more difficult and time-consuming for a surgical team to carry out the procedure. However, the highly skilled surgeons on our team at The Treatment Rooms London can perform this procedure.

    Usually, all scalp hair will be shaved during a hair transplant, as it’s easier to extract and implant the hair follicles when they are shorter. However, our leading surgeons have developed techniques that allow them to keep the hair long on top and minimally shave areas so that you can conceal the fact you have had surgery easier. This makes it possible for men and women to have hair transplants that don’t involve drastic shaving. In the next section, we’ll come on to how a hair transplant with long hair is carried out. 

    hair transplant with long hair
    This patient kept his hair long during his hair transplant and chose to have a minimally shaven hair transplant. The pictures taken are before surgery (left), immediately after surgery (middle) and 10 days after surgery (right)

    How does a hair transplant work with long hair?

    The choices for a hair transplant with long hair are the same as for a standard hair transplant – you can have the procedure using either the FUE or FUT technique:

    Unshaven FUE (UFUE)

    During an unshaven FUE hair transplant, the long hair in the donor area can be kept at a good length and a smaller area is shaved. Hair is collected as individual follicles using tiny punches, before being implanted in the recipient area (the part of the scalp where there is hair loss). 

    unshaven FUE hair transplant
    Unshaven, UFUE hair transplant carried out to the hairline

    Unshaven FUT (UFUT)

    You could also have a FUT hair transplant with long hair. The FUT technique harvests a graft by removing a strip from the back of the scalp while retaining your hair’s natural length. This area is then stitched up before the strip is divided into smaller sections and implanted at the recipient site. 

    Advantages and disadvantages of a long hair transplant

    There are many benefits of a long hair transplant, and some aspects people may consider to be a disadvantage:

    Advantages

    • You can return to normal activities quickly, as your original hairstyle will largely be maintained
    • Transplanting with long hair means it will be easier to cover up post-operative scars or redness
    • With unshaven FUE hair transplant, fewer grafts are generally transplanted, so your recovery time is shorter

    Disadvantages

    • Because a lower number of hair follicles are transplanted in a hair transplant for long hair, it can take make sessions  to achieve the hair density required in the recipient area 
    • The procedure is more complex and time-consuming and therefore may take two sessions to complete
    • An unshaven hair transplant may be more expensive than a standard hair transplant

    Long hair transplant recovery and aftercare

    If you are familiar with the traditional hair transplant process, you may be reassured to know that long hair transplant recovery and aftercare are the same. As the healing process takes place following your long hair transplant, you may see some redness and swelling – this should subside after a few days. 

    You should follow the aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon. Bear the following tips in mind:

    • Don’t wash your hair for at least 4 days
    • Wear a hat for at least 2 weeks  when outside 
    • Avoid any intense physical activity for the first 2 weeks
    • Don’t dye your hair for as long as possible

    Long hair transplant at The Treatment Rooms London

    At The Treatment Rooms London, we offer an unshaven hair transplant using either the FUE or FUT technique. With an unshaven hair transplant,  you can resume your everyday activities quicker.

    With our renowned surgeons, unparalleled service and cutting-edge technology; your hair transplant is in experienced hands at The Treatment Rooms London. Book a long hair transplant consultation today – call 020 8706 0076 or get in touch via our website.

    Authored by

    Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr Roshan Vara

    Dr Roshan Vara

    Full Medical Member of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery

    GMC Registered - 7458409

    Reviewed by

    Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr Dilan Fernando

    Dr Dilan Fernando

    Royal College of Surgeons

    Executive Committee Member & Treasurer of the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery

    GMC Registered - 7458157

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