Do you have stubborn bald patches on your scalp which won’t respond to medical treatment? Then hair replacement is one great option for you to consider. To know more about hair replacement procedures, read ahead.

WHAT IS DANDRUFF?

Baldness commonly occurs in men, as the age advances, but it can also be seen in women. Alopecia or baldness has a negative impact on one’s self esteem. Although, there are lifestyle and medical treatment available to stimulate hair growth, these measures may fail in restoring hair in some people. Such people may opt for hair replacement procedures.

Hair replacement procedures include three options:

  • Wigs and other hair systems

  • Topical and oral medications and oils

  • Surgical options

    • Hair transplantation
    • Scalp reduction
    • Scalp flap surgery
    • Laser hair replacement

WIGS AND OTHER HAIR SYSTEMS

Wigs and hairpieces are for temporary usage, and have been in use for a very long time. Non-surgical hair additions using adhesives or other kind of anchors is also an option.

WIGS AND OTHER HAIR SYSTEMS

Wigs and hairpieces are for temporary usage, and have been in use for a very long time. Non-surgical hair additions using adhesives or other kind of anchors is also an option.

SURGICAL OPTIONS

The various surgical options remain the mainstay of permanent solution to hairloss.

HAIR TRANSPLANTATION

Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia. Your surgeon obtains small pieces or grafts of hair bearing scalp from the back and sides of your head, where the hair grows normally. These grafts are inserted into the tiny slits or holes on your balding scalp. The grafts can be micro-grafts (consists of only one or two hairs), mini-grafts (consists of a few hairs), or larger grafts (consists of up to 40 hairs).

Surgery can be completed in 8 hours and it doesn’t need hospitalization. But you may need multiple sessions of surgery, depending on the severity of your hair loss and several months to restore your hair. So, the whole process takes at-least two years to complete.

Risks for hair transplantation

Rarely, these risks may be associated with hair transplantation:

  • Infections

  • Bleeding

  • Patchy hair growth

  • Scarring

  • Graft rejection (body’ defense system recognizes graft as a foreign molecule and attacks it)

Post-transplantation recovery:

One or two days after surgery, you may experience pain, discomfort, and swelling. Your transplanted hair may fall out within few weeks, but it regrows within 3 to 4 months, at about half an inch per month. Medications like finasteride or minoxidil can be used to prevent falling of your naturally occurring hair.

SCALP REDUCTION AND SCALP FLAP SURGERIES

Scalp reduction involves removal of bald skin from the scalp, stretching of the hairy scalp towards the bald area and stitching it. This is possible only if you have stretchable scalp, hair on the back and sides of your head and if you are losing hair even after transplantation. This procedure is useful for patients with bald patches in head but not for people with receding hairline. It should be used in combination with hair transplantation for effective treatment of hairloss.

During a scalp reduction procedure, a local anesthetic is injected into the scalp. Next, the bald flap of skin is removed. Then the surrounding hairy skin is loosened and stretched. Finally, the adjacent hairy skin is approximated and closed with sutures.

Flap surgery involves replacing the bald area of your scalp with the flap of your scalp that has growing hair. Initially, this procedure was used only for scalp problems that resulted from injury or present from birth. Now, it is also used to treat alopecia.

Risks of alopecia reduction and flap surgery:

  • Infections

  • Temporary hair loss

  • Numbness

  • swelling and throbbing

  • Tingling sensations

  • Bleeding

  • Scarring

Post-surgery recovery:

Avoid major physical activity after surgery for atleast three weeks (time needed for the surgical wound to recover). You may notice a difference in your look after surgery and also the hair may grow in different directions for a few days. Your hair may become thin and also fall out for the first 6 months, but don’t worry, it will regrow.

LASER HAIR REPLACEMENT

New technologies have emerged to treat alopecia, such as laser hair replacement that uses the laser to make incisions or holes in the bald area and then the grafts are transplanted. This technique increases the blood flow to the scalp, which helps in re-growing the lost or thin hair. Laser combs are devices which are used to brush your scalp and hair. These combs may be prescribed by your doctor along with other hair replacement therapies.

Side effects:

  • Itching

  • Swelling

  • Paining

  • Infections

  • Scabbing

Post laser hair replacement recovery:

After surgery, do not wash your hair for 2 days and avoiding scratching your scalp. Avoid bumping or hitting your head, which can affect your hair regrowth. Usually, hairfall can occur after surgery for the first few weeks and then later the hair regrows normally.