It can be extremely surprising. You’re sitting at work or relaxing at home, casually running your hand through your hair. And then suddenly! You notice a bump, or swelling, or dirt like particles in your hair or on your scalp. Or unnaturally high hair fall and spots of bald that weren’t as obvious before. You notice this and realize you have a problem.
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Hair and scalp problems can be extremely difficult. Not just physically, but psychologically and emotionally. They can easily hamper a patient’s day-to-day and can be extremely annoying and painful to manage. Especially in cases where hair loss is a problem, it can be a major blow to a patient’s self-confidence.
Patients, through good hair and scalp treatment, can get a new chance on living life with confidence.
Want to Know about Hair and Scalp Treatment?
Hair and scalp treatment is a procedure commonly used with patients suffering from permanent hair loss. In this treatment, hair that the patient already has is moved to fill areas with no hair. The ‘graft’ of hair is usually taken from the side or back of the head, where hair loss mainly hasn’t occurred.
The purpose of a hair and scalp treatment is to use the hair that the patient has, to make the most of it. Hair from a part of the patient’s head is removed and transplanted over the bald spot. Each graft consists of either one hair or multiple strands. These are known as micro grafts and mini grafts respectively.
The procedure takes several hours but is conducted within a day as an outpatient procedure.
Is Hair and Scalp Treatment Right For You?
Whether pursuing a hair and scalp treatment for yourself makes sense or not, depends on several important factors. Hair and scalp treatment is perfect for patients suffering from significant hair loss, or hair loss in small patches. The treatment is considered as a last resort if there is no way for the patient’s hair to regrow. But in certain hormone deficiency caused cases of alopecia, hair loss may be temporary. In such a case, patients wouldn’t pursue this treatment before exhausting other viable options.
This hair loss can happen due to various factors. These can be governed by genetics or be due to a medical condition or injury. Such as:
- Genetic Background
- Medical conditions
At the end of the day, based on these factors it is possible for anyone to lose their hair. However, excessive hair loss, especially due to the genetic background is especially common in men.
With a hair transplant, patients can renew their self-confidence. Patients under the following conditions are the best candidates for a hair and scalp treatment:
- Men suffering from male pattern baldness
- Women suffering from thinning of hair
- A patient who lost hair due to a scalp injury
- Patients who lost hair due to burns
How Is the Need for Hair and Scalp Treatment Diagnosed?
Prior to a diagnosis, the doctor may conduct several tests. These tests will help the doctor in understanding the patient’s condition and medical history better. As well as understand if the patient qualifies for hair transplantation. These tests include
Physical Wellness Exam
The doctor will check the patient’s physical wellness as well as check the patient’s diet, hair care routines, and medical and family history.
A detailed hematology report will help the doctor check the patient for possible medical conditions causing hair loss.
To determine the strength of the remaining hair and the stage of the hair loss process, the doctor may try to pull out several hairs to see how many detach.
Skin samples or hair follicles will be plucked from the scalp to be examined under a microscope. This process can help narrow down on possible infections causing hair loss.
A special instrument enables doctors to view trimmed hair strands closely. This will reveal possible disorders or conditions in the shaft of the hair.
Hair and Scalp Treatment: What to Expect
The primary goal with hair loss treatment is to reverse or slow it. Primary treatments focus on doing exactly this. But when these options have been exhausted and no significant result has been seen, that is where hair and scalp treatment comes in.
There are two primary types of hair transplants, follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) or follicular unit extraction (FUE).
The primary difference between these two procedures is basically ‘how much hair’ is extracted for replantation. Other than that, both procedures are more or less the same.
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Hair and Scalp Treatment Procedure
In the procedure, the surgeon will first clean the patient’s scalp properly, and administer local anesthesia. This will make the treatment area go numb. Going forward, the technique of surgery the surgeon uses depends on the patient’s condition and how much hair needs to be transplanted.
Follicular Unit Strip Surgery
- A strip of scalp skin is removed from the back of the patient’s head, a few inches long.
- After extraction, the incision area is closed with stitches
- The scalp strip is cut into smaller sections with a surgical knife.
- The smaller mini grafts are implanted
Follicular Unit Extraction
- Hair follicles are directly extracted from the patient’s head using small incisions.
- Using a needle, small holes are made in the bald area of the scalp
- The removed hair follicles are implanted into the holes
In a single session, the doctor could possibly transplant thousands of strands of hair follicles. Once the surgery is done, a medical wrapping of gauze bandages will cover the patient’s head. Patients needing extensive transplantation may require 3-4 sessions to complete the treatment.
Post-Surgery: What to Expect
Patients may experience soreness in their head/ scalp for several days after the procedure. They will be prescribed pain killers to manage the discomfort or pain for a few days. Further medication may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication for the swelling
- Pain Management Medication
- Minoxidil or Finasteride for hair regrowth
The transplanted hair may fall out a few weeks after the procedure. This is a completely normal occurrence. New hair will grow in place of the transplanted hair. Patients may see significant growth in 8-12 months post-surgery.
Patients will also be prescribed minoxidil or finasteride for improvement in hair growth, as well as to help slow down or stop hair loss in the future.
Patients suffering from hair loss need not suffer in the rest of the avenues of their life. With a good hair and scalp treatment, patients can take charge of their life again and gain their confidence. Hair transplantation is best considered as a last resort when other treatment options for hair growth have been exhausted. Patients should consult a healthcare professional to determine their condition and the best steps they should take for their treatment.
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