Natural Looking Hair Transplants

Hair transplants are an intricate combination of science and art; everyone who has a hair transplant is unique which makes matching the procedure with the person a challenging process. In order to get a natural looking transplant, it is imperative that you find a surgeon who is well versed in both the precision and the creativity of plastic surgery. But it is not all up to the surgeon; the type of procedure you choose will also influence the results of your transplant, so do your own research and ask your surgeon thorough questions before undergoing surgery.

The Science behind Hair Transplants

Each person’s hair is different in texture, colour, and density; this means an exactness of scientific placement is required to achieve realistic looking hair-lines. Furthermore, individual hair follicles themselves grow at different angles and, as you’ve probably noticed with your own stubborn cowlicks, wavy, curly, or straight hairs can grow side by side. This means that the surgeon must make exact incisions at proper angles for each follicular unit and ensure the placement of the hairs will cause them to grow in the right direction. Hair types also vary according to region of the body on which they are being inserted; a graft onto the scalp or beard-line will require hair from the scalp which is a different consistency than that of your body hair, which should be used for eyebrows and eyelashes. Your surgeon must be able to wade through the various types of hairs which grow on your scalp or body to choose the proper ones for the appropriate region, be it scalp, eyebrow, or jaw.

The Art of Hair Transplantation

As with any person undergoing plastic surgery, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What may seem like a natural look on your head or face according to your expectations of the surgery may vary drastically from what your surgeon or other observers may see or from what may realistically be achieved from the surgery. Before your initial consultation, look through pictures from your magazine collection or photo albums to get an idea of what your goal for this procedure is. Bring in these pictures and show them to your surgeon so that he/she can tell you if it is possible to achieve this look through one or multiple transplantation sessions. Before you go under the knife, make sure they take you through the process step-by-step, showing you on your own scalp or face with a marker where and how the hairs will be inserted. This will ensure that you are not unpleasantly surprised by the surgery’s outcome because your expectations and the surgeon’s ideas of those goals will be clarified from the outset of the procedure.

The Hair Transplant Procedure

Natural hair also depends on the method of transplanting you and your doctor believe are right for your needs. Hairs grow naturally in follicular units in which two or three hairs share a single gland. In previous decades, large strips of hair would be removed from the back of the head to be placed in straight rows on other parts of the head. That was not a method which produced natural looking hair because hairs do not naturally grow in large segments or in perfect rows. There have been great advances in hair transplants over the last decade, however, so natural-looking hair can now be achieved by grafting the hairs according to their actual nature rather than forcing them into awkward rows; this is attained by using either FUE or strip harvesting techniques. In these methods, individual follicular units are either taken from the scalp directly or from a strip of hair which has been removed from the scalp. These units are then placed into incisions only millimetres long. Once they are inserted, the hairs will grow as they do naturally within their follicular units.

Although these procedures do tend to produce better results for naturally looking hair because they utilise the natural method of hair growth, problems can arise. If the hairs are inserted at an awkward angle, are the wrong consistencies, or if you simply don’t have enough to cover that area of the scalp, then an unnatural look can result. Furthermore, if you choose strip harvesting, a less-expensive and quicker surgery, scars from the strip can occasionally become a problem. Most people are able to cover the scalp-scar when their hair grows over it, but for people with dark hair and pale skin or very thin hair the likelihood of a visible scar is increased. On the other hand, FUE is a time-consuming and expensive process as each individual hair unit is taken from the scalp by the surgeon; if you require large amounts of hair transplanted then you will need many surgeries to complete your look, each of which requires months in between. Not only this, but the more surgeries you require, the more money you will need to finance these procedures. You and your surgeon should discuss in detail both procedures to find the one right for you.

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