Frequently Asked Questions
What is hair transplantation?
Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that moves hair follicles genetically resistant to balding from the posterior scalp between the ears called the ‘donor site’ to the anterior scalp where hair is expected to grow and known as the ‘recipient site’.
Which methods are used for hair transplantation?
There are several techniques and FUE hair transplantation is the most commonly used one among them. It is also known as the “new technique”. Hair follicles are individually removed in their anatomic integrity from behind the posterior scalp between the ears by microsurgical technique and they are individually reinserted to the recipient site.
However, with the FUT hair transplantation technique, the follicles are removed from the hairy skin between the two ears as a narrow strip. With this procedure a narrow scar remains concealed on the hairy scalp. FUT hair transplantation is known as the “old technique” in public.
Therefore, FUE hair transplantation is more advantageous than FUT: It does not leave a permanent scar, the donor site is used more efficiently, and it gives more comfortable post-operation time for the patient.
How long has hair transplantation been performed?
Plastic surgeons have been performing hair transplantation procedures and hair restoration surgery with continuously advancing techniques for more than thirty years.
Does hair transplantation actually work?
Yes, definitely. Because of the hair harvested from the donor site and transplanted to the recipient site belongs to the patient; the body doesn’t comprehend the transplanted hair as an unknown object and reject it as a result. Transplanted hair conserves its own characteristics and shape. The hair remains alive on the transplantation site and grows by naturally and maintaining such characteristics related to its color and curliness.
Does hair transplantation give permanent results?Yes, Hair transplantation operation gives permanent results. The main reason behind hair loss is the impact of testosterone and the hair follicles transplanted in the operation are genetically resistant to this effect. The newly transplanted hair survives on the transplantation site for a life time. If the transplanted hair would later be affected by testosterone and lost, it would not make sense to get hair transplantation.
What is the transplanted material in hair transplantation; the hair shafts or the hair follicles?
Hair follicles (follicular unit) are transplanted in this procedure because they are anatomical structures that contain single, double, triple or more hairs. As these structures show anatomical integrity, using hair follicles (follicular units) in hair transplantation gives us the opportunity of a natural, aesthetical and efficient result.
Which part of the scalp is used as the donor site in hair transplantation?
Hair follicles (follicular unit) are harvested from the posterior scalp between the ears where hair is especially rich and resistant to shedding. Therefore, the transplanted hair does not shed, and a permanent result is preserved with hair transplantation.
How much hair is being transplanted in hair transplantation?
The amount to be transplanted in hair transplantation represents the number of hair follicles thus the number of hair shafts may exceed twice the number of hair follicles. Considering that each hair follicle (follicular unit) contains more than one hair shaft, transplantation of 3000 hair follicles means that 8000 to 10,000 hair shafts are being transplanted.
What is the best technique for hair transplantation?
With new technology and advanced devices FUE is the most commonly used one with a proven success, among all hair transplantation techniques. Thanks to the FUE technique, it is possible to have a natural and aesthetically satisfying hair with no scars left. FUE technique also provides a more comfortable post-operation recovery time.
Is FUE hair transplantation a new technique?
FUE has been globally approved by many researches and it is being performed since 2003.
In our clinic, Aesthetics and Plastic surgery specialist, MD İlker Apaydın has been performing FUE hair transplantation technique since 2004. By FUE technique, up to 4000-4500 hair follicles can be inserted during a single session in a single day.
Will I suffer any pain during hair transplantation?
No, you will not have any pain. This is the most frequently asked question from our patients. Hair transplantation operations provides a high level of patient comfort during the process. Just a mild level of pain is felt with local anesthesia injection at the beginning of the operation, after this stage it is entirely painless.
Will I have any pain after the hair transplantation operation?
For majority, post-operation period with hair transplantation is painless. Only a mild pain may be felt during the night following the operation, which is easily relieved by pain killers.
Should I wait for a total hair loss before having a hair transplantation operation?
No, you shouldn’t. The major warning sign is the early stage when thinning becomes visible but the patient and those people around the patient are not used to that appearance yet. You should not particularly wait for a total hair loss so that neither the person nor their social environment get used to that appearance. Also, a donor site consist of an adequate number of hair is required for hair transplantation. It is possible to have a smooth transition before the person gets to be perceived as having no hair.
Am I eligible for hair transplantation?
If you are a healthy individual with an adequate quality and number of hair on the site of the posterior scalp called the donor site, you can have a hair transplantation as long as you have appropriate expectations from this procedure.
Who are not eligible for hair transplantation?
Those people who do not have an adequate number and quality of hair on the donor site should not undergo a hair transplantation operation. Particularly those individuals who are just in the beginning stages of hair loss and whose hair does not show an apparent thinning should not have hair transplantation. Instead, medical treatment should be tried first.
Who bears the required qualifications for FUE hair transplantation?
Hair transplantation should be performed by physicians and especially Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery specialists and Dermatologists.
Unfortunately, it is more and more heard that in some clinics, nurses or those inexperienced allied health personnel who perform tasks similar to those of nurses undertake the job of a physician and try to perform these operations. They call them as hair transplantation specialist, fast tissue harvesting technician or fast tissue harvesting nurse, but they are nothing more than fabricated titles for this purpose.
A direct intervention on the patient by some nurse or other inexperienced health personnel is both unfavorable to health and illegal. Hair transplantation nurse, healthcare technician or cosmetician is not allowed to manage hair transplantation. It should be noted that the damage caused by such malpractices is most likely and irreparable.
Why should hair transplantation be performed by a plastic surgeon?
Because, the first remedy we resort to upon hair loss is trying to trigger the hair follicles to produce hair again through medical treatments, or having hair transplantation. And the professional help of a specialist physician is absolutely needed for this procedure
Physician is required but why should hair transplantation be performed by a plastic surgeon?
There are several answers for this question.
- Medical training on specialized area
- Many years of microsurgery training
- Major experience on hair transplantation
- Capability of combining care and aesthetics in hair transplantation
In other words, the specialist physician to perform the hair transplantation operation should take a holistic approach towards a patient and have detailed knowledge on the anatomy and physiology of hairy skin and of hair follicles. Hairy skin does not only consist of the zone on which hair grows but also has a physiologically active, complex anatomy.
The specialist physician to perform the hair transplantation operation should also have detailed knowledge on hairy skin flushing, vascular structure, lymph drainage, hairy skin physiopathology and wound healing to fully understand the structures of this procedure.
Why do we have hair?
The oldest belief is that the only function of hair in the human body is preventing heat loss. However, especially thanks to the improvements in molecular biology procedures, the knowledge we today have on human body demonstrates that hair follicles have significant roles in a great deal of dermal mechanisms. Hair follicles act as an important source of stem cells which enable wound healing in addition to the growing of hair.
The hair follicles are under the control of androgenic hormones, thyroid gland and your nutritional status. Any disorder in these systems may show up as hair loss.
A physician has the training to maintain a whole approach to growing and shedding of hair, and hair transplantation. Before a hair transplantation procedure, the physician takes a holistic approach towards their patient and finds out if the patient has an underlying health problem. The exact cause of hair loss must be uncovered before hair transplantation.
What are the main elements in hair transplantation?
Scientific knowledge, aesthetic approach and excellent surgical technique comprise the triad of hair transplantation. Medical experience and knowledge, surgical technique and handiness, aesthetic decision-making skills turn the whole hair transplantation operation into a kind of art. Only plastic surgeons can attain satisfying hair transplantation results in medical and aesthetical terms by combining medical knowledge, comprehensive surgical technique and a competent sight.
How much time does hair transplantation take?
The duration of the operation changes according to the patient’s specific needs and the number of the hair follicles to be transplanted. Approximately the transplantation of 1000 follicles may be completed in 1,5 to 2 hours and the operation may take 6 to 7 hours for 4000-4500 follicles.
How many hair follicles can be transplanted at a time in FUE hair transplantation?
If you have an adequate donor site, up to 4000-4500 hair follicles can be extracted during a single session. While technically possible, it is not recommended to extract more than this number. Because if these numbers are exceeded, the efficiency and quality of the donor site declines gradually.
How should a satisfying hair density be for me after hair transplantation?
In cases of a convenient hair density on the donor site and a convenient hair shaft thickness, 80-100 hair shafts per cm2 can cover the scalp. It is safe to say that it generally depends on the hair follicle density and hair characteristics of the patient. While 30 hair follicles per cm2 are enough for hair transplantation performed with those follicles containing predominantly three and four shafts, this number is as high as 40-60 per cm2 with a person whose follicles predominantly contain single or double shafts.
What are the stages of the FUE hair transplantation operation?FUE hair transplantation operation can be divided into three stages.
The first stage is the extraction and preservation of hair follicles by a plastic surgeon. This stage takes an average of 1-2 hours.
The second stage consists of planning and incising the hair canals. This procedure takes approximately 30-45 minutes.
During the third and final stage, hair follicles are inserted inside the previously opened canals. Thus, hair transplantation operation is completed with a proper dressing. This stage takes 2-3 hours.
Is there a certain age for hair transplantation?
For healthy individuals, there is no certain age for hair transplantation. Anybody with an apparent hair thinning can have a hair transplantation. It would be ideal to perform the operation at an early stage of hair thinning before other people further realize the extent of thinning.
Will I need to have my hair cut for the FUE technique?
Yes; the hair follicles should be visible just on the surface of the skin and haircut is need in order to be able to extract them individually without any problems. However, if hair thinning is observed in a small area and if less number of hair follicles are required, you may not need to have your whole haircut. The hair on the donor site is cut as narrow strips, and as this site is covered by the long hair shafts immediately above, the area which is cut is not visible.
What is the most convenient season for hair transplantation?
There is no specific or convenient season for hair transplantation. It can be performed in every season with the same level of success. But there will be limitations about swimming, sports that causes heavy sweating, and being exposed to excessive sun rays. This may render the operation socially difficult during summer months.
Can hair transplantation operation be repeated?
If necessary, hair transplantation can be repeated 3-4 times depending on the density, quality and the number of the hair follicles on the donor site.
A second hair transplantation can be planned in cases of continuing rapid hair loss, with patients who desire higher density of hair, to provide a hairy scalp on those sites where no prior transplantation has been done, and for the purpose of correcting the outcome with those patients who have had an unsuccessful hair transplantation in some unqualified clinics.
May hair transplantation operation do harm to those tissues deeper in the head, such as bones or intracranial elements?
In FUE, extraction is performed completely by microsurgery, with the help of some advanced devices and magnifier equipment. Extraction is performed at the level of the hair follicles which belongs within the limits of the hairy scalp. Since the operation does not extend beyond the level of the hairy scalp, the tissues and other elements located deeper in the head will not be harmed.
Does hair transplantation pose any risks?
Hair surgery techniques are considered as safe techniques, especially if performed by an experienced plastic surgeon. As a matter of course, patients differ to a great extent in terms of their capacity of recovery and physical conditions; therefore, the exact result cannot be predicted.
Does FUE hair transplantation leave any scars?
After the FUE hair transplantation operation, there will be no permanent scars or wounded tissues after the recovery.
How does the recovery period proceed after FUE hair transplantation?
There will be no excessive labor loss caused by hair transplantation; the patient can return to work in 1-2 days after the operation. On the transplanted area, punctate red scars and thin scabs form at the bottom of the transplanted follicles last 7 to 10 days. In 10 days, the intensity of these thin scabs decreases exponentially. The redness fades away in three days after the procedure. When FUE method is used, the hair on the donor site grows long enough to cover the site of extraction by tenth day after the operation.
Recovery period lasts approximately 10 days and after this period of time, a normal appearance is achieved successfully.
Does hair transplantation require a long-term care after the operation?
No, hair transplantation does not require any long-term care.
How long should I wait for traveling after hair transplantation?
Your hair will be washed on the first day following hair transplantation and it takes 15 minutes and you will be taught how to wash their hair gently. You can travel immediately after this procedure.
Will I have any restrictions after the FUE hair transplantation procedure regarding swimming in the pool or sea, or using the sauna?
You can go to swimming or use the sauna after the recovery period of hair transplantation (It takes approximately 10 days).
How long should I discontinue working out after the FUE hair transplantation operation?
After hair transplantation, you are free to go for a short walk or do physical exercises that do not make you sweat. You should do heavy sports after 10 days. However, you should avoid heavy contacts and severe hits on the donor site for 2 months while doing heavy sports. For example, you should avoid of headshots while playing football.
How long will it take for me to resume my ordinary life after FUE hair transplantation?
There will be visible mild redness and thin scabs at the bottom of the transplanted hair shafts on the recipient site, which will last for 7-10 days. After this period of time, the scars and wounded tissues will be healed, and it will not be noticeable if you have had a hair transplantation operation or not.
How long will it take for me to have the exact FUE hair transplantation result after the operation?
The transplanted hair will show up approximately after the fifth week of the operation. It should be noted that this is completely normal and temporary situation and Hair will start to grow again from the 5th-6th week on after shedding. You should be patient to get the expected result of hair transplantation. In some cases, it may require several months to get the perfect results of transplantation.
Is FUE hair transplantation completed in a single session? Will I need a second transplantation?Normally hair transplantation gives permanent and expected results. Even so, a second hair transplantation operation may be needed in some cases. This situation can be explained in several reasons:
- To get best results in cases of continuing rapid hair loss due to androgenic alopecia
- To acquire a good amount of hair density nearly as abundant as the original hair for those patients who desire such a result
- To achieve more natural and aesthetic appearance with a corrective operation for those patients who have had a prior hair transplantation with the old techniques
- To correct or shift the hairline for moving it forward or backward regarding with the patient’s age
- To provide a hairy scalp on those sites where no prior transplantation has been done.
Will my hair transplantation operation give a result as successful as my friend got?
Another version of this question may be: “We both had the same number of hair follicles transplanted, why does he get better result?”
Comparing the hair transplantation results of two persons (even if they have same age and gender) would be like comparing apples and pears. Numerous factors will have an impact on the results obtained, such as the pattern and extent of hair thinning, the thickness and quality of hair shaft, the number of hair shafts contained in every hair follicle, the characteristics of hair –whether it is straight, wavy or curly- and even color of hair.
Therefore, having an equal number of hair follicles transplanted does not guarantee the same expected results for everyone. If an equal number of hair follicles are transplanted on an equal extent of site on both persons, the person with thicker hair shafts and with a higher number of hair shafts in the follicles will obtain a more satisfying result with a denser hair appearance.
While 4000 follicles with predominantly three thick hair shafts correspond to an average of 10,000 thick hair shafts; 4000 follicles with predominantly a single thin hair shaft correspond to a total of 4000 hair shafts.
Our well experienced plastic surgeon considers these variables before the hair transplantation operation and makes the best treatment plan for you to obtain the desired result. We are using personalized hair transplantation techniques ensure maximum satisfaction regarding the patient’s expectations
Will I have a natural result with hair transplantation? How is a natural appearance ensured with hair transplantation?
Natural appearance is the common expected result of a successful hair transplantation operation. The quality of follicles used for transplantation, a proper and gentle insertion of hair follicles, size and thickness of the hair follicles and chosen hair transplantation technique are the determinant factors of a hair transplantation operation which helps to achieve a natural appearance.
One of the most significant criteria for a natural appearance is having a good-looking hairline. It should be noted that, plastic surgery specialist will consider all these criteria, do the planning and perform the transplantation. Hence, secrets of a natural appearance lie within the hands of the specialist physician who has expertise in hair transplantation.
Which criteria determine the success of the hair transplantation operation?
There are some important criteria that determine the success of the hair transplantation. The most significant one is choosing an experienced physician who is capable of performing the operation.
As the donor site has a limited number of hair follicles, it is important not to harm the follicles during extraction. The hair follicles get no harm when gently and cautiously extracted under microscope with advanced devices, by a plastic surgeon with microsurgery training.
Additionally, in order to achieve successful results, storing and preserving the extracted follicles in convenient conditions, making a personalized plan regarding the insertion pattern of the follicles, organizing the canal density and orientation, inserting the hair follicles without harming them, having the hair transplantation operation performed by a plastic surgeon experienced in the field, and use of advanced technology are among the criteria required for a successful hair transplantation which gives a natural appearance.
Will my hair show an adequate density as a result of the hair transplantation operation?
In order to say the hair transplantation is successful or not, it should be checked if it satisfy the patient’s expectations who is experiencing hair loss. A realistic and feasible common ground should be found between what physicians can provide and what the patient imagines. Complete patient satisfaction is mostly achieved with the hair transplantation operations performed by a proficient plastic surgeon specialized in the field with those individuals who have appropriate expectations.