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Ask the Experts
Number of Procedures
Generally, the front third to half of a completely bald area can be completely finished in 1 to 3 sessions if only FU,s and Multiple FU,s are being used. Some patients may be happy with the coverage and fullness of 1 session on a bald area. However most want more density than what 1 session on a bald area will achieve. Patients who believe they can be completed in only one session and have relatively dense hair are being unrealistic. One session of all single FU,s, (containing 1-3 hairs), can look very natural and can stand on its own very well, however the density or fullness is for most people less than what one would expect for reasonable density. Some hair types, ( course, wavy, with salt and pepper or light brown/blond hair ) lends itself to a very nice result with 1 session. A patient with straight, sparse and black hair would have an understandably thinner look and unless the patient had low expectations , he would probably want the benefit of the density of 2-3 sessions. Patients should be wary of doctors that claim most of the bald area of the scalp can be completed in 1 session, unless a thin look is desired.
Transplant sessions may be done as far apart as the patient wishes; however, they are not done in any given area without a minimum 8-12 month interval between sessions. The number of grafts that should be transplanted at one session and the frequency of transplant sessions depend on the characteristics of each individual case; this can be planned out in advance for each patient. Additionally, larger sessions that cover both the front half of the scalp as well as the crown, in appropriate patients, can also be performed at the same time.
It is becoming more common for patients to have one or “early” transplanting session, before hair loss has reached an advanced stage. The benefit of these early sessions is threefold: the remaining hair provides natural camouflage for the initial session; the transplanted hair (once it has grown) provides additional coverage for any later sessions; and sessions can be spaced farther apart, thus spreading the inconvenience and cost over a longer period of time.
In less than 10% of patients there may be some mild thinning involving the pre-existing hair of the recipient area within the first two to three weeks after a transplant. This thinning (if it occurs) is temporary and the hair will regrow at the same time as the transplanted hair begins to sprout.
Transplanting With Only ‘1-2 Haired Follicular Units’, “Megasessions”, and “Dense Packing” Of Grafts
If you have relatively fine and/or light coloured hair and if you feel you would be satisfied with light to moderate hair density, you may want to consider using only 1-2 hair follicular unit grafts for your transplanting. There are four advantages to such an approach:
- FU’s cause the least damage to any existing hair in the recipient area
- FU’s produce the least amount of post-operative crusting
- FU’s generally grow somewhat faster than other types of mini-grafts, and
- FU’s – even in a totally bald area produce absolutely no clumping or plugginess
In fairness it should be pointed out here that if slightly larger graft with 3-5 hairs is used behind the hair line zone of 1-3 haired grafts instead of all 1-2 haired grafts there is virtually no damage to existing hair and with most hair types there is essentially no plugginess either.
Transplanting an entire bald head in one or two “megasessions” of 3000 or more 1-2 haired grafts per session is possible, but will require sessions of 8-10 hours each. As indicated above such sessions will usually produce only relatively low hair density unless they are repeated . These operations are also more physically and emotionally stressful than standard transplanting sessions, and should not be undertaken by any one who isn’t in excellent physical condition. Practically speaking therefore, megasessions of 1-2 haired follicular units are only used in relatively young or fit patients for whom time and minimum noticeability is more important than greater hair.
Patients are often anxious to have as much done as quickly as possible and are therefore anxious to believe a physician who tells them that there is no intrinsic problem with very large, lengthy megasessions. However, the possibility of lesser hair yield permanently should be weighed against the temporary convenience of a faster result.
Frequently Asked Questions
The good thing about hair transplant procedures is that it is designed to provide a permanent solution to patients who are suffering from hair loss. However, the success of the treatment weighs heavily on the care provider. Dr. Colin Hong is a trained and experienced hair transplant surgeon. He is committed to treating hair loss with the latest research and technology to ensure that optimal results are achieved.
FUE hair transplant procedure gives you natural-looking results with a shorter recovery period. Dr. Colin Hong and his team have many years worth of knowledge and experience and can provide you with a customized transplantation.
In the few months after the FUE procedure, shedding of your original hair will likely occur before the new hair will start to grow back at the transplanted site. This is normal and is only temporary. You will receive post-operative instructions from your surgeon to ensure optimal healing and care after the surgery. However, if you continue to experience hair loss, the hair at the transplanted site can also be affected.
Since the entire hair follicle is removed and placed in a new location, it will likely not grow back in the old one. Most cases where there is a re-growth of hair is when hair follicles are not completely removed from your donor area. However, your surgeon will only harvest from areas where the effect of the removal of hair follicles is barely noticeable.
FUE’s major advantage over other hair transplant procedures is that it does not leave noticeable scars on your scalp. Provided the procedure is performed by a hair transplant specialist, the result will likely be a natural-looking hair restoration without you worrying about any visible scars at all.
Though FUE is minimally invasive, there may still be a bit of discomfort during the procedure. Usually this occurs during the administration of local anesthesia. However, we will provide measures to reduce this discomfort as much as possible, such as with the use of a mild sedative beforehand.
Normally, the ideal age for an individual to undergo FUE is when the thinning of hair is not too advanced. There needs to be adequate hair density at the back of the scalp for follicles to be harvested for transplant. With significant hair loss and balding, there may not be enough hair for transplantation.
Hair follicles collected from the head are ideal for transplantation back to the scalp. This is because the nature of hairs varies through different parts of our body. However, if there are no available hair follicles on the head of the patient, beard and chest hair can be used as a substitute for hair restoration on the area where the patient desires. Please speak with Dr. Hong to see if this is a possibility for you.
Yes. FUE can be a complex procedure, but with the combination of advanced technology and the skill and expertise of Dr. Hong and his team, the surgery can be very successful. FUE is currently considered one of the most advanced and successful hair loss treatments. Dr. Hong has been performing FUE for many years, and is committed to helping patients regain their confidence.
One of the main goals of FUE is to provide a permanent solution to individuals who are struggling with hair loss. If the procedure is performed by a qualified hair specialist and post-instructions are followed carefully, the chances of a permanent result will be high.