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Hair transplant
















Hair transplant surgery

Hair transplantation is the process of moving hair from one area of the body to another. Whilst hair transplant gave sometimes obvious results in previous years, newer techniques have refined the process and results are often extremely natural looking.

Thinning of the upper scalp hair occurs in up to 80% of males, beginning at the temples, then extending to the crown and finally the whole upper scalp, sparing the scalp above the ears and nape of neck. Hair thinning can also occur in up to 50% of females, usually after the menopause.



How is hair transplantation performed?

The commonest presentation is of male pattern baldness, whereby the top part of the scalp becomes progressively bald, but the area above the ears and nape of neck remains relatively densely haired. This haired area is usually the donor area, with hair being harvested as strips of hair with skin; the resulting defects are then stitched closed, usually leaving scars that are difficult to see. Occasionally, the hair may be harvested as multiple tiny circular samples, although not all patients' hair is suitable for this. The strips are then divided into a large number of tiny hair-bearing units.

Tiny cuts are then made in the pre-planned recipient area, and the hair-units are placed into the recipient cuts. The body will now start the healing process, reincorporating the hair into its' new place.

Depending on the area requiring treatment, more than one treatment session may be needed to achieve a final goal. It should also be noted that the natural balding process may continue with age, requiring more transplant treatments in the future for any new thinned areas


What happens after the transplant?

Bandages are often required for 1-2 days, to allow the transplanted hair to settle. It is quite common to have loss of hair after the procedure, both at the donor and recipient site. The transplanted hairs also go into a 'resting' phase, lasting for 2-4 months, before regrowing. Full regrowth and results can take up to 1 year to show. Your specialist may also prescribe medication to help with the hair recovery and to slow any future natural hair loss.


What are the risks of hair transplants?

Risks include:

  • Discomfort and swelling - this is quite a normal consequence of transplants, and can last for 3-4 days

  • Numbness - this can occur at the donor site, and usually recovers within a few months

  • Ingrowing hair - this can cause small cysts at about 3 months after surgery. Most cases resolve spontaneously, but some may need a minor procedure to resolve them

  • Infection - this is rare (0.1%), but may need antibiotics if it occurs

  • Graft loss - a degree of graft loss may occur, but this risk is reduced by not smoking and adhering closely to specialist advice


Any procedure involving skin incision can result in unfavourable scarring, wound infection, or bleeding. The list of risks is not exhaustive, and you should discuss possible complications with your specialist. Whilst these risks will seem very worrysome, and indeed can be serious, it should also be borne in mind that many people have no postoperative problems whatsoever.

The information provided is as a guide only and you should discuss matters fully with your specialist before deciding if this is the right procedure for you. Please also read our disclaimer






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