8 myths and facts on hair transplant busted by an expert

Dr Mohan Thomas talks about some myths that keeps people from opting for a hair transplant.

The cosmetic industry has given us a lot of ways to enhance our looks and personality. To hide the flaws and make one feel better where nature betrayed badly. One such cosmetic procedure that benefits a lot of people is hair transplant. Losing hair is a painful experience for both men and women. It transforms one s persona and to a great extent robs confidence out of the person. But there are a lot of myths revolving around this procedure which make people question its efficacy. So we got, Dr Mohan Thomas, Senior Cosmetic Surgeon, Cosmetic Surgery Institute, Mumbai to bust some common myths surrounding hair transplants.

Myth #1: Hair transplant is only for men

This myth has been doing the rounds forever now. Since male pattern baldness is common so most people think that hair transplant is a men s thing. But in reality, men and women both have different balding patterns and both might need hair transplant at one time or the other. The outcomes following a hair transplant are better appreciated in a woman because they keep long hairs. Both FUE and FUT techniques can be used for outstanding hair growth rate in both the genders.

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Myth #2: You will need no further treatment to prevent hair loss after a hair transplant

This is not true. A hair transplant surgery cannot prevent further hair fall. The only way hair fall can be prevented is by medical treatment after the transplant which might comprise of various creams and ointments in the form of applications, oral tablets and PRP injections to correct the hormonal imbalances that could lead to incidences or cause further hair fall.

Myth #3: Body hair transplant gives the same result as scalp hair transplant

In most transplants, the roots are taken from the back of the scalp where the growth is dense. But if there aren t enough roots available one might have to opt for body hair. But it isn t a viable option. Body hair has a different texture as well as growth rate. Moreover, extraction of these hairs leaves scars. Body hair may provide a sense of fullness in the area where one experiences maximum hair loss, but it is never the same.

Myth #4: Hair transplant gives immediate result

The truth is that the transplanted hair usually falls off within three weeks but the roots of the hair won t stop growing. Once blood supply to the root is established the supply lasts permanently. These roots usually start growing in about 60 days with the best growth is seen between the 9th to 12th months. These hairs pass through the three stages of a normal hair growth namely telogen, catagen and anagen phase.

Myth #5: Older people cannot undergo hair transplantation

This is a very common myth and it stops people in their late 40s and 50s to seek treatment. There is no scientific basis for this belief and it is far from reality. Since DHT (Dihydrotestosterone hormone) has an effect only on the front and top of the head, the presence of hairs on the back of the head decides if you are a good candidate for hair transplant. Age doesn t have any link to the procedure or the hormone.

Myth #6: Transplants work best in young men

People believe that the younger you are when you do a hair transplant, the better the long-term outcome. But the reality is just the opposite. If you start losing hair at a younger age chances are you may need more sessions of hair transplant to maintain the result. So it is always advisable to start with medical treatment in the early stages (oral medications and ointments) and opt for surgical intervention only when hair loss has stabilized which means at an older age.

Myth #7: Hair transplant surgery means you can get someone else s hair

It might sound very romantic if your spouse or partner wants to help you by lending their hair to you, but in reality, only hair from your own body can be transplanted. If we tried to transplant hair from another person, your body would reject the foreign hair and only immunosuppressant drugs can stop that from happening. Immunosuppressants are not prescribed following a hair transplant. At present only major life-saving organs are being transplanted from a different person or cadavers, not hairs.

Myth #8: Hairs can be multiplied outside the body

This is absolutely untrue. There are multiple steps and hormones involved in the growth of the hairs. Scientists have been able to grow skin from a person s skin cells after decades of research which is being used in burns victims. It will be many years before a person s hair can be grown outside his body or it can be multiplied in a lab. At present, there is a limit to the number of hairs present on a person s head.

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