Hair loss is no laughing matter. It can happen to anyone at any time. Both men and women suffer from hair loss. There are many treatments available but none are as effective as a hair transplant. A full hair transplant is the ultimate method for restoring hair. This guide has been developed to answer any questions or concerns you may have if you are considering a hair transplant in Pakistan.
From daily hair care tips to post surgical care after a transplant, we will give you the information you need to manage your hair.
Table of Contents
- Reasons for hair loss
- Hair restoration methods
- The hair transplant surgical procedure
- Hair transplant pre planning
- Hair transplant post op care
- Summer and winter hair care tips
Reasons for hair loss
For years having strong beautiful hair has been a virtue many of us strive for. In ancient days having a long mane of hair was a sign of strength and character. One mythical hero even said it gave him super strength. Today hair may not give you any superhuman powers but it is often associated with beauty and vanity. So it is especially devastating when you begin to notice hair loss. It is normal to lose up to 100 or so hair strands daily. However, when that number increases to where it is noticeable, then that can mean something is wrong internally. It can trigger emotional issues such as depression and fear. Women feel this stronger than men do as they have more of an emotional attachment to their hair.
The reasons behind hair loss can be many. Hair loss can be triggered by something as simple as stress. Stress takes on many forms in our daily lives and the outcomes can vary from illness to hair loss. Sometimes taking certain medications can bring on hair loss as a side effect. People on radiation therapy for cancer are well aware of this relation between hair loss and medication. Changes in your diet can also lead to hair loss. Not having the proper nutrition on a daily basis has been known to trigger excessive hair loss. Even something as simple as weight loss can set off hair loss. This is in relation to hormonal changes mainly in women. So you must eat the right kinds of food to feed your body and keep it in maximum health condition.
One of the main reasons for hair loss is due to heredity. This happens mostly with men but women can be affected as well but not to the same degree. Heredity hair loss is the number one cause of hair loss in the US and abroad. Males often notice at an early age usually in their twenties that they are losing hair. It is most noticeable on the front hair line. Hair can start to recede gradually. In some cases there are bald spots that become apparent and cause concern. While some men may be accepting to the fact that they have taken on an unwanted family trait, others are not so accepting and will make all kinds of concessions to ease their pain.
As women age their bodies change internally. Hormones can fluctuate especially if they are on medications for menopause. This will sometimes lead to hair loss or thinning. Women don’t tend to lose hair as their hair goes into a thinning mode. So it will look as though their hair is falling out but many times that is not the case.
Once you acknowledge the fact that you are losing hair the next step to remedy the situation if you can. There are many options available and a doctor can assist with those if necessary.
Hair restoration methods
There are many methods available on the market for restoring hair. A doctor can help diagnose your hair loss severity. They can provide you with the means to solve your hair loss issue after a full check up is made. The most popular method was using shampoos to counteract hair loss. Doctors often prescribe medicated shampoo to their patients. While having a decent affect on hair loss, they do not have long lasting results. The patient may end up having to use the shampoos for an extended period of time with semi permanent results.
Other medications can be prescribed as well however you do have to be careful with side effects. Some medications even can be counter-productive and not interact well with current medications you are on. Some people like using unconventional methods for hair loss such as scalp massages or using homemade hair masks. This may or may not work but if nothing else you will end up with a nice massage and feel relaxed.
If your hair loss is deemed to be from stress, then it is recommended to try and release that stress or what is causing the stress in your life. The remedy could be something as simple as getting more sleep or changing your diet. Even taking a one day mini vacation can help.
One of the most effective hair loss remedies and permanent solutions is a hair transplant. A doctor will let you know first how severe your hair loss is and if you are a good candidate for a hair transplant. Unlike other remedies this one is made to last. It can be quite costly but the long term effects will be absolutely amazing.
Hair transplants are great but they are not for everyone. Women are not the ideal candidates for having them as their hair loss is different from men. As stated earlier, women’s hair thins out rather than falling out. While they may have some patchiness is it not easily fixable with a hair transplant. Men on the other hand are much better candidates for a transplant due to the way their hair grows.
Hair transplant pre planning
After you have decided to undergo a hair transplant there are a few issues your doctor must review with you first. The doctor that will perform your surgery has to consider several things such as the color of your hair, the quality and density of the donor hair. The donor area must have a sufficient amount of hair to use. The donor area is usually on the back of the head or on the sides. The next step is planning the hairline. This is the most important step in the procedure. As your hair falls out it affects the hairline placement. Most receding starts on the front or side of the temples and can recede further. Your doctor will analyze the face and then go about reworking the hairline. The doctor may take a series of photos to review your progress as you heal. Those photos will also be used later for testimonials.
Before your surgery, your doctor will give you a regime to follow to prepare you for the hair transplant procedure. You should follow the instructions given so that you end up with the best possible results. These may vary according to the type of hair transplant procedure you will have to restore your hair.
You should begin to follow these instructions as soon as you are given a surgery date. These issues should be followed within 2 weeks to the days prior to surgery. They can include any of the following issues:
If you are a smoker, stop smoking at least 24 hours before surgery or sooner. Smoking can affect wound healing and also affects your recovery so stop or if you are unable to then put it temporarily on hold until after your surgery.
Do not have any alcohol in the three to five days before your surgery. It is better if you have your last alcoholic drink a week before your surgery. This includes wine, beers, or other hard liquor beverages.
Don’t have a hair cut before your surgery. It is important to let the donor area grow so that there is enough for the transplant. Plus it will cover the stitches following your surgery.
Massage your scalp about a month or two weeks before your surgery. Do this for a minimum of 10 minutes per day or a maximum of 30 minutes if possible. This will help to soften the skin and improve the skin tone. It will also get the blood flowing in that area. Blood flow increase is conducive to healing and getting the follicles to re-grow.
Some doctors may have the patient take hair restoration medications such as Minoxidil or other prescribed medications like Rogaine before surgery. This depends upon the degree of hair loss. This may not be required if the surgery is confined to the crown or top of your head. You may be advised to take antibiotics beforehand to prevent the risk of infection. These more than likely will also be prescribed after the operation.
If you are over a certain age, for example 45 and above then some clinics may ask you to undergo tests such as an ECG beforehand. You may also have a blood test. This is to make sure you are in optimal perfect health before your surgery. Afterall the hair transplant is a full on surgical procedure. You don’t want anything to interfere with the anesthesia to be used.
Stop taking aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medication two weeks before your surgery. The aspirin can impede your healing.
Avoid taking anti-depressants, beta-blockers and blood thinning drugs two weeks before surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with a list of what medications you can and cannot take beforehand. This is very important as you will be given antibiotics after your surgery and it should not mix with any other medications that can cause medical complications.
Stop taking any multivitamin/mineral supplements or herbal supplements such as Gingko Biloba two weeks before surgery. While vitamins are good for you, it is important to make sure the body is free of anything that may interfere with the healing time of the surgery.
The hair transplant surgical procedure
The day of your surgery, there is some preparation you need to do. The patient has to shampoo his/her hair with a surgical scrub a day before the surgery as well as on the morning of the surgery. Do add in any styling products. Let hair dry naturally.
The donor area will require some preparation. The hair follicles have to be removed from the donor area. For this, the donor area is prepared by trimming the length of two to four mm which is then followed by injecting the local anesthesia to that area. The area is the allowed to swell up by injecting normal saline to the entire area and after about 10 to 20 minutes, the patient is ready for surgery. The patient will be awake during the entire process. So it is recommended that you sit back and relax during this time.
The next step is to have the donor tissue removed. The surgeon then removes the hair tissue samples or grafts from the donor area. These tissues contain the hair follicles that will be used to make permanent hair restoration possible. The surgeon will then close up the donor area with minor stitches. These stitches will be removed in about 10 days after the transplant surgery. In some cases the surgeon may use stitches that will desolve without having to remove them. The stitches will not be noticeable as hair that is in the donor area will cover up the area.
The donor hair that are removed are the grafts that will be transplanted. Those grafts will require some preparation before they are inserted. The donor grafts are cut into smaller strips that are divided into their follicle grouping. Each hair graft unit will comprise a few hair follicles. They will undergo several procedures before the graft is finally declared ready for placement. This can take some time. So the patient can relax during this time as well.
Once the hair grafts are ready, the preparation of the recipient area and graft insertion can begin. A local anesthesia is once again injected to the recipient area of the patient. The surgeon will then make several incisions on that area, one for each hair graft unit. He has to pay special attention to the location, angle and depth of each unit. It is very important that the result achieved should look natural and therefore, will need careful and skilled expertise. The whole graft insertion procedure may take about five to six hours to complete.
Hair transplant post op care
The whole process is a one day procedure. So the patient will be discharged the same day. Some doctors may bandage the area to keep it from getting infected. The bandage will only need to be on the head a day or so. The removal of the bandage also has to be very meticulous as it can damage the hair grafts. So it will be wise to have the doctor remove them. There will be some swelling of the scalp where the surgery took place. This will be normal and no cause for major concern. You may experience some mild pain or discomfort. The doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to counteract any infections as well as prescribe a mild pain killer. This discomfort will only last a few days and will dissipate over the following days.
After surgery care is very important. The head needs to be protected at all times in the days and few weeks after the surgery. Physical activities will need to be limited. It is important not to engage in sports that could involved injury of the head. Any head trauma may cause some bleeding. You don’t want to damage the scalp in any way. If for some reason a stitch does break open and bleeding occurs you can place a gauze on the head to stop it. Be sure to contact your doctor immediately.
The following weeks will be healing time. There is a chance that donor hair grafts may fall out. While this can be cause for alarm, it will not last. This is part of the whole healing and hair re-growth procedure. The hair follicles will grow back. This may take a few weeks up to a few months to occur. There is no need for any special hair maintenance during the healing time. You will be able to care for your hair the way you did before the hair transplant. Within 6 months the patient will have all of their hair grown back fully.
Your doctor will want to take another set of photos to review the re-growth progress. If there are any issues, your doctor can address them. Further hair loss may require another procedure, but your doctor can advise you of that need.
Daily summer and winter hair care tips
While most hair care tips can be used all year long there are some seasons that require you to pay more attention to your hair. Summers and winters can be brutal on your skin and hair. So you need to take extra precautions during this time. By following these tips your hair will be healthier longer.
- Use a moisturizing shampoo throughout summer season. One thing that you must consider while choosing a shampoo is, always select a shampoo with mild chemicals and without any traces of sulfates or parables.
- Conditioner is always a Yes for hair of all types. It provides moisturizer to your hair and prepares them for the long hot day. The best thing is use the conditioner every time you shampoo your hair. Some shampoos also contain conditioner in them but they are basically shampoos not conditioners. Using natural oils as a conditioner helps as well.
- Limit the use of hair dryers and other hairstyling tools. They damage your hair very slowly and steadily. Let your hair dry naturally by air drying or towel drying. Also avoid hair straighteners as they will dry out your hair and can burn strands. However, you can use these tools off and on. Try to be more vigilant towards your hair care to cover up damage they cause to your hair.
- Eat healthy and drink plenty of water to meet up the water requirement of your body. Sweating may cause dehydration so, it’s necessary to drink more water. Water will help your hair maintain its moisture a long time.
- Trim hair regularly. A nice cut can last if you maintain it. Also removing dead ends is great for hair growth and health. Exposure to sunlight, excessive brushing and dryness always cause split ends which cuts the length of your hair short and gives them a rough appearance.
- Stress kills your hair so, it is necessary for you to stay away from stress. Yoga and meditation are best if you want to drain stress from your life. Indulge yourself in healthy activities which relieve you.
- Avoid hairstyles which leave your hair open. Try braids and other hairstyles which tie your hair like an up do. Braiding helps keep your hair in place and produces nice waves when you let it down. So you can do this in place of curling irons.
Everyone needs to take some extra care to look fresh and stay charming during the hot months. Hot weather affects hairs badly and you start seeing frizzes and dandruff in you beautiful locks. Dandruff draws your attention and tells you that time has arrived to take care of your hairs. In winter months, hair frizz can double. Windy days often produce static electricity. So fly away hairs increase. The rough winter weather can also dry out hair so you need to condition properly and use extra care with hair products.
Incorporating hair care routine in your daily routine is the best thing you can do for your hairs. In fact, daily hair care manages your hair very well and you enjoy healthy luscious locks through the whole year. No matter what time of year or season it is you should always care for your hair as much as possible. Treat your hair well as you do the rest of your body.