5 things you need to know about a hair transplant

POSTED: 23 February 2018

Around 50% of men will have experienced hair loss by the time they reach 50%. And around 40% of women will experience hair loss at some point in their lives.

Hair loss for either sex can be dispiriting and badly hit a person's self-esteem. There is only one long-term solution to pattern baldness - a hair transplant.

Here Crown Clinic's surgeon Asim Shahmalak list five important points to consider for any person considering a procedure.

1 Choice of surgeon - Once you have decided to have a transplant the most important decision you will make is the choice of your surgeon. Be very wary of picking a surgeon abroard, particularly in countries such as Turkey. Yes, the surgery will be cheaper but will you have any form of reddress if things go wrong. Is your surgeon even legal and is their clinic properly regulated.

In the UK, every medical establishment, including all hair transplant surgeries, are inspected regularly by the Quality Care Commission. If they are not up to scratch, they are closed down. Only the very best facilities stay in business. Don't cut costs on such a vital life decision by seeking cheap surgery abroad.

Check that your UK surgeon has good testimonials from previous patients and it helps if they are recognised by internationally respected medical bodies such as the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. 

2 Choice of procedure - there are two types of hair transplant procedure available:

FUE (follicular unit extraction) - this is the main surgery performed at Crown Clinic by Dr Shahmalak and the one chosen by 80% of our patients. Individual grafts are removed from the back and side of the scalp and replanted in the balding areas. The advantage of this method is that scarring is minimal - some red pin pricks in the affected areas which go away after a few days. This method particular suits men who like to wear their hair short because the scarring is minimal. It is popular with our celebrity clients - Calum Best, Gogglebox star Chris Butland-Steed, Didi Hamann and Homes Under The Hammer star Martin Roberts.

FUT (follicular unit transplantation), also known as strip surgery - this more traditional method of hair transplantation is still chosen by around 20% of patients at Crown Clinic. A strip of skin is surgically removed from the back or side of the scalp and the donor grafts are extracted from it using a microscope. They are then replanted in the balding area in the same way as FUE. This is less labour intensive than FUE and therefore slightly cheaper. Celebrity doctor Christian Jessen has had two FUT procedures at Crown Clinic. It suited him because he wears his hair slightly longer and you cannot see the scar from the removal of strip because his longer hair covers it up.

3 Hair transplants are available for both men and women. Around 10% of our patients at Crown Clinic are women. While a large number of women suffer hair loss, for most thankfully this is temporary and the hair grows back. But a substantial minority of women have permanently thin hair which can really hit their self-confidence. A hair transplant offers a permanent solution unlike other temporary measures such as hair extensions.

4 You can have more than one hair transplant - some Crown Clinic patients have several procedures. Both Calum Best and Chris Butland-Steed have had three. This is because they both declined to take Finasteride. They both had quite aggressive hair loss and coldl have kept hold of more of their natural hair with the right drugs. Both men have full heads of hair and both admit they would be almost completely bald without the assistance of Asim Shahmalak. 

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