Due to the fluctuation and behavior of hormones throughout the menopause transition, a common symptom is unfortunately hair loss. For many women, hair is an integral component of their personal identity, and so the possibility of losing it is extremely upsetting.There are actions you can take to try to avoid hair loss, but if these are not effective, you might want to consider alternative actions, such as a hair transplant. If this is the case, read on below to gain a greater understanding about just what this therapy entails.
How Does it Work?
The procedure will be carried out by a cosmetic surgeon. It involves removing small patches of skin where hair is present (i. e; usually from the back and sides of the head) - these are known as grafts - and then inserting these into small incisions on the balding area. The wounds at the back of the head will be stitched up afterwards. The transplant will be carried out while you are sedated, and a local anesthetic will be applied to the relevant area prior to commencement.
How Long Does it Take to Recover?
After a hair transplant, the raw wounds all over the head will be bandaged. After a few days, the bandage can be removed, and depending on how well the scalp has started to heal, it might be possible to delicately wash your hair. However, it is not recommended that you return to your usual haircare routine until the wounds have properly healed - usually around two weeks after the surgery. At this time, it is likely that your transplanted hair will fall out, but don't worry, new hair will grow in its stead.
Is it Permanent?
While many women find hair transplants to be largely successful, and they are happy with their results, some women find that they need to return for multiple treatments before they achieve the desired appearance. This will entirely depend on your individual system and how well your scalp accepts the hair grafts. It is also worth noting that it can take a substantial amount of time before you see the effects of a hair transplant - it is often necessary to wait for up to six months before new hair grows in noticeably.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Hair transplants are generally a safe procedure; however - like any surgery - it is not entirely without risk. The most common problem associated with a hair transplant is the possibility of contracting an infection. Any time skin is opened and a wound becomes present, it is possible for it to become infected if it is not properly cleaned and taken care of. Your doctor will provide you with the necessary information for doing this. Other risks include excessive bleeding or suffering from an allergic reaction to the anesthetic or sedative medication. It is important to note that these latter events are rare.
Another common side effect is to have a somewhat swollen scalp. The wounds will cause some inflammation, which may make the head to feel slightly tight and possibly achy as well. As part of the healing process, the wounds will scab over - these will fall out between seven and ten days later. It is also considerably likely that you will have at least one, if not more scars. However, these are rarely noticeable and will usually fade over time.
For many women who suffer from hair loss, the option of a hair transplant is a welcome relief. On the other hand, because of the range of results that are possible, for other women, it is a last resort. It should only be considered when other options have been explored and exhausted, and after thorough discussion with your doctor.
- Dinh, Q.Q. & Sinclair, R. (2007). Female pattern hair loss: Current treatment concepts. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2(2), 189-199. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684510/
- Mayo Clinic. (2016). Hair loss. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hair-loss/basics/treatment/con-20027666
- National Health Service UK. (2016). Hair transplant. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/cosmetic-treatments-guide/Pages/hair-transplant.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2016). Female pattern baldness. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001173.htm