Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Hair Transplants:
When can a Hair Transplant be useful?
In men and women androgenetic alopecia usually occurs. In this form there is a reaction of the hair roots to the male hormone DHT, among other things, they shrink to downy hair (miniaturization). Only a part of the hair on the front and upper part of the head is affected, therefore, an autologous hair transplantation is often a good solution for this type of problem: Permanently vital and healthy hair can be harvested from the unaffected areas from the safe donor zone at the back of the head and replanted in the bald areas.
How Often Can You Transplant Hair?
A hair transplant only treats the condition for which you have sought help. If hair loss continues between transplants or in other areas of the head, some patients may wish to have another hair transplant for further thickening and filling.
How often hair can be transplanted depends on the following:
Transplant method and especially the amount of donor hair available Please note: The hair is not multiplied arbitrarily, this is a redistribution. With the FUT method, repeated removals are possible and the line shaped scar remains covered if the hair at the back of the head is long enough.
Repeated procedures are also possible when using the FUE method, as long as not too many hairs are removed at once. Too much hair removal would result in excessive thinning of the hair in the donor area. If the individual hairs are removed too densely, neighbouring hair follicles may be affected or, in the case of short hair, visible gaps may remain.
The combination of both collection methods can increase the yield of FU grafts in some patients without putting too much strain on the donor area.
How Long will the Transplanted Hair Last?
FU grafts are usually taken from the back of the head, usually in the hairline area. These hair roots have a decisive advantage: the stem cells of the hair follicles have a genetic insensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Therefore, most of these hairs do not weaken, they remain in the patient’s body for a lifetime even after hair transplantation at the new location.
Is a Hair Transplant an Option for Receding Hairline Fractures?
Yes, it can be used for receding hairline corners as well as for light or bald spots on the top of the head. In the long-term treatment concept, however, a possible progression of hair loss must be taken into account. This can include hair medication or a later possible thickening.
Is a Hair Transplant Suitable for Everyone?
This procedure is basically suitable for men and women who have a sufficient amount of healthy donor hair of their own in relation to their needs. In order to achieve a visually satisfying and natural result, the hair at the back of the head should be relatively strong and thick.
Your own hair will only be redistributed and no new hair is formed. If the hair is very thin or large bald areas are to be treated, this procedure can only be used to a limited extent. In the preliminary examination with Dr. Finner, your suitability and the prerequisites are checked. He will also inform you about complementary and alternative hair medical options for hair preservation and hair restoration.
What Types of Hair loss can a Transplant Help with?
- Hereditary-hormonal hair loss
- Hereditary hair loss
- Scars on the scalp, for example due to injuries or burns
Is a Hair Transplant Suitable for Men & Women?
In principle, hair transplants are possible for both women and men, if the conditions are right. This is checked by Dr. Finner during the preliminary medical examination.
For a hair transplant in men, vital donor hair is taken from the outer hair crown (safe donor area) to counteract a receding hairline, light or already bald spots and baldness. A possible progression of hair loss, especially in younger men, should be taken into account by skillful distribution of the transplants and leaving a reserve of donor hair for later possible thickening. Hair medications can also be useful as a supplement.
In women, on the other hand, the areas at the front of the head, the sides and the parting area are very often affected by hair loss. In addition to a comprehensive hair analysis and a clarification of the situation in a consultation, it is particularly important to stabilize the hair loss with a drug therapy. In order to achieve an appealing result, it is important to determine in a preliminary examination whether the patient is individually suitable for a hair transplant.
The general condition for a hair transplant in a woman is a comparatively stable hereditary hormonal hair loss. A strong hair loss activity (diffuse hair loss, progressive clearing) should not be present. Furthermore, already clearly visible gaps are a prerequisite. In order to achieve the desired result, there must also be a sufficient amount of strong donor hair in the crown of hair at the back of the head.
What Hair Transplant Techniques are Available?
Two standard methods have become established worldwide for the removal of donor hair:
FUT technique (Follicular Unit Transplantation): The treating physician removes a narrow strip of skin from the back of the head. This strip contains the healthy hair roots, which are then separated under the microscope into FU grafts with 1-4 hair follicles each. Due to the direct magnification, a particularly tissue-friendly preparation and separation of the hair roots is possible. A linear scar remains at the back of the head, which can be combed over immediately with hair above it. This method is particularly preferred by patients who do not plan to have a short hairstyle and do not wish to shave.
FUE-technique (Follicular Unit Excision): For this, single hair root groups, so-called FU-grafts with 1-4 hair roots each, are selectively removed with a hollow needle. The hair must be partially shaved off for the removal. A transplantation is possible without further subdivision. There is no linear scar at the back of the head, but many small gaps. However, these are not noticeable even with short hair if the hair is not too thick.
The subsequent procedure in the receiving area is similar for both methods. Once again, the hair surgeon applies a local anaesthetic to the scalp at the top and front of the head. Then he creates fitting plant tubules in natural distribution and arrangement into which the FU grafts are inserted. They grow into the scalp within a few days and remain there permanently. Within 6-12 months, the implanted hair roots have produced sufficiently long and thick hair to achieve the final result of the hair transplant.
What is Possible with a Hair Transplant?
The aim of the procedure is to restore hair coverage that is as natural as possible. Typical reasons for a treatment are gaps and bald spots, which can occur, for example, on the vertebrae in the form of a tonsure. There are also clearings in the parting area, which can be filled again by transplanting one’s own body hair. Deep receding hairline is one of the most common reasons for treatment, especially in male patients. In the case of scalp scars or if medication is not sufficient to stimulate hair growth again or to achieve hair growth, the transplant of the patient’s own hair at Dr. Finner in Berlin is an effective method to permanently improve the condition of the hair.
Where does the Hair for a Transplant come from?
The patient’s own living hair is used for the procedure. With the help of the FUT or FUE technique, it is usually taken from the area of the crown of hair at the back of the head (donor hair zone). The hair follicles located there are mostly permanently robust and continue to grow in the new place for a long time after a transplant.
How long does a Hair Transplant take?
The total duration of the procedure depends mainly on the number of grafts required. For a transplant of 1,000 to 2,500 FU grafts with 2,000-6,000 hair follicles, you should expect a duration of about three to eight hours. Breaks are made for eating and drinking, so that the day is more pleasant and stress-free. Depending on the size of the area to be treated, several sessions may occasionally be necessary to achieve the desired result.
Is there Anything to Consider before the Hair Transplant?
Careful planning is very important. In a preliminary examination, hair surgeon Dr. Finner will determine the individual treatment strategy together with you. He would like to get to know you and your medical history and of course your expectations of the procedure are also at the forefront of the conversation. In the process, the attending physician determines how much hair is needed and checks the availability of donor hair. After evaluating the individual hair situation using digital measurements, the specialist determines the number of FU grafts. This is also necessary to determine the costs of hair transplantation according to the GOÄ fee schedule.
You will be informed in detail about possible risks and side effects. Dr. Finner will also inform you about the course of the procedure, the price and of course the realistically expected result. He will show you sketches and before-and-after photos.
It may also be necessary to temporarily discontinue certain drugs, for example blood thinners, before the transplant. Alcohol and nicotine should also be avoided before and some time after the procedure.
It is best to wear loose clothing with zips or buttons on the day of the operation as to avoid having to take them off over your head.
Is Aftercare Necessary?
After the procedure, a follow-up consultation will take place. You will receive a nursing instruction, the necessary after-treatment products and shampoos for at home as well as a headgear. Hair growth will be assessed at later appointments.
When will you be Socially Acceptable Again?
Many patients take time off for the first period after a hair transplant as the wound is healing. Crusts form immediately after the treatment where the transplants heal underneath. After a hair transplant, most patients need about 5 to 14 days until they are socially acceptable again. With longer hair, the areas can be combed over immediately. Alternatively, a headgear can be worn.
For a few days there may be some swelling in the area of the forehead, this can be reduced with various measures, such as cooling.
Support your body in the healing process: In the first few days after the operation you should take it easy on your body. Avoid scratching or rubbing with the towel in the beginning.
Can Complications Occur?
As with any surgical procedure, complications or side effects are conceivable. Theoretically, it is possible that some of the hair will not grow and die in its new place, furthermore, circulatory disorders and inflammations in the scalp area can happen. It can rarely lead to excessive scarring. In such cases it is important to have competent care and follow-up treatment by your hair surgeon.
Basically, the outpatient hair transplant under local anesthesia of the scalp is a procedure with few complications and it promises good chances of success. Careful individual planning, preparation and execution by an experienced surgeon and conscientious pre- and post-treatment by the patient are decisive for the success of the treatment.
When will the Result of the Hair Implantation be Visible?
A transplant means stress for the hair which can cause the hair to fall out after the transplant – this is completely normal. However, the transplanted root remains in the scalp and the hair gradually grows thicker and longer again. After about 6 to 12 months, the transplanted hair naturally thickens the treated area.
Who does Hair Transplants?
The transplant hair is twinned with a lot of effort and skill and requires corresponding experience on the part of the surgeon. For this reason, you should always have the procedure performed only by a doctor who specialises in hair transplants and who has been performing hair transplants himself regularly and for many years. Hair surgeon Dr. Andreas Finner and his team have these prerequisites and experience.
Where Should You Get a Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a permanent, aesthetic procedure on the head. For a good result, it must work and look good the first time. Since the number of donor hairs is limited the distribution of the hair must match your type. The hair should be placed correctly and grow well as well as the hairline looking natural. As with a work of art, an experienced eye, good craftsmanship and skill are required and every hair reconstruction should be unique.
Therefore always ask who exactly is operating on them! Do not let anyone operate on your head, get to know your hair surgeon first. According to the guidelines of German and international professional associations, hair transplants should only be carried out by doctors who have the appropriate qualifications. A recognition as a specialist in a surgical specialty, for example dermatology, plastic or general surgery, as well as, above all, special additional training in hair transplantation should be available. This is offered by organisations such as the ISHRS and is updated in annual training courses and workshops.
Also important is the personal and for you individually tailored preliminary examination, implementation and aftercare by the hair surgeon. He should also be available to you after the operation and stimulate hair growth through hair medical measures and medication.
To be avoided are casual surgeons, non-medical performance, assembly line work as well as unrealistic and trivializing promises (completely painless, 100% guaranteed, scarless, hair as full and thick as before, etc.)
What does a Hair Transplant Cost?
The price for a hair transplant is very individual. The costs depend, among other things, on the type of operation and the number of FU grafts, i.e. the amount of donor hair required. After the preliminary medical examination by Dr. Finner, you will receive a binding individual cost estimate.
Will Statutory Health Insurance Cover the Costs?
It is true that the transplantation of your own hair is used to treat a medical problem, e.g. androgenetic, hormonal or scarring alopecia. The quality of life is significantly improved by permanent hair reconstruction.
However, health insurance companies only cover the costs of this treatment in individual cases, e.g. after scalp injuries. This also applies to private patients.
What do you Understand by Grafts?
The term graft, which originates from the English-speaking world, refers to a transplant. It can be body tissue or an organ that is transplanted for healing purposes. In hair transplants, this term refers to the skin with hair roots that are transplanted. In modern follicular-unit hair transplantation (FUT, FUE), these are always the natural smallest anatomical units (FU) with one to four hair roots (follicles) each. These FUs, which belong together, if placed skillfully and distributed correctly, produce a natural result of the hair transplant.
How many Grafts are Possible in one Transplantation?
How many grafts are needed for the operation depends on the size of the area to be treated. Another aspect, however, is the quantity and quality of available transplants in the permanently safe donor zone. In younger patients or those with unresolved hair loss, there should always be sufficient donor hair (grafts) in reserve. If the removal or transplantation is too dense, the blood circulation of the scalp and the growth of the grafts can be disturbed.
In order to achieve a natural hairline and a natural end result, only single FU grafts (individual hair follicles) are transplanted in the front part of the head region at the hairline in an irregular arrangement. If the area is located in the back of the head, FU with several hair follicles are also suitable as grafts. It is always important to place the grafts correctly and skilfully. For this purpose, the experienced hair surgeon should personally create the graft channels in the correct arrangement and distribution, if necessary adapted to any remaining hair.
Dr. Finner will answer all your further questions during a personal hair examination and hair transplant consultation.