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Hair transplants involve moving hair to an area that’s thin or bald, faking a fuller head of hair and boosting confidence. Male pattern baldness affects almost half of UK men, and around eight million UK women experience hair loss, medically known as androgenic alopecia, and lots of these people say their hair loss impacts their day to day lives negatively. A hair transplant is a perfect solution to hair loss, but it’s not a straightforward procedure. Express.co.uk chatted to the experts at FUE Clinics to find out how much the average hair transplant costs and everything else you need to know to prepare for a hair transplant.
We can lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day, often without noticing, but any more than this could be a sign of a medical condition.
Hair loss can be temporary or permanent, and it can be devastating to find out that the hair you’ve lost isn’t coming back.
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure that relocates hair that you already have to an area where the hair is thinning or completely bald.
While a hair transplant might sound excessive, painful and potentially embarrassing, the techniques have changed and advanced over the years and they are now a fairly common procedure.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting a hair transplant, according to FUE Clinics.
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The NHS site states a hair transplant in the UK can cost anywhere between £1,000 and £30,000, depending on the extent of hair loss, the type of procedure you have, and the quality of the clinic and its team.
The team at FUE Clinics explained: “The cost of a hair transplant varies from one patient to another and will depend on the individual’s needs and requirements.
“It’s usually impossible to determine the cost of a hair transplant without a consultation with a specialist.
“Pricing will be based on the type of procedure, the extent of the hair loss, and the size of the treatment area.
“For a good quality hair transplant, you should expect to pay around £4,000 to £6,000 for your treatment.”
There are two types of hair transplants – FUT and FUE.
Both FUE and FUT are procedures which are performed by highly specialised surgeons, and while the basic process for each of these is very similar, there are some key differences.
FUE, which stands for Follicular Unit Extraction and is the most discrete method of hair transplant, as you only need to shave the back and sides of the head to prepare for the procedure.
It is also usually the preferred method, as it is minimally invasive and the scarring can be less noticeable than with other methods.
FUT, which stands for Follicular Unit Transfer, involves a surgeon isolating a narrow strip of follicle-rich scalp tissue, removing the strip and relocating it to an area that is bald or thinning.
This area is then immediately closed up with a specialist suture in a procedure known as a trichophytic closure.
Often you will need to shave more of your hair for a FUT procedure than with FUE, and the scarring is linear so can be more noticeable. However, it is still a highly popular option.
Unfortunately, you won’t walk out of surgery with a perfect head of hair.
However, you will be able to see the projection of your new and improved hairline immediately, and new hair should start to grow a few months after your transplant.
The experts at FUE Clinics said: “Once you’ve had your hair transplant you will notice that your hair may start to shed after a couple of weeks.
“There’s no need to worry as this is a completely normal part of the procedure and your hair will grow back strong and healthy.
“You will see your hair transplant results developing from around three to six months, and the final result is incredibly long-lasting.”
Most people report significant changes in hair growth after about half a year and the complete results of the procedure are almost always visible fully after 12 to 18 months.
Once the hair has grown in, your results should be permanent.
One important thing to remember is hair transplants don’t work for everyone.
The team at FUE Clinics pointed out: “Not all hair types will take the transplants successfully.
“If your hair loss is due to a medical issue, a transplant may not be the right treatment.
“Ensure you get an in-depth consultation before going ahead with your transplant to ensure you get the best results possible.”
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You can’t just rock up to surgery without any preparation – your doctor will likely give you some guidance on what to do before your procedure.
You’ll need to book at least three or four days off work and stay overnight near your clinic, the experts said.
Around a month before the procedure, you may need to have a blood test or ECG done to ensure you are in the best health possible and able to have an anaesthetic.
Your doctor may also prescribe Minoxidil, a popular hair regrowth drug, or ask you to stop taking specific medication including anti-inflammatory medication or aspirin.
You’ll need to avoid alcohol, smoking and start taking Vitamin C leading up to your surgery too.
A week before the transplant, you may be asked to stop taking Vitamin B and E tablets.
FUT and FUE hair transplants can take many hours to complete, depending on the size of the procedure that you need.
The team at FUE Clinics said: “You will be able to go home on the same day of the surgical procedure.
“However, you may need to attend multiple appointments, again depending on the size of the transplant area.”
After your surgery, you’ll need to take it easy for a while.
After your hair transplant procedure, you will feel fine in a day or so following the surgery, however you are expected to feel numbness and soreness in your scalp for a couple of days after.
The experts said: “There may be red scabs at the bottom of the transplanted hair on the recipient and donor area, these will be clearly visible for around 10 days.
“From 10 days onwards, your normal appearance will start to show.
“Right after your hair transplant it’s important that you rest as much as possible, this is because resting will help to speed up the recovery process and the procedure will have tired you out.
“When it comes to sleeping after a hair transplant, it’s important that you touch the recipient area as little as possible during the week after the procedure.
“We advise that patients sleep upright, on their back with their head elevated on a pillow. Raising your head during the night will help to reduce swelling.”
You’ll need to continue to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking, and stop swimming or engaging in any high impact exercise.
You should be able to start getting haircuts after around two to four weeks, as your treatment area should be fully healed.
About 12 months after the procedure you will have an appointment with your surgeon, this will involve checking the treated area and providing a growth assessment to oversee the overall end result.
While it’s now considered a routine surgery with over 650,000 hair transplants being carried out every year, as with any surgical procedure, there are potential side effects.
Not everybody will experience these side effects and they will likely be very minimal, however, you should still be aware of them if you are considering this procedure.
The possible side effects include:
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