Thinking about a hair transplant for baldness or thinning hair? Here are some things you’ll need to keep in mind.
Treatments for hair loss have come a long way. For many people, wigs and toupees are now a thing of the past. But if you’re thinking of getting a hair transplant, there are some issues you need to be aware of.
Here are some key facts about hair transplants:
1. Not everyone is a good candidate
There are certain factors to take into account in deciding whether a transplant is the best option for you:
- How large of an area are you trying to cover?
- How rapid is your hair loss?
- Do you have medical conditions that could complicate surgery?
- Is your hair loss due to a health problem?
If you’re in poor health or have advanced hair loss, a transplant may not work for you. You may be better off going with a different solution. If you think that might be the case, have an honest discussion with your doctor about it.
2. Less invasive treatments are available
ou should discuss the matter with your doctor before running out to get a transplant. There are other things you can try first. Medications (Rogaine and Propecia) have been shown to stimulate hair growth, for instance. But you may have to use them for a long time without getting the results you want. And women should avoid Propecia altogether.
3. They’re expensive
Costs vary depending on how much work you need. But even with a minimal transplant you’re still looking at a few thousand dollars. And keep in mind your health insurance usually won’t cover these costs. A hair transplant is considered cosmetic surgery, rather than health-essential. So, you’ll likely have to pay the whole thing out of your own pocket.
4. Not every doctor can do them
Only an experienced plastic surgeon or dermatologist has the skills to do the job correctly. That’s why it’s important to choose your doctor carefully. For best results, look for someone who:
- Is a hair transplant specialist
- Has completed a residency in a dermatology or plastic surgery program
- Has performed a number of these procedures
- Has experience with a wide variety of transplant techniques
5. There may be some side effects
Remember that hair transplants are a form of surgery. That means there could be complications. You could possibly experience:
On the other hand, the odds of a serious complication are slim. And when side effects do occur, most people find them to be rather minor. In all likelihood, you will have a quick recovery and be able to pick up your normal schedule fairly soon.
6. Satisfaction isn’t always guaranteed
The procedure doesn’t work for everyone. In some cases, transplanted hair falls out and doesn’t grow back. This can create a patchy appearance that requires additional procedures to correct. You may have to go back several times to get it right. Not only will the experience be frustrating for you, it will cost you a lot more than you had originally planned.
But even with all these issues, a transplant still might be a good option for you. Just remember that you probably won’t regain your hair’s original texture or thickness. But you still might end up happy with the outcome. A skilled physician can often produce results that seem natural and realistic. And that’s a look you could possibly enjoy for years to come.