Before getting cosmetic surgery, many people wonder if they’re making the right decision. The same’s the case with hair transplants. You may have exceedingly high expectations from it. It is supposed to be life-transforming, but will it deliver on its promises? Will it truly change things for you? In short, is a hair transplant worth it?
It’s completely understandable to have these thoughts, even if you’ve had enough of your balding head. That’s because the decision isn’t exactly easy. It costs money and time.
You’ll have to take some time out to undergo surgery and then patiently wait to see the results for at least a year. It is possible that you’re pondering over this very question after you’ve gotten the surgery. It is all very nerve-wracking. Therefore, you should know why getting a hair transplant for permanent hair loss is a good idea.
Improved Satisfaction with Appearance
Many people walk with their heads held high after they get a hair transplant. While losing their hair, they feel like they have to hide their “flaw.” Mainly, they feel unsatisfied with their appearance.
In one study published in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in 2019, using a FACE-Q scale, the researchers found that after the hair transplant, patients felt themselves to be almost 6 years younger than their current age. It significantly improved the patients’ satisfaction rate with their own appearance. Moreover, it positively impacted their mental and social well-being.
Another study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology showed that hair transplant surgery raised the self-esteem of the patients, and they felt more satisfied with their appearance. This surgery has a very high satisfaction rate.
Of course, your experiences with hair transplant surgery can differ depending on numerous factors. According to one study published in the Journal of Dermatology, the postoperative satisfaction rate of a patient depends on how involved they are at the different stages of the decision-making process.
That highlights the importance of communication before surgery, and during the hair transplant consultation. Make sure that you explicitly convey your expectations to the hair transplant surgeon. The patient’s psychiatric evaluation is also important in this regard.
Permanent Solution to Permanent Hair Loss
Because of the technique of the procedure, hair transplantation surgery offers permanent results. It uses naturally-growing hair on your head that is resistant to the effects of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Hair transplants work by taking these donor hair follicles. There are some cases in which the patient needs to undergo more than one surgery. However, this is only to help them achieve their desired aesthetic goals.
There are many conditions in which the hair roots on the scalp permanently die, such as:
- Female/Male pattern baldness
- Scarring alopecia
- Scalp infections
- Physical trauma
- Traction alopecia
Of course, hair loss isn’t always permanent. But if the hair roots are dead, no amount of supplements will promote hair growth. In this case, hair restoration surgery is the only permanent solution to permanent hair loss.
There was a time when people chose wigs over transplanted hair. That’s because hair transplant results looked like the head of a Barbie doll. It was easy enough for people to know what someone had done to their scalp.
The transplanted hair is indistinguishable from the existing hair in follicular unit transplantation. In addition, there are no concerns about visible scarring and unnatural results anymore. The hair transplant procedure is constantly evolving.
Direct hair implantation (DHI) has taken things one step further. Its specialized Choi Implanter pen allows the surgeon to ensure a high survival rate of the grafts and precisely angle the transplanted hair. Further, many tools are helping to automate the procedure for even more precise and natural-looking results.
Improving Density By Augmenting Hair Transplant with Other Treatments
Sometimes there are limitations that make it difficult to achieve the desired patient outcome. That is why hair transplant surgeons these days augment hair transplants with other procedures. First and foremost, there are platelet-rich plasma injections.
In one single-blind, randomised study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery in 2019, 20 patients were given PRP injections during the surgery, while the control group was given saline solution.
The results showed that 6 months after the follicular unit extraction, all 20 patients had achieved more than 75% hair growth after 6 months, while only 4 patients had achieved the same in the control group.
Just after weeks, patients who had received PRP injections had more than 75% hair density, while none had it in the control group. Not just that, but their scalp recovery was quicker, and they had lengthier hair. That is why surgeons recommend getting PRP therapy with hair restoration.
Is a hair transplant worth it on its own too? Yes, but supplemental treatments like PRP can further boost the results of a hair transplant while reducing the chances of failure.
This is one of the biggest reasons why some people don’t get a hair transplant. It’s mainly what makes them think is hair transplant even worth it. However, with time, restoration surgery has become more and more common. This has impacted the hair transplant cost.
The increasing demand has led to more and more clinics offering this surgery, which has resulted in lowering the prices, in general. Still, there are huge variations depending on where you get the surgery, the type of surgery, and your desired result.
Is A Hair Transplant Worth it For Everyone?
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for this surgery. People with temporary hair loss don’t need to undergo it. They can regrow their hair sometimes with and sometimes without any medications.
Mainly, male pattern hair loss patients choose to get this procedure. However, restoration surgery can also help with permanent hair loss due to certain injuries or treatments.
But if the patient’s donor area is weak, it won’t be possible for the surgeon to extract hair follicles without causing permanent damage to the area. This is especially so if they’re losing hair in zone 1-7, which is the case in extensive baldness.
In this case, the donor hair cannot possibly adequately cover the bald head. The results from such a hair transplant can be highly unsatisfactory. Moreover, it will be a waste of a patient’s valuable resources.
In addition, if there are thick keloid scars over your scalp, the surgeon may not perform the surgery. Your scalp may also form keloids during the recovery process, which is why you may not be recommended a hair transplant.
Patients who have communicable diseases or other illnesses that can potentially risk their health are also not suitable for this surgery.
Does Hair Transplant Always Give You A Full Head of Hair?
You need to have realistic expectations from the surgery. Those who don’t, usually end up dissatisfied with the results. By a full head of hair, do you mean coverage or density?
Because it’s not possible to achieve high density and full coverage if the donor area is limited. The surgeon will let you know about this beforehand.
Moreover, hair loss can occur even after a hair transplant. If it’s excessive and causing thinning, you will need to undergo another surgery in a time period of approximately 5-10 years.
Also, good results are a two-way street. Sure the skills of the surgeon matter, but so does the patient’s following of the aftercare instructions. You can’t expect your hair to start growing normally soon after you’ve had a hair transplant.
For the transplanted hair to integrate normally, you need to follow your surgeon’s instructions. It can determine how you answer the “is a hair transplant worth it” question.
Most people who have gotten a hair transplant would say that it’s worth it. Hair transplants are the only permanent solution to permanent hair loss.
Minoxidil and finasteride have FDA approval for treating hair loss, but you have to keep applying them to see the results. There are also instances in which these treatments stop working altogether. Through an FUE procedure, on the other hand, you can continue growing your hair for a lifetime.
Not just that, but the procedural techniques of this surgery are constantly evolving. It is getting better and better at achieving the desired results for the patients. Patients can even further improve their hair density and speed up the pace of recovery by getting PRP injections with hair transplants.
Many people who are going completely bald prefer having these cosmetic procedures. This is after factoring in the cost and post-operative recovery hassle.
For many, these are temporary inconveniences, and they choose to think about just the end goal. For that, patience is key, and you will end up thinking, “yes, my hair transplant was worth it”.
Reviewed and Approved by Dr. Hassan Soueid.