Cosmetic procedures that can
be used to restore hair and give patients a more youthful appearance
Hair transplantation – Skin
on the scalp that has good hair growth is removed and
transplanted to an area(s) of the scalp that needs hair.
Scalp reduction – Bald scalp
is surgically removed and hair-bearing scalp is brought closer
together to reduce balding.
Scalp expansion – Devices
are inserted under the scalp for about 3 to 4 weeks to stretch
the skin. This procedure may be performed before a scalp
reduction to make the scalp more lax or simply to stretch
hair-bearing areas, which reduces balding.
Scalp flaps – A hair-bearing
section of the scalp is moved to an area where hair is needed.
The hair transplant is probably the
best known and most widely used hair-restoration procedure. While
many have heard of a hair transplant, it seems that people often do
not know that this procedure has come a long way since the days of
the hair plug.
With improved techniques such as the
single-hair graft, micro-graft, and mini-graft, it is possible for
dermatologists to create a hairline and hair density that look
completely natural. Many patients who underwent a hair transplant in
the 1990s have such natural-looking results that even a hair stylist
cannot tell the procedure was performed.
Signs of Aging Treated
Hair transplantation is used to treat:
Hair transplantation also may be used
to treat other causes of hair loss, including a burn. Regardless of
the reason for the hair loss, this procedure is usually not
performed until the person is at least 25 years of age.
Scalp reduction, scalp expansion, and
scalp flaps tend to be limited to treating men who have balding on
When See Results from Hair Transplant
Hair re-growth occurs 6 to 8 months after the treatment is complete.
It can take up to 18 months to see full growth.
Effectiveness of Hair Transplant
Most patients can achieve natural coverage with 1 to 3 treatment
sessions. The goal of current research is to achieve a natural look
in 1 treatment session.
Possible Side Effects
When performed by a physician who routinely performs hair
transplantation, complications are relatively rare. Some patients
experience nausea and vomiting after the procedure due to the
medications used. Less than 5% have bleeding after the procedure.
Infection, swelling, temporary headache, temporary numbness on the
scalp, scarring, and hair loss can occur.
How Long Hair Transplant Lasts
The goal of this procedure is to give the person functional hair
growth for the person’s lifetime. Sometimes a hair transplant may
have to be repeated later in life. Inherited hair loss often causes
progressive hair loss. This possibility should be discussed with
What to Avoid Before a Hair Transplant
Before the surgery is scheduled be sure to tell your dermatologist
about all medications, vitamin supplements, and herbal preparations
that you are taking. Some can interfere with the procedure or
medication used during the procedure. A few medications can cause
excessive bleeding, so be sure to tell your doctor if you taking a
blood thinner such as warfarin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drug (NSAID), or aspirin.
Alcohol should not be consumed for at least 1 week before the
10 Questions to Ask Before a Cosmetic Procedure
Age-related Skin Concerns: Hair Loss
Hair Loss (overview)
What Causes Hair Loss?
Sadick N. “Hair Transplantation.” In: Sadick N, Lawrence N, Moy R
et al. Concise Manual of Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgery,
China, McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. p. 73-9.
Stough DB, Whitworth JM, Seager DJ. “Hair Restoration.” In: Bolognia
JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP et al, editors. Dermatology.
Spain, Mosby Elsevier; 2008. p. 2355-68.
WP. “Hair Transplantation.” In: Kaminer MS, Dover JS, Arndt KA,
editors. Atlas of Cosmetic Surgery. United States of America,
W. B. Saunders Company; 2002. p. 231-63.
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developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
invented or refined several cosmetic procedures. Hair
replacement and transplant surgery was pioneered by an