Hair Transplants: Are They Worth It?

Going bald isn't pretty, and it certainly isn't something that any man (or woman) looks forward to.  Baldness affects up to 60 percent of men by the age of 40. It is estimated that over 80 percent of men will experience some sort of thinning by the age of 65.

Treatments for baldness are a plenty, but effective treatments are much harder to find. Dr. David Rashid says "Hair loss treatments can be found just about anywhere on the market, in all kinds of different forms, from supplements to topical liquids. But, the thing is, most of these treatments don't work, or have little effect at best. Hair transplants are now becoming the popular thing, because they are more affordable, and they offer a quick fix."

Hair transplantation companies give the illusion that baldness can be replanted to the effect of a full head of hair.  But in reality, it's far more complicated than that, and there is also the risk of side-effects and other unwanted complications.

What is a hair transplant?

Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that removes hair follicles from one part of the body, called the 'donor site', to a bald or balding part of the body known as the 'recipient site'. The technique is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness.

How successful are hair transplants?

The effectiveness of hair transplants really does depend of a number of different factors, therefore it is impossible to give an exact figure of how successful they are. Anywhere from 10 to 80 percent of transplanted hair will fully grow back in an estimated three to four months, but, like regular hair, transplanted hair will thin over time.

How long does it take to heal fully from a transplant?

Most people are able to return to work two to five days after the operation. Within two to three weeks after surgery, the transplanted hair will fall out, but you should start to notice new growth within a few months. But again, results will vary from person to person.

How much does a hair transplant cost? 

The cost of a hair transplant depends on your situation, and to what extent you need the surgery. Hair transplantation companies usually charge per graft, so, the balder you are, the more you'll be likely to pay. 

As a rough guide, if you're looking to fill in a small section of your scalp, such as your temples, or maybe at the crown, you'd be looking at paying in the region of £2,000 - £5,000.  For a much larger transplant, expect you pay anything upwards of £10,000.

What are the risks of a hair transplant? 

Hair transplantation surgery does come with risks. People have had serious infections from the surgery, and a couple of rare cases have led to deaths. However, for the most part, this is a relatively safe treatment, and full recovery is expected, but the full growth of hair is not always guaranteed.

Is it worth having a hair transplant? 

Having a hair transplant all depends on many different factors.  The first thing you should ask yourself is: Can you afford it?  There is little point going into debt to have a procedure that isn't even guaranteed to work. You could end up paying thousands of pounds on something that will cause you physical pain, and have you go through months of recovery, without being effective.

Another question you need to ask yourself is: Do you REALLY need a transplant? Yes, we'd all love more hair, but is it something you really need to put yourself through?  Hair loss happens to so many of us, and it is a perfectly normal thing to go through in life. 

Natural hair thinning occurs in all of us, even those of us who aren't prone to baldness.  so, is a hair transplant really worth it, or perhaps you could seek less time-consuming, and even more affordable options.

What are the non-surgical alternatives to a hair transplant? 

There are quite a few safe and affordable options to treat your hair that do not require surgery. Again, it very much depends on your individual case, as different treatments will have varying effects on different people, but, for the most part, these popular treatments are worth a try...

  • Derma Roller - Derma roller can help to regrow hair on bald spots. The derma roller was initially made for collagen production in skin to cure wrinkles, scares, stretch marks and various skin irregularities. But uses found it to be effective at stimulating hair growth. The device makes tiny holes in the skin, and the body produces vital protein during the healing process, which stimulates the growth of hair. 
  • Scalp Micropigmentation - A hair tattoo, scalp micro pigmentation (or SMP for short), is a medical, non-surgical, cosmetic tattoo that gives the illusion of a close buzz cut hairstyle on a bald head or adds density to a thinning hair line. SMP can be performed on all skin types and colours. This procedure involves local anesthesia to avoid any pain during procedure. In contrast to other tattoos, the procedure does not penetrate the epidermal level of the skin as deeply, and the inks (or pigments) used are less prone to colour change over time. The advantages of this procedure is that the hairline can be adjusted and freshened up with relative ease. 
  • Multi-Vitamin Hair Supplements - Multi-vitamin hair supplements like Viviscal, and HR23+, are designed to prevent hair shedding and increase hair growth in men and women. Formulated with key hair beneficiary ingredients, these types of supplements have proven to be safe, and highly effective for many men and women combating hair loss.  

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