Hair Transplant Blog

The Hair Loss Battle Between Hair Transplant Surgery and Hair Restoration Treatments

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Physical appearance has become more than just your outer appearance and has become the first thing that people judge you for. With the hyper world of social media affecting almost everyone on the planet, one cannot help but be more aware of how you look. Hair loss is a concern that a lot of those affected by it would like to manage immediately. But what kind of cure would be the right one for you when it comes to hair loss, and is hair transplant an option? Below are some of the things you need to know when finding the appropriate cure for your baldness.

 

What is Hair Loss?

To better understand the condition, hair loss – or what is scientifically named alopecia is the loss of hair on the scalp. This condition can affect the patient in various degrees.
One the common types of hair loss is male pattern hair loss, a progressive condition that affects men across a wide age range. Female pattern baldness affects some women and it involves hair thinning in varying degrees, but it rarely worsens to complete baldness. Male pattern hair loss is usually caused by a combination of male hormones and genetics, while the culprit behind female pattern hair loss is still unclear up to this point in time. However, the types of hair loss are not limited to these and can be caused by different factors.
Having given the types, the first thing to do is to identify the kind of hair loss and decide on the treatment from thereon.

 

Hair Restoration Treatments

There are some treatments that are considered to be effective for the type of hair loss that they aim to cure.

Among the ones that are approved by the FDA, Rogaine (topical minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) made it to the list. Rogaine is a topical solution that is applied directly on the scalp, and rubbed thoroughly on the affected areas. As much as it is proven to slow hair loss, it has not had much success in making the hair of the patient grow. In fact, there is only 10 to 14% of the patients who have tried it and were successful with hair restoration. Patients are advised to use it twice a day and to massage it deep into the scalp.

Propecia, on the other hand, is a pill that has been proven to treat male pattern hair loss. It works by keeping the male sex hormone testosterone from forming its DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) by-product. DHT plays a big role in hair growth because it shortens the growth phrase and lengthens the resting stage of the hormone-sensitive follicles.

It is worth noting that this pill must be taken under the supervision of a doctor. The biggest downside of this drug is that you you must take it indefinitely. Otherwise, there is a big tendency for you to go back to square one. Another side effect that guys ought to be warned about is the loss of libido. However, it has been said that this effect is temporary.

 

Benefits of Hair Restoration Treatments

Affordable

When one is faced with a tight budget, non-invasive hair restoration treatments would be the preferred choice because they are more affordable than hair transplants. However, do your research before trying out any of them. The safest approach is to use the ones that are approved by official government agencies and the ones that are licensed by the proper legal body.

 

Non-invasive

Unlike hair transplants, these treatments are perfect for those who are apprehensive about invasive procedures. These can be considered an alternative if an operation is not advised for your case due to the general condition of your health, or the presence of any pre-existing health problems.

 

The Best Candidates for Hair Restoration Treatments

There are special cases that prevent certain patients from getting hair transplants and they include the women with a diffuse or what is more popularly called as wide-spread pattern of hair loss. Those who do not have enough donor sites, which should be the source of the follicles, are also part of this list.

 

Hair Transplant

If the said hair restoration treatments do not work, the next alternative would be a hair transplant. This procedure works by removing the healthy hair follicles from a side of the patient’s head and implanting them into the area that is affected by hair loss. The number of follicles depends on how severe the hair loss is. Consequently, the number of follicles dictates the price of the procedure and the figures can be anywhere between $30,000 – $40,000. Such a steep price has made it the last option for a lot of patients.

 

Who are the Best Candidates for Hair Transplants?

Aside from being financially capable of getting the procedure, the other situations that would qualify a patient for a hair transplant include having male pattern baldness, female-pattern (generic) hair loss for women, and those who have lost hair due to burns or scalp injuries.

 

Benefits of Hair Transplant

A Natural Look

Because the transplanted hair follicles come from the patient, the hair tends to grow naturally and possesses the same hair color. With time and recovery, the result makes the growth look seamless and so natural that no one would suspect the patient had the procedure. Hair growth begins 2 to 3 months after the procedure and is expected to completely recover anywhere between 8 to 10 months.

 

Advanced Technology

Hair transplants used to be infamous for resulting into something unnatural. However, due to the advancement of the procedure, it would be so hard to detect the new hair from the existing hair. The concern with regards to scarring has also been addressed and has become almost impossible to detect, specifically with the follicular unit extraction (FUE) approach. This gives the patient the freedom to choose any kind of hairstyle he would like to have.

 

Permanent Results

Unlike hair restoration treatments that basically stop working on your hair the moment you discontinue its use, hair transplants are basically permanent. Because of this, you get to save more money in the long run, making it a good investment for those who really want to have their hair back.

If you are suffering from hair loss and want to know the right treatment for you, visit us at the Australian Institute for Hair Restoration. Our resident hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Andrew Kim, has years of experience in providing treatment plan for hair loss patients. Dr. Kim is known in the field of hair transplant in providing natural-looking and realistic results.

Call us now or simply fill-out our inquiry form to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kim today!

9 Important Questions You Need to Ask Before a Hair Transplant

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One of the reasons why having a hair transplant is popular is because it is a permanent solution to hair loss. That takes away a lot of concerns like time, effort, and money. But on the other hand, because it is permanent, you cannot take any chances with errors. The results are often irreversible, and even if corrective surgery can be made, it will cost you more than the original procedure. So before getting hair transplant surgery, be sure to ask your surgeon the following questions to be sure that you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

 

Who should you meet first?

You are not about to meet a new friend, but a professional who will perform a life-changing operation on your scalp. And because of this, it would be ideal to talk to the surgeon first, instead of an adviser or sales agent. These people might know the right words but their technical knowledge is nowhere near that of the surgeon. Some clinics have this set-up and it would be best for you to avoid such a provider.

 

How long have you been doing this and how often do you do it?

Like all the other skills out there, the amount of experience should be a factor in choosing the right hair transplant surgeon for you. A lot of surgeons are qualified, but if they are just starting out, you do not want to be their guinea pig. This kind of procedure is very exacting, and you just cannot leave anything to chance.

The lack of experience would also affect the outcome of the procedure in terms of how the patient would like it to look. Desired outcomes are achieved with very specific steps and the clinical eye that can determine if the desired look is feasible based on the possible approaches that can be taken to address the patient’s problem.

More than the experience, it would be wise to check the frequency of his operations. If he does not do it on a regular basis, he might lose his touch and create problems for the patient.

Once he gives you satisfying answers, feel free to ask more specific questions like his experience in the particular procedure that you are seeking. If, for example, you want to get an FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation), ask him for the specific number of cases he has handled for that kind of procedure. Don’t hesitate to ask for his success rate, too. It would not be rude to ask for this because it is also important for you to know if he is worthy of your trust.

 

What are your credentials?

Because you want to know more about your surgeon, do not hesitate to ask for his degrees and certifications. By knowing the institutions that educated and trained him, you will have a fair idea of what kind of procedures he is capable of performing. It would also be great to know his professional associations and fraternities because they indicate that your surgeon is in good company, if he is indeed associated with m. Most importantly, make sure he is a licensed professional and do not settle for those who are still in training.

What’s the aesthetics of your doctor?

Nothing can be more important than seeing how your surgeon does his job. The process of transferring hair from one part to another sounds relatively straightforward. But when you get down to the nitty-gritty of things, you miss out on knowing if the surgeon needs a certain kind of skill to perfectly engineer the hair that is supposed to be revived and make it as natural-looking as possible. Without an eye for detail, there might be some complications or he might not deliver the results you want.

 

Who are qualified for hair transplants?

If your doctor is a phony or someone who never had professional training to perform the procedure for you, he will not tell you who are qualified for the procedure you want, because he just wants to perform iton pretty much  anyone who wants it. On the other hand, a true professional would enumerate the conditions and concerns of the procedure in the most detailed manner, because they do not want to be responsible for any mishaps before, during, and after the procedure.

 

Where will the procedure take place?

Aside from the surgeon, the next concern should be the capabilities of the staff who will be assisting your doctor. This is why it is better to have it done in a medical institution that can guarantee such expert personnel. Far from being picky, this helps ensure the success of your operation.

And as you would the surgeon, be sure to determine whether the facility is recognized by the proper authorities and has the proper. Make sure that the clinic that you are considering provides the services that you need and that not just one of those that offer a limited range of cosmetic procedures.

 

Does your doctor make you feel comfortable?

It usually takes time for a patient to warm up to his doctor, but when you are about to get a life-changing procedure from him, it would be a good idea to establish good rapport with him.

 

What are the details of the operation?

Some might find it too much to ask very specific questions about the procedure. But, you can never be too careful because by knowing how many sessions you need,you get to form a more realistic impression of the procedure and not just the phony vibe that the provider wants you to feel.

 

How much will it cost?

To make an informed decision, it would be really important for the patient to get a quotation for the desired procedures. With such figures on hand, it would be easy for the patient to make a comparison with the other providers. Besides, you do not want to be shocked as soon as you receive the bill.

If you are looking for a hair transplant clinic in Australia, visit us at the Australian Institute for Hair Restoration. Our resident hair transplant surgeon, Dr. Andrew Kim, is ready to answer your most important questions during your thorough consultation.

 

Call us now or simply fill out our inquiry form to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kim today!

The Hair Transplant 101 for Men

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Men as dictated by most societies are not as vain as their female counterparts, but that does not mean that they do not really care about their physical experience. As more men realize how important it is to present their best at all times, social barriers begin to be destroyed and one of the barriers is for hair transplants. Men are bolder now and have started actively doing something for their hair. Unfortunately, for the uninitiated, there are things that one should know first before diving head first into this type of hair treatment. These concerns are common for the first timers and discussing them shoul give you the necessary insights to come up with informed decisions that will ultimately give you back the hair that you have lost.

Hair Transplants

Considered as a minimally-invasive surgical procedure, hair transplant is an outpatient procedure that is done to permanently restore the hair of both men and women who experience partial baldness. It basically transplants the new follicles into the balding area.

The Hair Transplant Methods

There are two methods used by hair transplant surgeons today, and these are the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT or Strip Harvesting)

Developed in the 50’s, this traditional technique requires the removal of a strip of skin from a donor area found at the back side of the head and it is divided into smaller grafts that are then implanted into the affected area, or what is known as the recipient site. It is all done while the patient is under local anesthesia.

The biggest downside with this technique would be a permanent scar on the donor area and the recovery period which normally takes around two weeks.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE or FUE harvesting)

In this procedure, the surgeon harvests the follicles individually from the donor area while the patients is under local anesthesia. The surgeon then grafts them into the affected areas to make the transplant come out as natural-looking as possible.

Between the two, FUE is more popular because the downtime is minimal (around five days) and the procedure itself is less invasive. However, one concern about this approach is having to shave off the hair according to protocol. This means that you have to wait for your locks to grow longer to ensure that any work done is concealed.

Know Your Graft and Hair Follicles

The term graft refer to that piece of living tissue, which is surgically transferred from one body area, leaving behind its own blood supply. Once the graft is moved to the recipient area, it will have a new blood supply from that area.

On the other hand, hair follicles grow in groups of one to four hairs which are called follicular units. The FUE surgeons will harvest and transplant the hairs in their natural groupings. This aims to encourage uniform hair growth to make the new hair strands look like the ones around it. Harvesting is done with a hollow needle that is around 6mm and 1.0 mm in diameter. After which, microblades and fine needles will be used to insert the grafts into the target areas and angle them for a natural-looking results.

The PRP Supplement

To help the hair grow and heal faster after the procedure, the surgeon would recommend taking platelet-rich plasma therapy. It is a natural derivative from blood that is full of nutrients and growth factors. PRP also accelerates the regeneration of soft tissues and consequently promotes the healing of the affected areas. Aside from the said medical benefits, it also improves the responses of the body to injuries, stimulating the stem cells that is essential to the growth of the new cells.

Drawn from the patient’s blood, PRP is centrifuged twice which is done to separate the red blood cells from the platelets. What remains are the platelet cells in its jelly-like form with a concentration that is 3-5 times higher than blood with all its other components. The doctor then administers this concentrated solution to the target areas.

Best Candidates for Hair Transplants

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for a hair transplant. Those who are partially bald because of male-pattern baldness, have a receding hairline, traction alopecia, or head trauma which made them unable to grow hair in certain areas are the ones who are considered good candidates for the procedure. These are the patients who will most likely have permanent results for their specific conditions.

On the other hand, the patients who should consider other procedures instead of a hair transplant are those suffering from female-pattern baldness, diffused hair loss, spot baldness or sadly the ones with not enough hair at the donor site. Patients below 25 are also discouraged from getting this procedure because of the difficulty in assessing the long term stability of the hair from the donor.

Expected Results

After the operation, the patient can expect hair fall in the next two to three weeks. This is called “shock loss,”  this is a natural reaction to the trauma that the affected sites have experienced. Other areas may also experience hair fall even if they are not related to the affected areas. Fortunately, this phenomenon is temporary.

As far as the transplanted follicles are concerned, you can expect 85% to 95% growth within six to eight months post surgery. Such growth is expected to be sustained every growth cycle which is around six weeks on average but is completely on a case to case basis. Beyond the eighth month, the full scope is expected to happen a year after the transplant.

The success of the procedure also depends on how religiously the patient follows the doctor’s post-operative care guidelines. Some of them include the protection of the area from sun exposure, absolutely no scratching of the scalp, and regular shampooing to prevent scab formation around the hair shaft.

Hair Transplant Risks

A lot of patients think that hair transplant is a minor procedure with very low risk involved in it. But like all procedures out there, some patients might encounter potential side effects. For this procedure in particular, it includes bleeding, infection, swelling of the scalp or forehead, scarring, and the uneven growth of hair. But do not worry about this that much because 95% of those who’ve had this procedure did not experience any of the said side effects.

These are just the basics of what you need to know about hair transplant. The next step begins with your actual visit and consultation with a hair restoration surgeon. If you are in Australia and in search of a reputable hair transplant surgeon, visit us at the Australian Institute for Hair Restoration.

Our expert, Dr. Andrew Kim, carries with him years of experience in the field of hair transplant in both FUT and FUE methods. Call us now or simply fill-out our inquiry form to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kim today!

The Real Deal Behind Scarless Hair Transplants

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More than the struggle that one must endure prior to hair transplant surgery, there is a deeper pain that one gets after it and that is the shame that you actually did something to improve yourself. It may not sound logical, but for men who are not expected by society to take drastic measures for vanity’s sake, it can be a taboo to have undergone a hair transplant. For most patients, their biggest concern is for people to not notice anything strange about their hair and for the strands to come back as seamlessly possible.

This was particularly hard to do in the old days of hair transplant surgery because the surgeons had to create “plugs,” which were the large and circular grafts used back then. This technique ended up creating rows of unnatural-looking hair. But now that the procedure has become more sophisticated in its aim to bring back the lost hair in the most unnoticeable manner, the quest for a scarless hair transplant surgery has finally ended. Or has it? Find out more about this quest and the promise that follicular unit extraction has provided for this elusive dream.

What is Follicular Hair Transplant?

There is a good reason for follicular hair transplantation to be one of the most popular procedures for hair restoration and there are two ways of having it done on the patient.

To understand it better, the traditional method of strip harvesting involves the excision of a long piece of scalp from the back portion so that donor hairs can be placed on the recipient site. The donor area is then sutured together while the extracted hairs are placed in the affected area. Usually, affected areas are those around the crown and the back of the head. This then leaves a very unsightly linear scar that is found at the back of the head. Such a scar becomes more visible when the patient decides to sport a short hair style.

On the other hand, the other technique is unit extraction and this makes use of a small round punch for the extraction of the follicular units of three or four hairs. It doesn’t require the excision of a piece of scalp, rather it uses a special tool which directly extracts the follicles from the scalp. These are then transplanted to the affected areas. What is left with the patient are small circles that are expected to heal on their own. These small wounds would leave some undetectable white dots, hence the term scarless hair transplant.

The Real Scarless Hair Transplant

For the patients who are willing to go through the procedure itself, nothing is more important than to make the new hair as natural-looking as possible and the scars should be undetectable at best. It is what they really pay for. However, no technology up to this point in time can provide a totally scarless hair restoration surgery result. At best, it shall leave you with a scar that is almost invisible compared to the linear scar that is left by the strip technique, which can be seen with plain sight. On the other hand, you have the Follicular Unit Extraction that basically leaves dots which ultimately become almost invisible once they completely heal. This is the reason why this type of surgery is dubbed as the scarless hair transplantation.

Latest Versions

But that does not mean that the technology has stopped growing. In fact, there are some notable improvements with the strip technique that have enabled the surgeon to leave behind less noticeable scars compared to its predecessor. Such technology involves the use of trichophytic closure, which leaves a basically unseen scar. And when the hair finally grows out, nobody would be able to say that the patient actually had work done on his hair. Under the hands of a well-trained and certified hair restoration specialist, the scarring can still be reduced and the scarless illusion becomes more realistic. In fairness to the technology itself, a lot of the horror pictures of really obvious scars were made by doctors who lack in training or experience.

The Right Decision

Follicular Unit Extraction may not be the best solution for everybody who is balding. The level of efficiency and sophistication that the strip technique has reached has made it a formidable alternative and is now seen as another popular solution in the market. So how do you choose the right one for you?

The Concerns

Unit extractions is recommended for those who are accustomed to sporting the short hairstyles because there is a need to cover the scars that it produces. This technique is also better because it does not tighten the scalp because there is no need for sutures with this technique. Your surgeon should be able to walk you through the other details to help you identify if this one is for you.

Other areas you need to ponder on would be the time and money that you shall need for this operation. One thing about the Follicular Unit Transplantation or strip technique, it is a long process because the units are taken out one at a time and then individually transplanted on the target areas.

Money is also a concern because surgery is always a costly endeavor, requiring you to pay for as much as $4,000 to $5,000 for the small areas and up to $12,000 for the bigger ones. However, this should not dissuade potential patients right away. A lot of providers are willing to tailor fit your surgery to your budget and schedule. Just be open and transparent with them on your capabilities for the procedure.

And as always, please know your provider to the best of your abilities. This is one form of surgery that you don’t want to screw up because most of the time, the results are permanent or may need a lot more money to repair it. Never compromise quality over cost. In the end, the quality of the transplant will speak for itself and you’d be on your way to a new life with a full head of hair.

If you are considering getting a scarless hair transplant treatment, visit us at the Australian Institute for Hair Restoration. Our board-certified surgeon, Dr. Andrew Kim , is renowned for his years of experience in performing both FUT and the scarless FUE techniques.
Simply fill-out our inquiry form to schedule your consultation today!

9 Things to Watch Out For with Cheap Hair Transplants

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When someone has had hair issues for the longest time and has been avoiding the unwanted attention at all cost, a hair transplant sounds like the best solution to stop the torment once and for all. The thing is, it comes with a price and it is not cheap. While the need is immediate for a lot of those who want to get it, the cash is not as fast. Here comes in those cheap hair transplant centers promoting themselves as the best thing that could ever happen in your life. But are they? Or are they walking time bombs about to set your life on fire? Know the 10 reasons why you need to think twice about getting your hair transplants done for half the price.

The Look is Terrible

Patients who go in for a procedure are not too keen on being obvious that they had something done. For some men, it is still a taboo to undergo any aesthetic procedure and to have this type of surgery is a big risk for their egos. Since the procedure is cheap, do not expect the kind of seamless quality that the real professionals are able to assure to their clients. In other words, the transplant would be so obvious that it would appear like you are wearing something artificial on your head.

Procedures are Permanent

This procedure will result in permanent changes on your scalp and these are mostly irreversible. Harvesting would require the uprooting of hair follicles, and if it is not done properly, it can leave some unsightly scars from the donor area. Such scars will not be visible once it is concealed by the surrounding hair, but with wrong technique, it can leave unsightly scars.

More painful

One of the biggest reasons why men do not want it is the pain that comes along with it. Cheaper clinics tend to just want to get things done and over with without really considering what the patient is feeling during the procedure. It simply stems from the fact that they see the transplant as a business and is not something they are really passionate about. And whenever that is the attitude of the doctor, then he can simply be neglectful and apathetic about your case. Since the price is cheap, there is a possibility that the anesthesiologist would be substandard as well.

Lower Cost, Lower Quality

Becoming a plastic surgeon is not easy. And getting the degree is no guarantee that you will become a good one. It is a combination of dedication, education, experience, and great aesthetics. When you work hard for all of those, you would definitely know that you will not give your services for a cheap price. It is not just logical unless it is your form of community service. So, when someone offers you something that is way cheaper than the regular rates, expect something to be amiss.

Increased Cost

On the surface, everything looks like you just nabbed a great deal. It is because they want to entice you to get their services. However, in the long run, there is a big chance that you will not be happy with the results and it will take time for you to finally realize that you did not get the procedure you wanted. To save face and hair, you will go to another doctor. If you have learned from your mistake, you will not go to another cheap doctor anymore. This situation increases the cost and leaves a bigger dent in your budget instead.

No Post-Surgical Care

As soon as you walk out of the clinic, they know that you will come back, but for the wrong reason. When the provider has a more entrepreneurial point of view, the post-surgical care will not be a priority. In this case, they see your return as another opportunity to make money and therefore would not mind to see you again and again. So before you leave, be sure that the instructions are clear and you know exactly what to do when emergencies arise. It is important that you get a good idea of what to expect after the procedure. This might save you time and hard earned money.

Scarring is More Prevalent

The technology of hair transplants has made it possible for you to have the procedure without worrying about the visible scars that are expected to appear after the surgery. When the technology is not mastered enough, there is a good chance for complications to occur.

Shady Deals

You can definitely smell a shady deal from a mile away when the surgeon offers you a lot of other services that are not related to your hair transplant. They would sell them under the guise of using the transplant as an opportunity for you to improve yourself a bit more in other areas of your body. So when the doctor starts bringing out a list of his “other services” and even throws some in as “freebies” that is your queue to run as far away from that provider as possible.

No Guarantee

Cheap hair transplant would leave one to assume that they are not affiliated with any reputable organization and may even be showing dubious credentials. So before biting the bait, do yourself a favor and know your provider as much as you can before pushing through with your transplant.

Get your hair transplant done professionally. Visit us at the Australian Institute for Hair Restoration. Our resident hair transplant surgeon, Dr. Andrew Kim, is known for his experience in performing both FUT and FUE hair transplant techniques. Dr. Kim also brings along with him years of experience in the industry and a long list of satisfied clients.

Call us now or fill out our inquiry form for a free consultation with Dr. Kim today!