Frequently Asked Questions
Over the past twenty five years we have received thousands of questions. The following include the most frequently asked questions in regards to hair loss and hair transplantation.
Hair Transplant Questions
Q: Do hair transplants really work?
A: Yes. The hair for transplantation is removed from one part of the scalp (donor site) to the hairless part of the scalp (recipient site). Because the transferred tissue is not foreign, it is accepted. Transplanted hair retains its own texture, color, growth rate, and curl after transplantation and regrowth. It takes about 4 months to see some growth of new hair that will continue to grow 1 to 2 years after the procedure and last a lifetime or as long as the hair remains in the donor site.
Q: How has the procedure been accepted by patients?
A: With the latest advancements and improvements in hair restoration surgery, such as Microscopic Follicular Unit technique, patients who have pursued hair transplantation have been generally satisfied and accepting the procedure very well.
Q: Are hair transplants painful?
A: Generally, many people express little to no pain felt during the procedure. Some mild discomfort is typical as the anesthetic is injected, but once the area is numb there is virtually no pain. Should the numbing medicine wear off during the procedure, more anesthesia is injected to make the patient comfortable. Surgical hair restoration actually results in less operative discomfort than many other surgical procedures. The first night following the procedure, medication is prescribed to relieve any discomfort if necessary.
Q: What will it look like after the procedure?
A: There will be some small scabs 7-10 days following the procedure, which can be covered up by surrounding hair or the patient can wear a cap. If they cannot be hidden, they are usually small and do not attract that much attention. The scabs usually come off in about a week.
Q: Can I dye, color or perm my hair following the procedure?
A: Once the transplanted hair grows; since it is your own natural hair, you can color, dye, or perm. Furthermore, since your transplanted hair will grow at the same rate as the rest of your hair, you can cut and style it on regular basis.
Q: Can I transplant my eyebrows?
A: Yes you can. We at Meshkin Medical specialize in all kinds of hair transplants including: eyebrows, eyelashes, mustaches, sideburns, and beard. The transplanted hair is harvested from the donor in the back of the head; therefore it will grow faster which will make trimming of the transplanted hair essential.
Q: How long do I have to wait in between hair transplant sessions?
A: The scalp is usually recuperated to allow a second procedure by six months to a year following the previous surgery. The hair from the first procedure usually takes up to a year to grow in and reach full maturity. Therefore, if one is deliberating the need for an additional procedure, waiting until the year after the first procedure is generally recommended.
Q: Should I cut or color my hair before the hair transplant procedure?
A: Hair length entering a procedure should be sufficiently long in the donor area to allow hair from above the donor incision to drape down and cover the sutured area upon completion of the transplant. Hair should be cut for desired hair length of the client before coming for surgery but we recommend that you keep the length at least ½ inch long. Also if you need to color your hair, you should do it before since it is not recommended to get a hair cut or color for two to three weeks after the surgery.
Q: Are there any complications from the procedure?
A: As with any surgical procedure, there are always risks involved. However, there have been minor reports of complications resulting from the procedure such as: hematoma, edema, numbness, delay or poor hair growth, folliculitis and infection. It is important to discuss this during your consultation and the physician should inform you about all possible risk factors prior to surgery.
Q: When can I go back to work after surgery?
A: One can typically return to light office work the next day. If your job requires strenuous activities you should wait 5-7 days. Your physician should discuss this with you during your consultation.
Q: Are there limitations to exercising and when can I return to my exercise routine?
A: The first week following the procedure, the patient needs to limit his exercise activity to a very light routine, such as walking. You can return to your regular exercise program after a week.
Q: Is there an age limit to seeking hair transplantation surgery?
A: Hair transplant surgery can be done any time after age of 21, as long as the patient is in good health and has good quality donor hair.
Q: Are hair transplants expensive?
A: In the past, hair transplantation was costly. With the improvement of technique and financing programs available, almost everyone can benefit from the procedure. In long term, the cost will be less expensive than other alternative treatments and most people find it to be a good investment.
Q: How many sessions of hair transplant are required?
A: The number of sessions required can vary. It depends on the area of the scalp treated, the number and size of grafts used, the density, what the patient desires, and the individual characteristics of the patient’s hair. With the current mega sessions, thousands of hairs can be transplanted in one procedure, thereby reducing the number of sessions required for the desired result. This can be discussed with your surgeon at the time of consultation.
Q: Can smoking, drinking, and use of medications affect the course of hair restoration surgery?
A: Smoking and drinking have been linked to excessive oozing and bleeding during the operation and after the operation. Your physician should inquire about smoking and/or alcohol use during your consultation. It is important to be honest about your answers to ensure healthy post-surgical recovery. Risk factors that the physician will want to know are your use of tobacco, alcohol, and herbal supplements. Also any prior medical history such as: heart conditions, diabetes, abnormal bleeding, cancer, malnutrition, history of chronic or recurrent bacterial infections or poor wound healing and keloid formation.
FUT vs. FUE Questions
Q: What is the difference between FUT and FUE?
A: In Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), the hair for relocation is obtained by surgically excising a strip of hair bearing skin from the donor region of the scalp. The skin edges of this wound are then sutured closed. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a revival of the old punch technique obtaining donor hair with a small circular cutting instrument. These punches are used to harvest follicular units one at a time from the donor area. Each harvest or extraction creates a small circular scar. The difference is with the strip you get a continuous linear scar, whereas with punches you get discontinuous, round individual scars. Short hairstyles are well supported with either method of harvesting in the hand of a skilled physician. Large session sizes are much more easily accomplished utilizing FUT technique. Costs for FUE are often three times the cost of FUT on a per graft basis.
Q: How do I know if I am a good candidate for FUE or FUT?
A: If you have selected an experienced hair specialist, the doctor can tell you all the pros and cons for each harvesting technique. They should also be able to recommend the technique based on your individual case. Since each case is different, all the possibilities have to be discussed and examined before making a decision.
Q: Does FUE leave a scar?
A: Yes it does. However, since it is round scarring and not a continuous scar, it may not be as easily detected.
Q: Why can’t I do 10,000 grafts at once?
A: It is difficult to get a closure in the donor area and it may result in scar formation. The number of grafts that are harvested is dependant upon the laxity and the density of the donor hair in the back of the head. Therefore, the number of grafts available for each session is different in each individual depending on their donor hair laxity and density.
Q: Does strip method always leave a scar?
A: No. In the hands of a skilled hair transplant specialist and using the latest trichophytic closure technique, the scar line is usually virtually impossible to detect. Thereby after healing, you can wear your hair short if you wish.
General Hair Loss Questions
Q: Does too much washing or frequent combing cause hair loss?
A: Most people notice lost hair when in the shower or in their comb. This is a temporary physiological hair loss. Usually, these are hairs that are near the end of normal telogen phase, and losing up to 100 hairs per day is normal. Frequent combing and shampooing usually does not cause hair loss.
Q: Does wearing a hat cause hair loss?
A: If the hat is too tight and it is used too often, it can cause hair loss by rubbing against the scalp. Tight hats or a helmet can cause mechanical trauma from outside but they don’t interfere with oxygen or blood circulation to the follicles. If the hat is loose and used occasionally, it should not be a problem.
Q: Does shaving the head reduce hair loss?
A: Hair follicles are about 1/4 of an inch deep into the skin. Shaving will cut the shaft of the hair at the surface and has no patho-physiological effect on hair growth or hair loss. However, if the hair has been damaged due to chemicals, diseases, chemo or radiation therapy, shaving may help psychologically until the underlying problems are resolved.
Q: Does crash dieting cause hair loss?
A: Crash diets and caloric deprivation of less than 1,000 calories per day or sudden weight loss of more than 20 pounds have been reported to be associated with hair loss. The evidence of hair shedding can be noticed one month after the diet begins.
Q: Is my medical condition contributing to my hair loss?
A: Although there are many causes of hair loss; in general if you are in good health you will have healthier hair, and if you are in poor physical and mental condition (such as illness, stress and malnutrition) your hair and scalp will show it. Treating the underlying medical condition with proper relaxation, good nutrition and proper hair care are the key factors for maintaining a healthy scalp and hair.
Q: Can grey hair be transplanted?
A: The answer is yes. Grey hair can be transplanted as safely and successfully as hair of any color. Transplantation of grey hair is successful because gray hair has healthy hair follicles.
Q: What will happen if I stop using Rogaine or Propecia?
A: The hair that was saved with the use of these medications would be lost until the point where an individual would have been without treatment. However, this process is not sudden and will take several months after stopping the medications. Missing a day or two of treatment, while not recommended, is generally not harmful.
Q: What are the possible side effects of Propecia and Rogaine?
A: There are no known harmful effects of either medication when used as directed by the manufacturer. You should follow all package instructions. Propecia could be harmful to a developing male fetus in a pregnant woman if the drug entered her body by ingesting the medication. The amounts of drug in a male’s semen have been studied and found to be insignificant. The man can choose to stop treatment during conception efforts, but it is not necessary. Minoxidil may cause palpitation, irritation and dizziness, so you need to consult your physician before using the medication.
Q: In which areas of the scalp are Propecia and Rogaine most effective for hair growth?
A: Both of these medications are more effective in the crown area, however small clinical trials show some improvements in the frontal and temple area if both are used together.
How to Select a Hair Transplant Doctor
Q: What should I look for when selecting a hair transplant Doctor?
A: With today’s highly sophisticated techniques such as highly Refined Micro-scopic Follicular Unit transplantation, it is of utmost importance to make a careful selection of the doctor and his/her staff. A person should consider a doctor who is well experienced and is in the constant pursuit of new skills and surgical techniques for the benefit of his patients. Also it is important that the doctor does hair transplant on a full time basis and not as a side job. With the popularity of hair transplant surgery, many doctors who are not experienced in this field are starting to offer this service. Since hair transplant is very specialized, if they are not set up for hair transplant you will not get a quality service.
Q: Is the Doctor’s staff training important?
A: Just as important as the experience of the hair transplant doctor are the clinic’s full time surgical staff. You have to make sure that they have formal training, experience and have highly developed surgical skills and qualifications to assist the doctor with the hair transplant. If they are not full time and assist for surgery on per needed basis, then you may not be getting the best quality of care for your hair transplant.
Q: Should a hair transplant Doctor be certified?
A: The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS) is the only medical organization that certifies doctors exclusively for their knowledge and skills in hair restoration surgery. The doctors must pass high standard oral and written exams and also present hundreds of cases for Board review before they can be certified. To make sure that you are working with a qualified hair transplant specialist visit their website and look for the doctor’s name and qualifications.
Q: Is The Doctor’s work documented or published?
A: Publication in peer reviewed journals or medical books ensure the credibility and authenticity of a surgeon’s work. If the surgeon’s work and techniques have been published, it shows that the doctor has exceeded the expectations of his patients and his peers. You should look for his publications in a well recognized medical Journal.
Q: Can a Doctor provide patient photos or evidence of his work and skills?
A: It is important that the doctor provides at least a few dozens of before and after pictures of patients at different stages of hair loss, who have been transplanted by the doctor himself. You should also look for his work and patient photos in well recognized Internet networks.
Q: Can the surgeon provide patient referrals?
A:Patient testimonials are very important because you can ask specific questions about their personal experience with hair transplant surgery and the surgeon. Iaf a client is willing to speak about the doctor it shows that the doctor has exceeded the expectations of his patient. You should also look for patient experience and referrals in the wellrecognized Internet networks.
Since this is a lifetime decision, it is important that you ask questions to make the right choice in choosing your hair specialist.
Cost of the Procedure
Q: How is the cost for the procedure determined?
A: Determining the cost of your hair transplant procedure depends on the degree of hair loss. Your donor hair has to be examined to determine the amount of quality donor hair that can be safely harvested. The donor availability and the degree of hair loss help establish the surgery session size and the actual price range. Most hair restoration practices charge an average price per graft for the harvested donor hair per session. That average price per graft is impacted by the type of procedure you choose to have, whether it is FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant) Strip, or FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). All these factors are combined to determine the actual cost for your surgical hair restoration.
Q: Is there additional cost for the second procedure?
A: Since hair loss is progressive you may need additional procedures in the future. The cost for the second procedure is independent from the prior surgery and is based on the number of grafts and the technique you choose to do.
Q: Are hair transplants affordable and what is an average cost?
A: Now, more than ever before, surgical hair restoration is affordable. Typical procedures range from $3,500 to $10,000, depending on the number of grafts and the technique used to harvest the grafts. An average cost for a procedure at Dr. Meshkin’s clinic is close to $6000. To help you plan financially, we have different seasonal discounts available. We also offer student and traveling discounts. Financing is also available through www.carecredit.com for clients seeking monthly finance options.
Q: Is there any additional costs involved?
A: Not for the actual procedure. However, you may need to buy post op care and also pay for your post op medical prescription from a pharmacy.
Q: Should cost be a driving factor for the procedure?
A: While cost may be a driving factor in your decision, you have to make sure you are getting quality care for your money spent. At Dr. Meshkin’s clinic, you will get the best quality hair transplant from a well recognized and experienced hair transplant specialist with the most competitive price. However, if the cost is the only factor, whatever you pay for a bad hair transplant is way too much.