Hair transplant surgery is a cosmetic procedure that restores hair on bald or thinning areas of the head. Hair and tissue is taken from the back of the head, and then transplanted through a precise grafting process. It takes up to three months for the transplanted hair units to begin growing naturally. Although traditionally associated with men, this treatment is increasingly popular with women who have suffered hair loss through illness or hormonal problems.
Hair transplants are usually carried out under local anaesthetic, and take up to five hours, depending on the number of grafts to be transplanted. The surgeon will take hair, follicle and surrounding skin from areas of the head where hair grows thickly, and then transplant them into tiny holes in areas where the hair does not grow.
Following the hair transplant procedure, the treated area will be red and painful for several days but you you can normally leave the clinic soon after the procedure. Assuming the redness has died down, you can return to work and resume activities immediately.
Risks and side effects
There are many possible complications associated with hair transplant surgery, and although none are life threatening, they can be upsetting. As well as the risk of infection and scarring, there is the possibility that some of the grafts won't work. Patients also have problems with the areas around the transplanted grafts where hair loss will continue.
Cost and prices
The price of hair transplant in the UK is approximately £2,500 for 500 grafts and £5,500 for 2500 grafts. As a result of the Pound falling against most world currencies, hair transplants are not significantly cheaper abroad. It is probably advisable to stick with hair transplant clinics in the UK, as follow-up visits are easier.
NHS, private or abroad
As you would expect, hair transplants are not available on the NHS. However, hair transplants are offered by many specialist private clinics in both the UK and abroad.