Hair Transplants Melbourne

“Hair transplants are performed in a minor surgical procedure room with sterile instruments and with very specialized equipment and highly-trained assistants.”

 

The scalp is numbed with local anaesthetic via tiny injections and often sleeping tablets are given for your relaxation and comfort. We get you off the bed a few times during the day for a stretch of the legs and lunch and comfort breaks, making the day as pleasant for you as we can.

There is often a lot of chatter in the room with the staff and we can play music or videos according to your taste. You will be able to drive after the procedure, but about half of the patients prefer Uber / Taxi or to be picked up.

Hair follicles are harvested from the back and sides of your scalp via one of two methods, FUT (strip), or FUE.

FUT (follicular unit transplant)

FUT (follicular unit transplant) involves removing a horizontal strip of skin, about 1-2 cm wide, out from the scalp, and suturing it back together. This leaves a horizontal white line or scar that usually varies from 1mm to 4mm in width and the length varies according to the size of the transplant you are having, approximately 10cm or more for every 1000 grafts.

This strip is then dissected under microscopes by the hair transplant assistants creating the grafts of 1, 2 or 3 hairs. The aim is to place a potential scar well above your hairline and it is usually hidden by a number 3 haircut.

For strip surgery we do not shave your donor area, meaning, we want your hair at least 2-3 cm long for the procedure and the sutures are hidden by the surrounding hair. The donor area thus looks normal at the end of the day. FUT (strip) transplants can all be done in one day as there is little restriction on the total number. In the best circumstances over 4000 grafts can be performed by us in Melbourne.

FUT is still the most popular technique with Australians because there is no shaving, no number restriction, higher graft survival rate and its about 30% cheaper.

FUE (follicular unit extraction)

FUE (follicular unit extraction) is the harvesting technique that involves a small round punch instrument that is usually power-driven which is aimed over a clipped hair and pressed in 2-3mm through the skin, allowing the surface skin and underlying follicles to be gently pulled from the scalp leaving a tiny shallow hole less than 1 mm wide which heals without suturing and leaves a small white dot.

The small white dots that are so small and spread out that often the hair can be worn very short without seeing any scars for example a number 1 or 2 haircut.

For FUE, we need to clip the entire donor area down to zero, meaning for the first week, the healing tiny dots will be visible, and it will take longer for the hair to grow back to your normal length.

FUE is done for people who will never need more that 3000 grafts in a lifetime (because taking more with FUE would thin out the back of the head so much it would be visible), people wanting to wear there hair very short and short high up on the back and sides (like an American Marine) and those who are not at all concerned about paying 30% more and getting about 10% less graft survival.

We do FUE regularly but currently more strips. Note, the ARTAS robot does FUE but leaves larger white scars over the head than a person does and can break down during the procedure and can malfunction. Nothing beats the personal tough of an artistic surgeon.

Hair Transplant Results

The hair density after hair transplantation is never as good as your original hair. New hair is not created just the redistribution of your own hair. We will usually be able to double the amount of hair in a thinning area, sometimes more. Getting a natural result is of the highest priority and current technology allows us to do this in virtually all cases. Our expectations for your procedure are very high and our satisfaction rate, since 2006, is almost 100%. There are some rare individuals who won’t take medication and who go through stressful periods in their life and who can lose hair rapidly, these people will need a second transplant 1-2 years after the first to get a great result.

Full scalp for woman with full head of hair

Most people have 2 transplants in their lifetime.  We are confident that over 90% of the transplanted hairs will grow and persist for your lifetime. This number is consistent, in that everybody gets similar results, its not like it is great in one person and not the next, if the transplant is done to the high standards of Hair Transplants Melbourne then everybody gets a great result.

The first crop of hair that grows is often slightly dry, and becomes more normal overtime as the moisture from the oil glands matures. It takes 11-14 months for all of the hair to grow. If you have long hair and require considerable length of hair for overlapping, then your final result will take longer. The hair grows at about 1 cm per month. As the follicles mostly hibernate for the first 4 months, you will not see any growth during that time.

Around 4 months the stem cells have activated into hair-growing cells and tissue and the follicle can produce hair permanently. By about 6 months after the procedure you will be noticing hair growth. It will then continue to thicken from 6 months to 14 months. The transplanted hair will grow as if it were still at the rear and sides of your scalp, ie it will grey or age accordingly.

The transplanted hair can be cut, coloured, curled, and styled normally and may remain a little more dry than the original hair in the area.

If the original plan was to perform 2 transplants, the second one can be done from 10 months after the first for FUT (strip) or the very next day or 8 weeks after FUE. If FUT was performed first then most people have FUT for the second because we can enter via the same incision line and therefor we don’t add any scarring. 

If a person is unlucky enough for whatever reason to have a visible scar section, then this can be easily replied with a small FUE session or 2. Small numbers of hairs are taken from around the back (without shaving due to the small number) and placed into the scar where they will grow normally and hide the scar. SMP or scalp-micropigmentaton is another technique we offer to hide scars of any type in the scalp or even make an area look thicker. Tiny dots are placed into the skin with a specialised ink (not permanent make-up ink and not tattoo ink) and the results can be quite amazing.

Procedure FAQ’s

The Procedure

Stinging pain occurs during the local anaesthetic injections, lasting several seconds each time. You may experience a mild headache in the afternoon of the procedure. We can give you analgesia for this. If you suffer from low back pain, lying still on the bed sometimes aggravates it. We can assist in posture change and give you analgesia for this.

Bruising

can occur on the forehead from the local anaesthetic injections and last for a week.

Pain

at the donor area always occurs for FUT (strip) surgery. You will require over the counter pain medication and perhaps prescription pain medication for a week or two. Pain is very variable amongst individuals , some can tolerate more than others. Our aim is to keep you as comfortable as possible during the initial healing phase. FUE procedures are far less painful afterwards with many people describing no pain at all. This is one of the advantages of FUE.

Bleeding

or spotting can occur from the donor site or recipient site for the first week or so. This can occur after a shower if the scalp is rubbed or if the scalp is picked or knocked. Mild pressure resolves this.

Infections

in the donor area are rare, approximately 1 in every 100 cases. When this occurs, pain and tenderness is increased and a week of antibiotics are prescribed. The occasional pimple can occur in the recipient area usually 4-6 weeks after the procedure, and these are either popped by you or left alone, or popped by the surgeon during a review appointment.

Swelling

of the forehead is common and can occur 3 days after the procedure and last for 3 days if there has been a large transplant done at the frontal hairline and front half of scalp. It especially occurs in people who usually swell up after injury, or with frontal transplants over 2000 grafts. The swelling subsides by itself and there is no treatment for it, e.g. ice does not work. The fluid gradually descends down the forehead and in rare severe cases, into the eyelids.

Crusting and Shedding

of the exposed piece of the graft occurs over the first few weeks. Tiny dry pieces of skin, some containing a tiny hair fragment will shed from the recipient area like dandruff. The hair roots are buried under the skin where they remain. Most grafts will reject the tiny hair that is in place and so transplanted area will look untreated after a few weeks, until the grafts begin to grow at 4 months. Crusting of the stitched area of FUT occurs and resolves by itself over 4-6 weeks.

Numbness

of parts of the scalp are common after FUT for a few months and this resolves by itself. Very rarely does permanent numbness occur. In FUE any numbness is extremely rare. A strip scar can have permanent altered sensation within its borders.

Loss

of whole grafts can occur over the first day or so if for some reason they have popped out of their hole. They cannot be replaced and this is one reason why 100% of grafts don’t survive. Avoiding rubbing or bumping the scalp to reduce this.

Permanent loss

of fine hair in the recipient area. During hair loss, the hairs become finer and finer until they don’t regrow at all. The very fine hairs remaining in the area can be killed by the transplant of surrounding thicker hairs. This does not cause a problem because they were going to fall out anyway and were not providing any real cosmetic coverage in the first place.

NON SURGICAL HAIR TRANSPLANT ALTERNATIVES

The alternatives to you having a hair transplant are:

  • Camouflage of the area with coloured powders, sprays, or tattoos that dye the skin.
  • Styling your hair to comb-over the thin area.
  • Clipping your hair down very short so the area of hair loss doesn’t stand out as much.
  • Wearing a wig or hair-piece or hair-system.
  • Doing nothing at all and tolerating the hair loss.