Hair Transplant FAQ
HOW CAN I DECIDE WHETHER THE HAIRLOSS I AM EXPERIENCING IS A NATURAL PROCESS, OR THINING HAS ALREADY STARTED?
Natural hair loss amounts to 30 to 150 hairs a day, depending on the metabolism and tissue structure of the body. When looking into a mirror, you can decide whether your hair line has changed. Thinning usually starts at the forehead and on the two sides of the head. Thinning also depends on the colour of the hair: while a loss of 100 to 120 hairs may be considered as normal in those with lighter hair, the same rate might indicate a thinning process in dark-haired individuals, whose average rate is as low as 60-70 hairs a day. Hair loss has its general characteristics described by Norwood’s scale in men and Ludwig’s scale in women.
IS A PERCEPTIBLE INCREASE IN HAIR LOSS A CLEAR SIGN OF BALDING?
No. Hair loss may be due to a number of causes. Hereditary and hormonal factors and aging are the most frequent but not the only factors.
Hair loss may also be triggered by minor abnormalities such as malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, impaired blood and oxygen supply due to smoking, or superficial scalp disorders; cold, irritating shampoo or inadequate hairdressing. Lesions of the scalp, inflammation in the body or fungal infections can also lead to hair loss. More serious lesions like tumours, ailments affecting the hormonal balance or other natural processes – pregnancy or the menopause - may, naturally, also play a role.
SHOULD I EXPECT TO GROW BALD IF THERE ARE BALD PERSONS IN THE FAMILY?
Although most cases of baldness are due to hereditary factors, you will not necessarily grow bald. It is true, however, that you are more likely to turn bald if there are family members who suffer from thinning hair.
The chromosomes playing the most important role in this process are the X chromosome, i.e. the one inherited from the mother, and some other so called bodily chromosomes, but genes inherited from the father also contribute.
AT WHAT AGE DO THINNING AND BALDING USUALLY START?
In men, thinning may begin during adolescence, but it usually starts in the thirties and in most cases is due to genetic factors. Environmental factors like stress, malnutrition, disease and inflammation may, however, also play a role affecting the time of appearance and the rate of progress. Over 35, more than one third of men are affected. Similarly, female baldness may start in the twenties but is more typical in the mid- or late thirties.
HOW CAN HAIR LOSS BE TREATED?
The factors responsible for certain types of hair loss, especially those of hormonal origin, have been partially explored and there are preparations tested in trials that can treat the actual cause of hair loss. Their efficacy varies but none of them is capable of providing a complete solution. For the time being, hair transplantation, when performed appropriately, is the only way to achieve permanent result and a natural look.
HOW EFFECTIVE ARE PRODUCTS PREVENTING HAIR LOSS?
There are two categories of products preventing hair loss: oral ones and local ones. The pills, mistakenly thought to contain hormones, act by inhibiting the negative effect of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the androgenic hormone responsible for balding. These, however, cannot guarantee a permanent solution, as several factors contribute to balding, the hormonal factor being only one of them. They can delay the progress but are not able to put an end to it.
Locally used products delay the process by a mechanism that has not been fully cleared yet. These preparations mostly contain the alcoholic solution of minoxidil, earlier used as an antihypertensive agent. More recent products also contain other ingredients, which improve the absorption and penetration of minoxidil into the skin, increasing its effect. It should be borne in mind, however, that such preparations need several – usually three – months to exert their effects and show visible results. In addition, you need to apply them continuously – otherwise thinning will go on. Therefore, hair transplantation is considered to be the only lasting and permanent solution.
HOW MUCH DOES HAIR TRANSPLANTATION COST?
Since we offer an individualised approach and seek to find the best possible solution to our patients’ individual problems, we cannot define a price without previous examination and consultation.
In way of information, we can say that in Western Europe you are charged 2,000 to 10,000 Euros for such procedures, when performed at similar standards.
WHOSE HAIR IS TRANSPLANTED? IS A DONOR NEEDED?
In a hair transplant procedure the donor and the recipient are the same person, i.e. your own hair is transplanted, a technique called autotransplantation. Unless you transplant hairs from an identical twin, the recipient’s body does not accept them and the patient would need to take anti-rejection medicines for the rest of his/her life.
WILL THE TRANSPLANTED HAIR HAVE A NATURAL LOOK?
Absolutely. There will not be any difference between the old hair and the new, transplanted hair. Three weeks after the procedure the transplanted hairs will behave just like those originally growing there. Owing to an insertion technique we have developed, the hairs will grow in the direction and angle the patient and his/her doctor have agreed upon.
IS THE TRANSPLANT PROCEDURE PAINFUL?
Compared to earlier tecniques (Old Punch, STRIP), which involve cutting and stitching, patients who have undergone FUE report only slight inconvenience.
Needle sticks during FUE used to cause some pain, depending on individual sensitivity. This is the reason why our staff have developed a needle-free anaesthetic method, which makes the procedure nearly painless. As a result, removal and insertion of hairs cause but a mild local inconvenience, similar to a slight sunburn affecting the scalp.
WHEN AM I TO SEE THE RESULT?
Transplanted hairs begin to grow after three months following the procedure. The final result will evolve by the end of months 10 to 12, depending on the metabolism. From then on, hairs will grow naturally for the rest of your life.
HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE FINAL RESULT?
The number of sessions depends on the size of the balding area, features of the donor region, and your requirements. To achieve a particularly dense hair, we usually recommend a repeated session, but if you insist on the procedure being completed in one session, we are ready to comply.
HOW DENSE MY HAIR IS GOING TO BE?
It may vary individually, but we usually recommend 80-100 hairs/cm2, giving a maximum distance of 1mm between individual hairs. You can achieve greater density, even in one session, but in that case special devices are needed.
CAN YOU SELECT GREY, DARKER OR COLOURED HAIRS?
Yes, we can do it, owing to the sophistication of the technique. So we will not transplant grey or weakened hairs.
IF MY HAIR IS THINNING BUT STILL RETAINED ON SEVERAL AREAS, AM I TO WAIT UNTIL I LOSE IT ALL?
There is no need to wait. Hairs can easily be transplanted among retained but thinning hairs. The procedure, however, should be preceded by a careful analysis of the skin and hair. Only after a comprehensive diagnosis has been set up can the procedure start.
SHOULD I TAKE TIME OFF WORK?
It is not necessary. It is worthwhile, however, to avoid physical and emotional load for 3-4 days following the operation.
WHO CAN I TURN TO WITH QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS AFTER THE OPERATION?
Our staff will follow up the growth of your hair. You are advised to present for follow-ups recommended by our specialists. This way, we can check the growth of your hair and you can get information on all aspects of hair care.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS ASSOCIATED WITH FUE?
Mild itching may occur on the regenerating skin during the first three weeks following the procedure. For a few days, the skin may be sensitive at the sites of removal and insertion, but it will disappear after 1-2 days and the patients will no longer feel the difference between the area operated on and the intact skin. The patient may leave the clinic on the day of the operation and there is no need for further care or pain relief.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE SAFESYSTEM-FUE – HOW IS IT BETTER THAN CONVENTIONAL TECHNIQUES?
Safe System Follicular Unit Extraction Enhanced (FUE) is not a conventional procedure. SafeSystem is a technique that does not involve cutting or stitching and there are no scars left. SafeSystem is more like skin tattooing than conventional surgery, and as such provides a permanent and aesthetic solution. The SafeSystem-FUE technique does not involve surgical risk and the potential complications are so mild that in many countries it is classified as a dermatological rather than surgical intervention.
SHOULD I HAVE MY HAIR CUT FOR THE PROCEDURE?
It is not necessary. The procedure can be performed at any length of hair, although you are recommended to cut your hair short on the donor area. In the case of patients with long hair a special extraction technique can be used, making a haircut unnecessary.
WON’T THE HAIRS MISS FROM WHERE THEY ARE EXTRACTED?
No, they won’t. 60,000 to 80,000 hairs can be found at the sides and the back in that horseshoe-shaped region from where they are extracted. The 10,000 hairs removed for transplantation will not show, owing to a highly individualised intervention plan. In most cases, however, 5,000-6,000 hairs are sufficient.
IS THERE A GUARANTEE THAT THE TRANSPLANTED HAIR IS RETAINED?
With the technique we us, it is the hair itself that is transplanted – in contrast with other, less modern, but still applied techniques, where strips cut from the scalp are inserted. Transplanted hairs will retain their features, just as people will remain the same even when they move to another place.