If you suffer from certain types of hair loss, a hair transplant is the only way to permanently restore your hair.
In 2012, there were more than 16,000 hair transplants performed in the U.S., according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and 70 percent of those surgeries were performed on male patients.
While hair restoration might be more common now than in years past, there are still a number of myths about the procedure floating around.
Myth 1: Transplants Work Best in Young Men
One persistent myth about hair transplant surgery is that the sooner a patient has it done, the better. While no one wants to live with thinning hair or areas of baldness, in most cases, it’s better to wait until hair loss has progressed a sufficient amount.
If the transplant is performed too soon, hair loss can continue, and because the hair loss continues and the donor supply runs low, there may be an unnatural appearance due to areas of further hair loss. Having the surgery performed at a young age can mean that you’ll need additional surgery later on, as hair loss continues.
Myth 2: The Results of the Transplant Will Be Obvious
Ideally, the results from a hair restoration procedure will be natural looking and subtle. The methods most commonly used by surgeons today are meant to create a natural look.
Follicular unit grafting (FUG) or follicular unit extraction (FUE) are the procedures used by Dr. Jeffrey Epstein at the Foundation for Hair Restoration.
During either procedure, the surgeon determines the ideal angle and location and distribution of the transplanted hairs to achieve the best possible aesthetic look. The major benefit of a FUE transplant over a FUG is that there no linear donor site scar at the donor site.
Myth 3: You’ll Have to Baby the Transplanted Hair
A major benefit of hair restoration surgery is that once the transplanted hair starts growing, you can do with it whatever you want.
You’re able to use your preferred shampoo on the hair. You can cut the hair, style it with gel or mousse, or even dye the hair if you wish. Transplanted hair isn’t more delicate than the hair that was growing there in the first place.
Myth 4: Hair Transplants Can’t Help Women
Both men and women can benefit from hair transplant surgery, although it’s important to understand that hair loss tends to affect women differently than it does men. It is true that women have a smaller supply of donor hairs than men.
But, the surgery can effectively treat female pattern baldness. Dr. Epstein commonly performs the FUG procedure on women, as well as a procedure known as forehead shortening/hairline advancement.
While hair restoration can help women who are suffering from certain types of hair loss, in other cases, other treatments are preferable.
If the hair loss is caused by a condition or by a medication, in some cases the best treatment is to stop the medication or wait for the condition to clear, or to use laser light therapy which can be very effective.
Myth 5: The Transplanted Hair Will Eventually Fall Out
It’s true that the transplanted hair will fall out a few weeks after the surgery. But, once the hair starts growing back, it will be a permanent part of your scalp.
In most cases, the transplanted hair will start growing back in after about four months. From there, most people can expect the hair to grow about 1/2 inch per month.
While men may lose the hair on the top of their head, hair on the sides and back of the scalp isn’t affected by male pattern baldness. Hair from the sides and back is permanent, and when it is transplanted to a new area, it becomes a permanent part of that area, too.
Myth 6: Hair Transplant Surgery Means You Can Get Someone Else’s Hair
If you dream of getting a mane like Fabio as a result of your hair transplant, you should be prepared for the reality. Only hairs from your own body can be transplanted.
If a surgeon tried to transplant hair from another person, your body would reject the foreign hair. To avoid that, you’d have to take immunosuppressant drugs. Even if you find a willing hair donor, a surgeon won’t use his or her hair on your head.
Learning the facts about hair restoration can help you make a decision about whether the surgery is right for you.
To discuss your hair transplant options further, make an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Epstein for a consultation. In New York City, you can call (212) 759-3484 for an appointment at the Foundation for Hair Restoration. Call (305) 666-1774 for a consultation at the practice in Miami.