The success rate of a hair transplant depends on 6 crucial factors, which we will discuss in this article.
Interestingly, research shows that the survival rate of hair grafts is around 90%, but that doesn’t mean we can conclude hair transplants have a success rate of 90%!
It’s not that simple!
Some clients have high expectations of their hair transplants.
They might expect to get back the hairline they had at 18, which is usually impossible.
So success for these clients will look completely different than those clients who are happy to have SOME hair.
An experienced clinic will work with clients from the outset to gauge their expectations and manage those accordingly.
The type of hair plays a crucial role in the final look after a hair transplant.
Typically, curly afro-type hair achieves much better density than straight Caucasian-type hair. So a client with afro-type hair will usually achieve better overall thickness ; usually with fewer grafts.
On the other hands, straighter hair has the advantage that its easier to work with, i.e. harvest and transplant.
How much of your own hair do you have left?
This is usually one of the first things a surgeon assesses.
The more you have, the better.
One piece of research showed the average male client has around 10,000 donor grafts at the time they show up at the hair clinic. But this was research from the US looking at one clinic over a number of months – so take it with a grain of salt.
Extent of hair loss
Hair loss in men is measured on the Norwood scale. The further along you are the more hair grafts you require and vice versa.
But that is not to say someone who is a Norwood 6 cannot achieve outstanding results – they absolutely can.
The success rate also depends on their hair type and artistry of the surgeon.
Some of you might be thinking, “well, i’ll have a transplant as soon as i am even a Norwood 2-3”.
You could, but be prepared to have multiple follow up procedures if your hair loss progresses.
Most ethical clinics would not do procedures on men under a certain age, usually 25, because their hair loss hasn’t stabilised.
With every hair transplant there is a risk of scarring. And minimising this plays a crucial role in the success of a procedure.
No patient wants to have lovely looking hairline but with a hideous visible scar at the back of the head!
The risk is less with certain skin types and with certain techniques.
The preferred hair transplant technique in most cases is FUE, or follicular unit extraction.
With this technique, hair is meticulously plucked by hand causing minimal to no scarring.
While the FUT or “strip” technique takes a strip of scalp (with the hair grafts) from one part of the head to another – leaving a significant scar.
Black skin types tend to be more prone to scarring. So the FUT technique isn’t usually recommended for them.
Skill of the surgeon
This is the big one!!
Hair transplantation isn’t just a procedure.
It’s an art.
A skilled surgeon can design a hairline that brings the best out of his client, while making every single available graft count.
The very best clinics can achieve incredible density and artistry with surprisingly few grafts.
Less skilled surgeons can sometimes over-harvest to compensate for their lack of artistry.
As a client, this where you really need to do your homework to find the very best surgeon for your specific case.
Pharmacist with special interest in hair loss and hair transplantation.
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