Hair can be a very empowering feature. Rather than feel self-conscious and awkward about receding hairlines or hair loss, we now have the option of hair transplant surgery to feel empowered about hair.
While hair transplants are minimally invasive, low-risk procedures, they still should be taken seriously to ensure the best results possible. There are many instances where transplants can fail, and it’s useful for patients to know exactly what factors can determine a successful or unsuccessful procedure.
Let’s look at why some hair transplants fail and how you can avoid it happening to you.
- Inexperienced Surgeons
Inexperienced surgeons are the biggest reason why transplants fail. While the appeal of extravagant advertising or low costs are tempting to clients, inexperienced or unqualified doctors can cause serious damage to the hair and scalp with surgical complications, scarring, or infections.
For example, a common mistake that inexperienced surgeons make is overharvesting. Overharvesting refers to the excessive harvesting of grafts from the donor area. This results in thinning or balding at the donor areas. Choosing an experienced surgeon is vital to avoid overharvesting and ensure the best hair possible for transplant clients.
More experienced doctors understand the safe donor areas for hair transplants. The initial donor area for transplants is the back of a patient’s head, as well as beard or chest hair. Hair used from the proper sites, along with planning and careful transplanting, will give desirable and natural-looking results.
- Bad Post-Op Care
While picking an experienced surgeon to perform the hair transplant procedure is crucial, patients also need to take special care in following their doctor’s post-op directions. It is natural for many of us to try to do things “our way” and deviate from professional advice. However, in the case of hair transplants, following a doctor’s post-op care directions can be the difference between successful or unsuccessful results.
The post-op treatment is vital to a successful transplant because of the fragility of the new graft and the scabbed hair shafts. Patients who deal with their hair and scalp gently, heed instructions, and communicate with their doctors are far more likely to have a quick recovery and better results.
- Not Being an Ideal Candidate
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for hair transplants. There are a few factors that could disqualify someone.
One of these is unstable hair loss. As the patient continues to lose more hair after the procedure, the hair graft may not be in the proper place or large enough to cover the full balding areas. In this case, it is best to wait until the hair loss stabilizes before seeking a hair transplant.
On the other hand, too much hair loss can also yield unfavorable outcomes. In some cases, the safe donor areas have insufficient follicle numbers to produce a successful graft.If you do not have a sufficient amount of follicles to be extracted from donor areas, the result can be severe thinning in this area.
In some cases, hair loss might only be temporary and thus a transplant would be unnecessary. For example, if your hair loss is due to stress, getting a hair transplant could cause patchy and odd-looking hair in the future as the hair returns.
In any situation, a consultation with an experienced surgeon can help patients determine if they are good candidates for hair transplant surgery.
- Dishonest Practices and Misinformation
When considering a hair transplant procedure, patients should research not only different surgeons’ experience levels, but they should also research different clinics and read patient testimonials.
In a ploy to make more money, many hair clinics will push patients to get hair transplants even when they are not good candidates for the procedure. Patients of these clinics are at a much higher risk of having failed transplants. This is why the reputation and patient testimonials of hair clinics should be researched in depth before deciding where to get hair transplant surgery.
- Expecting Immediate Results
Some patients are quick to say that their transplant was a failure if they do not see the results they want within a few months. This is a misunderstanding.
The actual transplant surgery is only the first step in the journey to fuller hair. The next and longer step is the recovery process where the hair takes time to grow and thrive. This process can take around 10-12 months after surgery.
While it is normal to want incredible results as soon as possible, it’s best to communicate with your doctor about the timeline of your hair transplant results to avoid misunderstanding.
Getting hair transplants can be an easy and comfortable experience by paying attention to these issues before your procedure. Doing your research and locating an experienced hair surgeon and clinic can help you avoid hair transplant failure. If you’re looking for an experienced hair specialist in Orange County, Las Vegas or Beverly Hills that has produced successful hair transplant results, schedule a consultation with Modena Hair Institute to start working towards the hair you deserve.
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.