Do hair transplants really work? It’s a question we get asked a lot. The simple answer is that they do. But even though the hair transplant sector has grown into an industry worth around £15 billion a year globally – which would seem to prove its effectiveness – there are still those who need to be convinced.
That scepticism is probably linked to the early days of hair transplants when the standard treatment was to use grafts of hair follicles and skin, called hair plugs, which were taken from healthy areas of the scalp. This method was abandoned in the mid-1980s in favour of micro- or mini-grafting, which in turn gave way to Follicle Unit Transplantation (FUT) in 1995.
FUT – which uses very small donor strips of follicles (usually no more than 4) – is still widely available today. But Follicle Unit Extraction (FUE), which harvests individual follicles from a ‘safe’ or often referred to as the permanent hair zone around the sides and back of the head, is now seen as the gold standard in hair transplantation and is the method pioneered by Dr Mir Malkani, the founder of Malkani Hair Restoration Institute.
It’s fair to say that hair transplantation has come a long way over the last 65 years and as it’s evolved, so the doctors who perform it have become skilled in what is now a highly specialist surgical field.
Hair transplants have become the most popular way for men and women to deal with their hair loss. Wayne Rooney has been an obvious poster boy for the technique, but it’s a procedure that is suitable for everyone, not just for celebrities. Every day, thousands of ‘ordinary’ people undergo successful treatment which restores not just their hair, but also their self-confidence and self-esteem.
It’s perhaps stating the obvious to say that our hair is an integral part of our self-identity and for many men and women alopecia (this is the generic name for any sort of hair loss, although there are a variety of causes of it) can be highly distressing.
You can read about some of our patient journeys for yourself, but the simple fact is that for many people a hair transplant isn’t just about changing or reversing their physical or cosmetic appearance, it’s also about improving their emotional health and wellbeing.
At Malkani Hair Restoration Institute we specialise in both Follicle Unit Extraction and Follicle Unit Transplants. Both procedures are highly effective over the long-term – though as with any type of surgery, results can never be guaranteed – but there are differences between the two treatments, primarily in cost, recovery time and scarring.
Because FUE individually extracts single follicles, typically from the back and sides of the head, the physical impact of the treatment is virtually undetectable to the untrained eye and ultimately will be hidden under new hair growth. FUT, which removes strips of follicles from the head, can leave you with mild visible scarring.
Recovery time with FUE is generally shorter – generally less than 7 days, with very little post-operative pain – while FUT takes slightly longer to heal (up to 10 days) and can be a little sore for a few days.
The key issue for most patients is how (and who) they choose to perform their surgery and we’ve published articles previously which give advice on how to choose a hair transplant surgeon and the 10 questions you should ask before you make your final decision.
In the end, the one thing you shouldn’t really spend time worrying about is whether hair transplants really work.They do work and they are a permanent procedure.Therefore it is important to choose a good reputable surgeon who can carry out this procedure properly as once it is carried out it cannot be undone. Dr Malkani has performed over 4000 procedures and has an excellent success rate of follicular extraction in the FUE technique and an excellent growth rate of transplanted grafts. As a result patients are very happy with their surgery outcomes.
For the majority of patients, they do – and whilst no hair transplant surgeon will guarantee success (and you should be very wary of any who do), success statistics and the ongoing popularity of hair transplantation as a way to deal with hair loss should give confidence to anyone considering the treatment.
At Malkani Hair Restoration Institute we also offer beard transplants and non-surgical hair loss treatments. Please contact us in complete confidence to find out more.