So how long will a hair transplant last realistically?
Most of us take our healthy and well-growing hair for granted, however, 40% of the population in the UK who suffer from hair loss do not have this luxury. Whilst it is natural to experience some loss of hair as you age, men who experience this loss prematurely can be left feeling disheartened. If you’re one of these sufferers, you may be looking into ways that you can achieve a fuller set of locks. Whilst over-the-counter products and prescription medications can go some way in improving hair loss, many people are not seeking more permanent solutions such as hair transplants.
What is a hair transplant?
Essentially, a hair transplant involves removing hair from an area unaffected by hair loss and moving it to an area of thinning or baldness. The hair is often moved from the back of the head, with specialists disapproving of body hair being used, stating that head hair must be used for successful results. There are 2 methods of hair transplant used today: Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) also known as the strip method and follicular unit extraction (FUE). FUT involves the removal of a strip of hair-bearing skin whereas FUE involves individual extraction of hair follicles. Clearly, there is a difference time-wise in these 2 types of procedures and this is often reflected in the cost.
Cost & Recovery
Whilst hair transplants were at one time only accessible to celebrities and rich people alike, they are now affordable for many. Due to FUT, or the strip method, being less labour-intensive, this is often reflected in a lower price tag. However, it is often up to the surgeon to decide which type of hair transplant is right for a patient and so the price is not considered in this aspect. In the UK, a hair transplant can range from anywhere between £1,000 and £20,000 depending on the type of surgery, the experience of the surgeon and how many hairs need moving. As with any procedure, it is recommended that you do not make any decisions based solely on price.
Both FUT and FUE hair transplant procedures have the same recovery time. It can take 12-18 months to see the results of a hair transplant so you shouldn’t feel disheartened if you don’t see results immediately. In fact, the initial hair that is transplanted will fall out completely within the first 8 weeks, with new hair starting to grow any time after 3 months of your hair transplant.
So, how long does it last?
For the majority of people, a hair transplant should last a lifetime or at least up to old age. This is because transplanted hair behaves in the same way as hair from the area that it was transplanted from. Therefore, if the hair is still growing in that area, it will still grow in the area it was moved to. Hair transplants generally restore 25-30% of the original density in the treated area, sufficient enough to give good hair coverage. More coverage can be achieved by having a second hair transplant, however, you are generally unlikely to achieve greater than 50% density and so this needs to be understood before considering further treatment.