In countries such as Germany or Spain, more than 40 % of the population suffers from baldness, with the typical affected patient being a middle-aged man. Hair, beyond a protective barrier, is also an important aesthetic value in our society. important aesthetic value in today’s society and, therefore, it is normal that many people with baldness do not want to give it up.
This is a delicate issue for many people, since androgenetic baldness is, in many cases, a relatively preventable pathology with a solution. The fact is that, due to self-imposed ideologies or old thoughts, there are still people who believe that “conforming” to the image they have been given is the only possible reality.
Of course, from here we advocate self-acceptance and that the individual loves himself as he is, but it is also necessary to take into account that there are other options beyond “that’s the way it is”. It is for this reason that, in this space, we tell you everything you need to know about hair grafting..
Baldness in the world
If you are reading these lines with fear that someone will suspect your intention or judge you, stay with us, because you are certainly not the only one interested in the subject. Here are some statistics that show that baldness is an extremely common event:
- In Europe, 40% of men have baldness.
- Androgenetic alopecia, caused by heredity, hormones and aging, is responsible for 90% of hair loss cases.
- Half of those surveyed in various sociological studies admit that baldness makes them feel more exposed and helpless.
- Less than 30% of men who avoid hair grafting do so because they consider it to be “unnatural”.
Nor do we believe that excessive weight should be placed on physical appearance, since some of those surveyed in studies such as the ones we have described say that “they would be more successful if they had more hair” or that they would prefer to get their hair back if it meant losing certain friends along the way. We should not go crazy, because hair grafting can be an excellent aesthetic option, but let’s remember that security and confidence are worked from within.
If you consider hair grafting as an aesthetic accessory and not as a solution to all your self-esteem problems, we encourage you to continue reading, because we will go into this process in the following lines.
Who should undergo this process?
Despite popular beliefs, there is no specific age to undergo a transplant, as it is a mere aesthetic value applicable to any age group, ethnicity and gender. The question is not who, but when and how. It is the patient who must be comfortable with the procedure, after the relevant information and reservations provided by the professionals in the field. While anyone who suffers from baldness can be a potential client, most procedures are performed on people in their 30s and 40s. to people between 30 and 40 years of age..
However, when is an important factor. The patient should bear in mind that his hair appearance will not “normalize” until two weeks after the procedure, and that for a month he will have to limit certain activities (sports, exposure to the sun or the use of helmets, for example). For this reason, finding the time of the year when the capillary evolution is most positive is essential before considering the procedure.
Surgical techniques for hair grafts
Hair grafting is a clean type of surgery that does not require specific conditions in the operating room (it is an ambulatory dermatological process). It usually lasts 4-6 hours and, usually, with an anxiolytic to achieve the maximum comfort in the patient during the whole event is more than enough to start with. We summarize the process in 3 steps.
1. Extraction of the donor site
The donor area is the site from which the follicular units (FU) to be transplanted are extracted. In androgenetic alopecia, the donor area should be about 5 centimeters wide and 25 centimeters long. In any case, the donor area to be removed will depend, in its totality, on the follicular units needed. A specialist is in charge of this evaluation.
However, this area is usually removed from the “back” of the from the “back” of the patient’s head, where the hair density is very high.where the capillary density is much higher than the exposed area. This entire procedure is performed under local anesthesia, which is why the patient does not experience pain.
2. Preparation of the follicular units
Once extracted, the follicular units are placed in a suitable storage solution to maintain their vitality and physiological characteristics. All follicular units are separated and are carefully stored..
3. Implantation of the follicular units
Individual incisions are made in the recipient area, and the follicular units are inserted one by one. are inserted, one by onein the place where the new hair is going to develop. The professional defines the depth, angulation, and direction of hair growth as each follicular unit is implanted. This is the most tedious and delicate part of the process, undoubtedly the most difficult step for professionals. However, as it is performed under local anesthesia, the patient does not experience any pain.
As we have seen, this is a relatively simple procedure: a strip of skin with hair is removed from the patient, each of the follicular units is isolated and then placed in the desired location to cover the hairless area. Simple, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, recovery of the transplanted area is slow, and the patient may not see dramatic changes until a year after transplantation. until one year after transplantation. From the eighth day the follicular units are fixed, so the patient, after 15 days, can lead a completely normal life.
Despite this, the transplanted hairs fall out after the third week of treatment (something normal). There is no need to worry, because the follicle, which is what we are interested in, remains intact.. The hair growth is slow, and as we have said, until a year after the graft the hair will not grow in a completely natural way.
Risks and price
It is normal for the patient to experience relatively intense itching and swelling in the transplanted area after the operation, among other events such as possible sporadic folliculitis. Still, undoubtedly, as with most surgical procedures, the greatest risk is the development of an intraepidermal infection.
In these cases it is necessary to contact the dermatological center as soon as possible, which will prescribe antibiotics and guide the patient through the mishap. No bacterial overgrowth should be left unattended, as infections can spread quite easily, depending on the causative agent and the affected area.
As far as prices are concerned, it is estimated that a hair graft costs approx, 2,200 euros 2,200 (2,600 dollars) up to the transplantation of 2,000 follicular units. If the patient needs more, the price can quickly increase to more than 3,000 dollars.
As you can see, this is quite an expensive process for a superficial surgery, but you must keep in mind one thing: the transplanted follicular units have no genetic predisposition to lose hair, which is why the transplant lasts for the patient’s entire life. of the patient.
As you will have learned in these lines, this is a procedure that should not instill fear in those who are considering it, since it is minimally invasive, requires minimal surgical intervention and does not generate any pain. In spite of this, the recovery time is relatively slow and the patient will not reach full capillary normality until one year after the intervention. It is necessary to take all this into account, because, of course, the results are not immediate, the results are not immediate, but they are certain..
The decision lies within each individual, but as we have said before, a hair graft should never be seen as the possible solution to all the problems of self-esteem or security of the individual. It is necessary to work on personal confidence at a mental and emotional level, and only having mastered these fronts, value the hair transplant as a mere aesthetic value that will make the patient feel better with their external image.