Few things have the power to ruin your confidence quite as much as early hair loss – yet it’s an issue many men have to deal with at a younger age than they were expecting. The early onset of a receding hairline and thinning on top can frustrate you, frighten you, and worst of all, age you – but worryingly, it can also impact on your mental health.
If you have always the mornings in front of the mirror, proudly styling and fixing your sharp cut, then suddenly having to accept it’s a thing of the past and that your hair is no longer your best feature can be upsetting. It’s little surprise that more men than ever are now turning to hair transplants to restore their locks to former glory, travelling across the globe to get the best possible treatment and a renewed sense of youth, to boot.
Science has come a long way in recent years, and what was once seen as a pointless procedure that lacked the desired results has fast become one of the most popular treatments worldwide amongst men in their early thirties. Deciding to undergo a hair transplant isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, though, and it pays to do thorough research before you do. Finding the very best clinic should be your top priority, no expense spared – but there are other things you need to know about, too.
A man considering a hair transplant is often vulnerable to making speedy, emotional decisions. Instead, consider your options slowly and carefully and remember you can never ask too many questions.
So, what exactly do you need to know? Here are the top six questions to ask yourself (or your surgeon) before deciding to take the plunge.
Is this the right surgeon for me?
Choosing the right surgeon for the job is the single most important decision you will make about your treatment, so take your time to find out as much as you can about your options before making your choice.
Start by finding some reputable options through the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons. Whilst it might seem easiest to find a surgeon in your area, the best ones can often be found by travelling a little further afield. Turkey is known to be a hotspot for some of the world’s leading clinics, and an excellent Turkish trichological clinic like Elithairtransplant can be well worth booking the flight for.
Is there anything I can do to improve the results?
Before going ahead with any treatment, it’s important to find out everything you can about achieving the best results – and that includes the things you can do yourself. Many clinics recommend preparing for the procedure by applying an at-home medical hair restoration treatment for a year beforehand; opt for an FDA approved treatment such as Minoxidil for best results.
As well as topical treatments like this, which can be bought over the counter, you can also try seeing your GP and requesting an oral treatment. Hair loss medications like Finasteride are prescription only, but can offer a powerful leg-up in preparation for your transplant.
Which type of procedure is right for me?
Not all hair transplants are created equal, so you’ll need to decide from a choice of three types. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUE) is the most popular, and uses tiny blades to harvest follicles from an area where hair still remains to transplant to the bald areas of the head. Although it’s a time-consuming process, it also achieves the most natural and seamless results. Best of all, there are no scars left behind – so no-one will ever need to know your secret!
Other, quicker options include Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Advanced Trico Pigmentation; potentially better options if you are stuck for time, but in our opinion, this is not something you should rush. Trying to get things done as quickly as possible rarely yields the most positive results in the long-run, so be prepared to be patient – you’ll thank yourself for it later.
How long is recovery?
As with any procedure, a day or two of downtime is recommended afterwards, but the great thing about FUE procedures is that often, you won’t need it. With FUT procedures, however, there will be some scarring, so if you’re keen to keep your procedure under wraps then you may wish to take a few days for yourself to allow any redness to settle down.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see results of your hair transplant surgery right away – visible hair growth after a transplant takes around four months due to the hair growth cycle, another four months to fully appear and by the one-year mark you’ll be able to see the full effect. Be sure to read up on what to expect before you go ahead with the procedure so that you have a realistic set of expectations.
How long do hair transplants last?
The great news is that if a transplant is done well, it should last a lifetime – no real upkeep required. Transplanted hair behaves in a similar way to the hair from where it was taken, and any hairs that remain after baldness has taken hold are often genetically different to the balding area, so is unlikely to fall out.
Even so, there is always a risk that hair could start to fall out in the future. Although unlikely, it’s important to be aware that it’s a possibility – though if this does happen then you can still opt to have another transplant procedure performed.
Not a decision to be taken lightly, considering a hair transplant can seem daunting. But, if you invest in the very finest treatment money can buy, then you could be restored to your former youth in a matter of months.