How Long Will My Hair Transplant Last?
A hair transplant will give you a beautifully restored head of hair, but does it last? Here at Modena Hair Institute we occasionally hear from concerned prospective patients who, while admiring the fine results of our finished hair transplants, are nonetheless concerned that, given enough time, their newly restored hair will eventually thin and fall out. The good news for you is that this is absolutely not the case. Transplanted hair follicles are harvested from a region of the scalp (called the ‘permanent zone’) that is genetically resistant to hair loss; therefore, most patients can expect their newly implanted hair to last forever.
The two most commonly employed hair restoration procedures — Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are intended as lifelong solutions to hair loss. The two methods work like this:
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) – In FUE individual hair follicles are removed from a donor area of the scalp and are transplanted to the area in need. No stitches or sutures are required for this minimally invasive procedure.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) – In FUT a strip of scalp tissue is removed from the donor area. The scalp tissue is then separated into individual grafts for the needed areas of the scalp.
The transplant should grow as hair normally. In both the FUE and FUT procedure transplanted hair is harvested from the permanent zones— also known as the donor area — on the back and sides of the scalp and skillfully transferred to the thinning and balding areas of the front, top, and crown.
It is, however, important to remember that hair transplants (like any other surgical procedure) are not without certain caveats. The results furnished by a hair transplant may vary depending on a number of factors and limitations. Although the vast majority of hair restorations do provide natural-looking and healthy results, some limiting factors to consider include:
Choice of clinic: Techniques employed for hair restoration procedures have improved dramatically over the years and it is essential to find a clinic whose practitioners are well informed regarding all of the latest developments in the field. Top-rated clinics consistently achieve a large graft to growth success rate. Unfortunately, many sub-standard clinics exist. Moreover many so-called ‘bargain’ hair transplants, especially those performed overseas or by underqualified practitioners, can be downright dangerous and leave patients with severe scarring. Doing your own research, exercising good judgement and reading written testimonials of former patients is essential. Many surgeons consistently deliver effective and beautiful results; do your due diligence to ensure that you are in good hands before you go under the knife.
Biological Factors: We must accept that hair transplants do not work for everyone, nor are they a miracle cure. Advanced hair loss, for example, can be particularly difficult to address; patients whose hair follicles have remained dormant for two to seven years and/or those with particularly thin hair in the donor area will often experience less satisfactory results. Of course, this doesn’t mean that dramatic cosmetic results are impossible to achieve, just that initial expectations should be set lower. In most cases some well placed transplant hairs produce a far more pleasing, vigorous and youthful aesthetic effect than no hair at all.
Continuing Hair Loss: While the transplant itself should keep growing forever, the same can not necessarily be said about the rest of your hair. While hair transplants do not prevent future hair loss in regions of the scalp not covered by a transplant, they do help cover them. Effective treatments for continuous hair loss exist and our specialists are always happy to discuss any concerns or anxieties you may have regarding our treatment options.
Adequate Donor Area Capacity: The size of the permanent zones vary according to individual genetic factors. A larger donor area allows for more grafts to be harvested and furnishes our practitioners with a greater number of hairs to work with for the transplant. Patients with relatively small permanent zones should modify their expectations in regards to the amount of coverage that can be achieved. However, as mentioned previously, truly skilled transplant surgeons can still often produce impressive results even when confronted with sparse material to work with.
Shock Loss: Transplant hair may fall out due to shock shortly after surgery. This is a normal and expected physiological response and nothing to be alarmed by. The new follicles remain and you should expect to see significant growth within the course of a few months.
Both FUE and FUT are permanent procedures. The donor area of the scalp, from which hair follicles are harvested, isn’t called the ‘permanent zone’ for no reason. Hair harvested from this region of the scalp is genetically programmed to never fall out. However, while some patients who receive a hair transplant will later opt for another due to further thinning of non-treated areas, you can rest content knowing that, under normal circumstances, the direct results provided by FUE or FUT are there to stay forever.
For more information about FUE and FUT or to discuss any questions you may have regarding our procedures, be sure to contact our hair restoration center today. At Modena Hair Institute we pride ourselves on consistently providing our patients with the highest standard of custom hair restoration treatment available, directly tailored to their individual needs. Our specialists are eagerly awaiting your visit or digital consultation. Contact us today!
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.