Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) Procedure
The DHI procedure starts when you book your first consultation to plan your DHI procedure once you have chosen clinic. It includes when you go to have your DHI procedure (when you are given the opportunity to ask any last minute questions and when your team prepares you to have your local anaesthetic all the way through the procedure itself and all of your after care and any repeat sessions that you may require.
Planning Your DHI Procedure
Your DHI transplant surgeon will come up with a plan that is specific to the hair around your body that you wish to use as your donor hair and the covering that you wish to have on your head at the end of the procedure. The planning of the transplant will enable your transplant surgeon to ensure that the transplanted hair grows on your head in a way that blends in with the rest of the hair on your head (so that it is the same texture and grows in the same direction). Previous DHI procedures have shown that the transplanted hair blends in well with the rest of your hair but planning will ensure that you get the most out of your DHI procedure (by removing your unwanted hair as well as providing you with the finished result on your scalp that you want).
The DHI Procedure
Your DHI procedure will start once you have been given a local anaesthetic. This means that you will be awake and able to communicate with your DHI transplant surgery team throughout the entire DHI procedure. This means that you are free to ask questions during your DHI procedure and also allows your DHI surgeons to show your replaced follicles as your results progress. However, you may also want to nap during your DHI procedure and use the lavatory which are both possible whilst you are still under local anaesthetic. In this way your comfort will be the focus of your DHI transplant team.
A specialised instrument is used to extract individual hair follicles from your donor area which is the area at the back of your neck and around the sides of your head where hair exists. This hair is removed a single follicle at a time and each time a follicle is taken from the donor area it is immediately implanted into the area where you are experiencing hair loss. This means that your hair spends less time outside your body compared to other (older) techniques of hair replacement and partly explains the higher success rate of the DHI technique. More specialised instruments are used to place the hair follicles into the areas where you wish to see more hair. It is implanted in a way that ensures it lies at the same angle and direction as the nearby hair at a depth that means it will never fall out.
In a single DHI procedure your DHI transplant team will extract and implant around 6000 individual hair follicles leaving you with an immediate result. Hair is usually implanted at a density of around 50 follicles per centimetre squared (which leaves about 1mm between each hair) leaving you with an immediately denser hair covering.
Your DHI procedure will typically take between four to six hours. However the exact length of the procedure will vary between clinics and depend on the size of your head and the size of the area where you wish to see a denser hair growth. During this time you will be able to use the lavatory, have small amounts of food (if you wish) and talk to your DHI transplant team.
Results after Having Your DHI Procedure
As soon as you leave the clinic you will have a larger amount of hair in the area where your follicles were implanted. You will have a less dense amount of hair in your donor area (around the back and sides of your hair) but this reduction in density will be matched by the increase in density of hair at the front of your head so that you will end up with a more even hair distribution over the entirety of your scalp. The hair in your donor area should continue to grow enabling it to be used multiple times as donor hair if you require subsequent treatments. The implanted hair will never fall out, although your natural hair in the implanted area may continue to fall out.
You will not have any bandaging to wear after your DHI treatment (this means that you will immediately be able to see the results) and you will be able to go straight home to recover from the local anaesthetic. DHI leaves no scarring, requires no stitches and will not leave you with any shaved areas. The implanted hair will start to grow in around six weeks, depending on how long it takes your hair follicles to imbed into your scalp and how quickly capillaries are able to form in these areas. Capillary growth is necessary around the newly implanted follicles so that blood can flow to the hair and provide it with the nutrients it requires to grow.
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