Hair transplant surgery can provide a very natural-looking solution for people with thinning or bald scalp. It can also help men with male pattern baldness who have stabilised their loss with medications. For people with more dramatic hair loss, skin flap surgery and tissue expansion techniques can give a significant increase in scalp thickness and volume.
The procedure is usually performed in a hospital or doctors’ office. Your dermatologist will clean your scalp and inject an anaesthetic before beginning the surgery.
During the procedure, your doctor will create small areas of hair-bearing skin to cover the bald or thinning area of your scalp. Depending on your hair type, these areas may be created using either a round punch device that removes healthy hair from the scalp (called “punch grafts”); or using slit grafts in which your doctor cuts strips of skin with healthy hair and places them into slits in your scalp (called “strip grafts”).
Once the transplanted hair takes root, you should notice new growth within several months. You can also take a drug called minoxidil to encourage new hair growth and improve the appearance of your hair. However, it is important to realise that a hair transplant cannot provide you with a full head of hair and you should have realistic expectations. In addition, it can take up to nine months for your transplanted hair to grow and mature.