Have you noticed that your boyfriend is… Getting a bit bald? Hair loss is a frustrating part of the aging process, that’s for sure, but thankfully, there are now helpful procedures that can help your guy save his hair.
In particular, a hair transplant may offer the solution you’ve been looking for.
What Exactly Is a Hair Transplant?
Hair transplant surgery is a popular procedure to treat hair loss.
It involves taking hair follicles or entire pieces of skin from a part of the scalp that is still growing hair and grafting them onto bald or balding areas.
With so much conjecture around the procedure, recovery, and complications, we asked the experts at the Wimpole Hair Transplant Clinic in London, to give us the lowdown on the full procedure, recovery, complications, and more.
Let’s dive straight into some of the key questions below!
What happens during a hair transplant procedure?
Before discussing what happens, it’s important to differentiate between the two types of hair transplant procedures: FUE and FUT.
Each procedure will see hair collected for the graft in a slightly different way, before ultimately being transplanted to a bald area of the scalp.
What doesn’t change between the two, however, is that the hair is collected from both the back and sides of the head.
You may have noticed that these areas of your boyfriend’s scalp are unaffected by male pattern baldness and the hair is taken from these regions because it grows fast and thick.
- The Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure sees hair extracted directly from the scalp before being individually inserted elsewhere.
- The Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) procedure, on the other hand, involves collecting an entire strip of skin, for a more even graft.
While the strip is extremely thin (at no more than 1.5 cm wide), the FUT procedure can be a turn-off for some people.
Therefore, the FUE transplant is by far the most popular option due to the less-invasive nature of the procedure.
Recovery times for each procedure are 5-7 days and 10-14 days respectively, with stitches being removed at the end of the window.
Just keep in mind that no matter the procedure your boy decides to go with, he still may actually require a number of sessions over the coming months to achieve the full head of natural hair.
Is recovery following a hair transplant easy?
When it comes to recovering from a hair transplant, managing the region and associated pain is key. While most people are able to return to work only a couple of days following surgery, pain management via medication may allow the person to go back earlier.
If the scalp is sore or swollen, pain medication and anti-inflammatories can be prescribed to help your significant other to get through the initial period following surgery.
Speaking of medication, there are a few more things to consider alongside painkillers.
A round of antibiotics is often also prescribed to reduce the risk of infection, and Minoxidil (you probably know it as Rogaine) can also be used to speed up the process.
One further advantage of Minoxidil is that it also slows hair loss in the future.
After the transplant, don’t be alarmed if your loved one notices the grafted hair initially falling out.
When this happens, again – don’t be alarmed – it’s entirely normal and part of the process.
This clears out the old hair and makes way for new growth, which most men will see forming on their scalp 8 to 12 months after surgery.
As you can see, hair transplants are a long-term solution and your expectations for this must be managed before you begin!
Are there any complications related to a hair transplant?
There are a number of complications or side effects one must be aware of.
While these complications are all somewhat minor and only an issue in the short term, they’re still something to be aware of before making the call.
- Bleeding and swelling of the scalp: Both of these complications can be managed with rest, pain-killing medication, and anti-inflammatories.
- Risk of infection: By managing the affected areas on your scalp like any other wound, this risk is greatly minimized.
The surgeon may also prescribe a round of antibiotics to further counter this risk.
- Numbness of the treated areas: Numbness after the procedure is completely normal and nothing to be too concerned about.
If the numbness persists, consult the surgeon in one of the follow-ups.
- Folliculitis: This is otherwise known as inflammation or an infection of the hair follicles.
Small, white-headed pimples may appear around the hair follicles which can be painful.
Again, antibiotics will counter this risk.
- Sudden hair loss: Losing recently transplanted hair is entirely normal but this shock of hair loss can be confronting.
There’s no need to be worried that the procedure failed if this happens, it’s an entirely normal part of the process.
- Unnatural-looking tufts forming: Some hair follicles will grow faster than others during the initial regrowth phase, meaning some areas can look tufty and unnatural. Patience is unfortunately all you two have here.
Final considerations before a hair transplant
One last thing to consider is the clinic that you chose to carry out the procedure for your partner.
Make sure you choose a specialist hair transplant clinic that is registered in your jurisdiction and has potentially received awards for its level of care.
When it comes to getting a hair transplant, remember that being a patient is not just being another customer.
Ensure that the clinic is transparent about its staff and try to meet or at least speak to the surgeon who will be charged with carrying out the procedure.
Just a simple conversation can put both of your minds at ease and make the entire experience run smoothly.
While the up-front costs of a hair transplant may act as a barrier, don’t underestimate the financial opportunities that your guy’s rediscovered self-confidence could return.
Essentially, it’s an investment in yourself too!
Don’t underestimate the role a full head of hair plays in the confidence of your loved one and how this is perceived by others.
Both professionally and personally, investing in a hair transplant could be the start of a new and lucrative life for him.
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