One of the most common questions that hair transplant surgeons face is whether a single procedure will be enough. In most cases, only one session is needed but some patients could benefit from a second hair transplant to improve density, definition and the overall look. Here, we’re answering this common question in more detail.
The Goals Of Your First Transplant
When your treatment plan is organised, it’s important to note that your surgeon will design your transplant around only having a single session. A hair transplant is intended to be a standalone procedure, with the goal to not only improve the overall density of hair on your scalp but improving the hairline and providing full coverage to the thinning or balding areas of the scalp.
This is typically done using one of a few different methods depending on the level of hair loss, the state of the scalp and the desired final result. This could be:
FUE – Follicular Unit Extraction sees single follicles being extracted from the scalp and implanted at the recipient site. This is done one-by-one and results in minimal scarring, natural results and minimal downtime.
FUT – While not as commonly used as FUE, Follicular Unit Transplantation can be used for those who may not benefit as greatly from single follicle extraction. This procedure sees a strip of tissue taken from the back of the scalp where hair growth is healthier and fuller, and the follicles cut from this strip and transplanted into the thinning area. This can sometimes see a higher density, but requires more downtime and will leave scarring.
DHI – Direct Hair Implantation utilises a similar method to FUE, but is done using the Choi Implanter Pen. This ensures that the follicles are out of the scalp for a reduced period of time, which can help improve the chances of a successful transplant. It is also reported to produce more precise and natural-looking results.
Why Might Someone Opt For A Second Hair Transplant?
While in the majority of cases, a single hair transplant procedure will see satisfactory results and many patients are happy with this. However, in some cases, the first transplant may not always reach the desired density during the first procedure or they may not be entirely satisfied with the definition of the hairline or crown coverage. If this is the case, patients may find that the 2nd hair transplant density is more satisfactory.
Some patients can also suffer from further hair loss after the initial transplant due to ongoing or genetic causes for their hair loss. In these cases, 2nd hair transplant density may be lesser than the first, but can still help to improve the appearance of balding patches.
What You Need To Know Ahead Of Additional Transplants
For those who may be looking to undergo a second hair transplant, it’s important to note that most surgeons will advise you to wait at least 10-12 months before considering the second procedure. Throughout the first year, your transplanted hair will begin to grow out and provide a better insight into how the final result will look. The hair can increase in diameter, texture and of course, length, and can even be styled and cut, all of which can have a huge effect on how the hair sits and looks.
If you and your surgeon are still unhappy with the results at this point, you can discuss the potential for a second hair transplant and whether you are a viable candidate for the procedure. This will ultimately depend on your scalp’s skin laxity and the volume of hair available to be extracted ahead of the transplant.