If you look around, you’ll see that some plastic surgeons who haven’t previously performed hair transplants are now offering them. However, there are also many hair restoration providers and hair clinics that focus exclusively on hair transplants without any plastic surgery services. This leads to the question: Is a hair transplant plastic surgery, or is it a procedure anyone can perform?
What a Hair Transplant Does
A hair transplant is performed on men or women who experience hair loss or thinning hair, or who have bald spots on their scalp. It uses your existing hair by extracting it from a “donor site” and implanting it in the bald areas of your scalp, or areas where hair is beginning to recede or has thinned out. Hair transplants are effective ways to reverse hair loss, giving men and women a younger, healthier appearance as well as boosting their confidence.
Technically, a hair transplant is indeed a plastic surgery procedure. It’s considered minimally-invasive, meaning it is generally performed as an outpatient procedure without general anesthesia, but it counts as surgery nonetheless.
However, we often think of surgery as “going under the knife.” We think of hospitals, of scalpels, and of scars. Modern hair transplantation methods are a far cry from that image. Rather, if you imagine spending extra long time at a really nice hair salon with recliners and a TV in front of you, you are closer on the mark.
How Hair Transplants Work
There are several methods of hair transplantation. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) in particular makes any kind of cutting or moving of skin unnecessary. It is therefore becoming more and more popular among patients who do not have time for a lengthy recovery, and who want to be able to sport any hairstyle after their procedure without the need to cover up a linear scar.
FUE – at the Hair Doctor we use the NeoGraft technology – works this way: A hair restoration specialist uses a special wand that is powered by pneumatic pressure to pull out individual hair grafts from your scalp. Each such graft is composed of 1-4 actual hair follicles. These grafts are extracted from designated donor areas of your scalp. For men, this is typically the back of your head where there is an abundance of hair, even for people experiencing hair loss. This area is not affected by male pattern baldness.
After enough follicles or rather grafts have been extracted, the fun part begins: your technician now inserts these grafts into the recipient areas that you and your technician have both previously planned out during your consultation. This is done using the same wand, now under reverse pressure. It punctures tiny holes in your scalp, in which the grafts are carefully inserted.
Hair Transplants Rely on Artistry More than Surgery
When you choose to have a hair transplant, your number one concern is most likely results. What will your results look like? Will they be worth the expense? Will your new hair look natural, meaning you have a hairline that reflects your original one? Will you look better and younger but without it being obvious that you’ve had anything done? These are the questions typically asked by our Nashville Hair Doctor patients.
It is important that you research hair transplant providers to make sure you select a reputable one. But that doesn’t mean an actual plastic surgeon has to perform the procedure him- or herself. On the contrary. While it’s easy for a cosmetic surgeon to include hair transplantation surgery in his catalog, that doesn’t mean that he has much experience in performing it.
When it comes to selecting a hair restoration technician, it is vastly more important to look for one with extensive experience. Creating a new hairline is a form of art as much as it is a medical procedure. The technical aspects of extracting and implanting hair can be mastered with some practice. But where and at which angle to place each graft for an overall pleasing result is not easy at all. It is something that takes years of experience to master.
Experienced Hair Restoration Technicians Are Worth It
Much like you may prefer a hairdresser who has cut a lot of people’s hair already, you should select a hair transplant provider who has performed a lot of hair transplants before yours. And whereas it’s not the end of the world if you get a bad haircut, you don’t want the same to happen with your hair transplant. While it’s possible to have a second hair transplant if you don’t like your first, you may not be able – or willing – to pay for it in the near term.
At the Nashville Hair Doctor, we do occasionally get patients who want to “fix” a previous hair restoration they’re not happy with. Invariably they tell us they wish they’d come to “the right place” first. Our NeoGraft Master Tech has over 20 years of experience in his field, serving patients throughout and beyond Tennessee. We pride ourselves in excellent work and with making your experience as comfortable as possible. We do have a double board-certified plastic surgeon on staff who is present for any surgical procedure we perform. But he is the first one to tell you that when it comes to hair replacement, you should ask for Jay, our expert in the field.
The best way to find out if hair restoration is for you and whether you feel comfortable with a certain provider is to schedule a free consultation. At the Nashville Hair Doctor, we make it easy for you to get your initial quote by uploading a picture online.