Hair Transplants
Hair transplant surgery is a procedure used to treat hair loss. Various techniques are available, but all hair transplants involve taking hair-bearing skin from one part of the scalp and grafting these pieces of skin onto bald or thinning areas of the scalp or areas of trauma.
Hair loss may be due to common male pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia), scalp inflammation or injury to the scalp. Injuries from burns, scalds, surgery or car accidents may leave permanent areas of hair loss that can be concealed by hair transplantation.
Certain inflammatory diseases such as lichen planus, lupus or morphea can also lead to permanent areas of hair loss that are suitable for transplantation.
If you are concerned about the way you look or are thinking about cosmetic treatments to boost your confidence, there are alternatives. These include prescription medication, over-the-counter minoxidil lotion or accepting yourself the way you are.
Hair transplantation is not a cure for male pattern baldness. The transplants will cover bald scalp, but they will not protect you from further hair loss. As male pattern baldness is a progressive condition for most men, it might be worth considering combining surgery with medical treatments to slow down the balding process. Discuss this with your doctor.
Things to consider before having hair transplant surgery :
Before you opt for hair transplant surgery, some important issues to keep in mind include:
●     It is important to have realistic expectations. If you start off without much hair, a transplant will not give you a full head of hair. The thicker and denser your remaining hair, the better the results will be.
●     Generally, thick hair that is light coloured or grey gives better results than hair that is thin and dark coloured.
●     Following hair transplantation, it can take up to 9 months before the hair takes root and begins to fill in.
●     Think about the cost. Cosmetic surgery does not usually qualify for rebates from Medicare or private health insurance companies. If the hair loss was caused by burns or trauma, however, hair replacement surgery is considered a reconstructive treatment and may be covered by health insurance. Ask your medical practitioner about any out-of-pocket costs you can expect.
●     Smokers are at increased risk of complications from surgery. If you are serious about undergoing surgery, you should try to quit smoking.
●     There may be a need for continuing medical treatment after hair transplant surgery.
Finding a hair transplant medical practitioner :
You may want to ask your doctor for advice on a suitable and reputable doctor or hospital where hair transplants are performed.
At your first consultation, you should ask the medical practitioner about their training and experience. It is preferable to have these procedures done by a reputable professional who is specially trained to perform hair transplant surgery and has a lot of experience in carrying out this type of operation.
Medical issues with hair transplant surgery :
Before the operation, discuss the following range of medical issues with your medical practitioner:
●     physical health – an examination will help your medical practitioner decide if the treatment is appropriate
●     medical history – some pre-existing conditions and surgery you have had in the past may influence decisions about this operation, including the type of anaesthetic that is used
●     hair evaluation – includes your hair growth pattern, the extent of your hair loss, the hair loss history in your family and any prior surgical or medical treatments for hair loss you may have had
●     risks and possible complications – it is important that you understand the risks and complications so that you can weigh up whether a hair transplant is right for you
●     medication – tell your doctor about any medication that you take on a regular basis or have recently taken, including over-the-counter preparations such as fish oils and vitamin supplements
●     past reactions to medication – tell your doctor if you have ever had a bad reaction or a side effect from any medication, including anaesthesia
●     preparation for surgery – your medical practitioner will give you detailed instructions about what you should do at home to prepare for surgery. For example, you may be advised to take a particular medication or alter the dose of an existing one.

 Hair transplant operation
Various methods of transplant surgery are available. Your medical practitioner will choose the surgery most appropriate for you, based on your own circumstances.

There are 2 types of hair transplant.
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT, or strip method):
A thin strip of skin with hair is removed from the back of your head and divided into pieces, each containing 1-4 hairs (hair grafts).
The grafts are placed into tiny cuts made in the scalp.
The site where the hairs are taken is closed with stitches.
you'll have a scar on the back of your head, but it should not be visible unless you have very short hair.
The head does not need to be shaved – only the area where the skin is removed is trimmed.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE):
The back of the head is shaved.
Individual hairs are removed 1 by 1 (grafts).
The grafts are placed into tiny cuts made in the scalp.
You'll have lots of tiny scars, but they will not be very noticeable.
Hair transplants usually take a day, but you should not need to stay overnight.
If a large area is being treated, you may need to have 2 or more sessions a few months apart.
Your surgeon will tell you how to look after your graft. You should be given a spray to use to help recovery and hair growth.
Immediately after hair transplant surgery:
How you feel afterwards depends on the extent of surgery. After the operation, you can expect:
●     bruising and swelling
●     possible numbness
●     pain, throbbing and discomfort
●     a tight feeling in the scalp
●     to wear dressings or bandages (a pressure bandage may be worn for 1 or 2 days)
●     formation of small scabs across the treated areas of the scalp.

Most people are able to return to work about 3 days after having a hair transplant.
You need to be very careful with your transplanted hair for the first 2 weeks after your operation. The grafts will not be secure.
You may be told to cut down on exercise in the first month to reduce scarring.
After 2-5 days: any bandages can usually be removed, but you should not touch the grafts.
Day 6: you should be able to wash your hair gently by hand.
After 10 to 14 days: any non-dissolvable stitches can usually be removed.
After a few weeks: the transplanted hair will often fall out, and later start to grow back.
After 6 months: new hair will usually start to appear.
After 12 to 18 months: the full results should be seen.
Complications of hair transplant surgery :
All surgery carries some degree of risk. Some of the possible complications of hair transplant surgery include:
●     risks of anaesthesia, including allergic reaction,
●     surgical risks such as bleeding or infection
●     scars that may be severe, raised, reddened and itchy
●     nerve damage, including permanent loss of sensation
●     death of the skin grafts
●     tissue death along the wound
●     further surgery to treat complications.
Self-care after hair transplant surgery :
Be guided by your medical practitioner. General self-care suggestions include:
●     Follow all instructions on looking after your wounds.
●     Avoid exercise or any strenuous activity that could increase blood pressure, as this can make your wounds bleed. Your medical practitioner may advise you to avoid sex for about 10 days.
●     Report any bleeding, severe pain or unusual symptoms to your medical practitioner.
Long-term outlook after hair transplant surgery :
Most hair transplants are successful, although it can take up to 9 months before the hair takes root and begins to fill in. It is not uncommon for the transplanted hair to fall out after several months and then regrow.
Once the hair starts to regrow, it should look natural because the hair is transplanted in the direction in which the hair would normally grow in that location.
Most scars should be covered with hair and will be hard to see. Any visible scarring will be permanent, but should fade with time. Be patient – improvements to scars may take a year or so.
You will almost certainly need 'touch up' surgery to improve the look of your hair transplant.