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Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-Op Hair Transplant

Is a hair transplant permanent?

Yes - hair transplants are permanent. Your new hair will remain and grow for the rest of your life. You can cut it, style it, shave it, and swim with it. It’s truly your own hair. The reason hair transplants are permanent is due to the resilient nature of the transplanted follicles. Even men who are balding will continue to grow hair in that distinctive “horseshoe” pattern along the back and sides of their head throughout their lives. Although many men choose to shave their horseshoe pattern for cosmetic reasons, those hair follicles, within that horseshoe, are genetically resistant to hair loss. A hair transplant procedure simply harvests the genetically stronger hair follicles from within your horseshoe pattern, then relocates them to a more cosmetically pleasing area along your hairline or crown.

Is a hair transplant painful?

A hair transplant procedure is minimally invasive, and local anesthesia is used. If pain is indeed reported by a patient, it is typically minor and well-tolerated, and can be mitigated by administering a little more local anesthesia. It is fair to compare hair transplant pain to your trips to the dentist - you may feel some odd sensations, but feeling genuine pain is very atypical and is rectified quickly with additional anesthesia.

How much does a hair transplant cost?

We know everyone wants a direct answer to this question - but it’s nearly impossible to answer this accurately without seeing and assessing your head first. The cost of a hair transplant primarily depends on three factors: 1) your current level of hair loss, 2) your own personal restoration goals, which can range from aggressive to conservative, and 3) the quality, reputation, and experience of the doctor/surgeon. An accurate cost can be assessed for you during your free consultation.

What’s the best age for a hair transplant?

Generally speaking, older men are considered slightly better candidates for transplants than very young ones. This is because it’s beneficial for the surgeon to fully visualize and understand your genetic balding pattern, which oftentimes hasn’t materialized yet for men in their early or mid 20s.For slightly older men, the surgeon can properly plan a procedure that best suits your genetic balding pattern, and will suit you better as you age. This ensures the most positive result for the long-term. Pharmaceuticals, like Rogaine and Propecia, can also be used by males over the age of eighteen. In general, these medications, seem to be more effective at preserving existing hair than growing new ones, and are mostly beneficial for younger men in the early stages of hair loss.

How many grafts do I need?

One of the most common questions we receive is “how many grafts do I need?”. To be completely transparent, we’ll need to see your head first before making this determination with any degree of accuracy. The number of grafts needed is dependent on two primary factors: 1) your personal level of hair loss, and 2) less intuitively, it is also dependent on whether your restoration goals are more aggressive or conservative.

Do I have to shave my head before a hair transplant?

Not necessarily, although historically, shaving your head has been the norm. In the 2020s, “no shave” hair transplants are becoming more and more popular, and Dr. Harris with RESTORE is one of the global leaders in performing no-shave hair transplants while actively training other doctors on how to perform them.

Is a hair transplant noticeable?

You’ll have more hair! So, in that sense, a hair transplant is noticeable. Otherwise, modern FUE hair transplants of the 2020s leave behind virtually no visible scarring. Think about how many celebrities and athletes have had hair transplants - many! Have you ever noticed a single one with visible scarring? Probably not - because modern techniques truly produce great results with more hair, with little to zero visible scarring.

How does a hair transplant work?

Throughout their lives, even bald men can continuously grow hair within the “horseshoe” pattern around the back and sides of their head. (Although many choose to shave this area for cosmetic reasons to achieve the completely bald look). Those hair follicles from within that “horseshoe” pattern are stronger and more resilient than hair elsewhere on the head, and they grow throughout your life. Thus, a hair transplant is quite simple - we harvest some of the strong follicles from the back of the head, from the horseshoe, then simply relocate those to more desirable areas on the top of your head and along your hairline.

What are hair plugs? Do people still use them?

“Hair plugs” were an antiquated form of hair transplant surgery that existed in the 1980s and early 1990s, typically producing very poor results that were also highly noticeable. The surgeon would use a device similar to a hole punch device, and “punch out” circular groups of hair from the donor region, then “plug in” those same circular hole punches into the recipient area along the hairline. The repetitive and perfectly circular nature of the plugs looked awkward and unnatural. This type of surgery no longer exists today, although the stigma of the phrase “hair plugs” lingers onward, despite many advances in technology and a different style of surgery altogether.

Who are the best candidates for hair transplants?

The best candidates for hair transplants are men who are generally healthy, have a robust supply of remaining donor hair, and positive attitude about surgery. While there is no age requirement, it’s typically better to be slightly further along in your hair loss pattern, meaning men younger than 25 are not typically the best candidates.

What is an FUE hair transplant?

Dr. Harris explains FUE Hair transplants.

What’s the difference between FUT and FUE hair transplant?

Although the original FUT “strip” method continues to exist today, and some surgeons continue to offer it, there is generally no good reason for a man to choose the strip method over the more modern FUE method. The risk of linear scarring using the strip method has caused it to fall out of favor with men in the 2010s and 2020s, and the vast majority of hair transplants today use the more modern FUE method.

What is ARTAS robot?

The ARTAS robot style of hair transplant uses computer technology and 3D mapping to analyze and dissect hairs from your donor region. Otherwise, the entire procedure is exactly the same, as hairs are harvested from the back of your head, and moved by your surgeon to the front.

What if I’m not ready for a hair transplant?

It’s common for men experiencing hair loss to consider alternative treatment options before ultimately deciding on a hair transplant. Usually, the first step is to begin taking hair loss medications, such as minoxidil and finasteride, which can help slow down the hair loss process.

What is male pattern baldness?

Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition that causes men to lose their hair. Contrary to popular belief, the gene can come from either side of the family; not just the maternal one.

What is the average age of a hair transplant patient?

The average age of hair transplant patients at RESTORE is between 40 and 45, although that is strictly the average, because we treat men who are both younger and older.

Will a hair transplant look natural?

Yes, a hair transplant will look natural, assuming you utilize a highly reputable doctor and clinic. Most of the unnatural looking results you can find online were performed overseas for a very low price and/or by physicians/surgeons lacking in skill and reputation.

Is a hair transplant worth it?

Yes - a hair transplant is worth it. In fact, most men tell us it’s the best investment they've ever made and wish they had done it sooner. Looking great, feeling confident, and putting forward the best version of yourself will pay off.

What are the pros and cons of a hair transplant abroad?

Other than perhaps saving a bit of money, there really aren't any pros. However, there are many potential cons, including: different/lower medical standards overseas, a higher risk of overharvesting your donor area, little or no surgeon accountability, no face-to-face pre-op consultations or follow-ups, travel time and expenses, and the increased stress of considering all of these potential cons.

Why do some men still choose the strip (FUT) method?

This is mostly a cost choice, because the strip method is less expensive than the more modern FUE. However, the risk of linear scarring with the strip method is high . For most clients, the risk/reward is simply not worth it.

Surgery Day Hair Transplant

Will I be awake during a hair transplant?

Yes. You will be awake throughout the procedure, making hair transplants a very safe and easy outpatient procedure. We have a television in the operating room, so you can spend the afternoon watching shows or listening to music. During the surgery, you will be under the effects of local anesthesia, but you will be awake the entire time.

How long does a hair transplant take?

A hair transplant usually takes about 8 to 10 hours, sometimes longer depending on the amount of grafts. On operation day, you’ll typically arrive right when the office opens to begin some brief pre-op paperwork. You’ll then settle in and begin the numbing process. The procedure starts shortly thereafter and lasts throughout the morning and into the early afternoon. Bigger surgeries that move lots of follicles/grafts obviously take a bit longer than smaller surgeries. During the surgery, we build in time for meals, snacks, and breaks for both yourself and the surgeon.

Is it possible to “over harvest” from the donor area?

With an experienced and skilled physician, overharvesting is extremely unlikely. Some cases of overharvesting can be found on the internet if you look hard enough, but the truth is, these cases were most likely performed by unskilled surgeons, and possibly overseas, in order for those patients to save money. A skilled surgeon will remove your donor hairs skillfully, in a way that is nearly undetectable.

Does a hair transplant bleed?

Yes - a hair transplant does bleed slightly. While under localized anesthesia, your surgeon will make tiny incisions, similar to pinpricks, to harvest your donor follicles in the back of your head, followed by additional “pinpricks” along your hairline to place the follicle. In each case, there is a small amount of blood that will quickly form a tiny scab before healing.

Post-Op Hair Transplant

What is the hair transplant recovery time?

There’s really no “downtime” associated with a hair transplant. You will almost certainly want to rest a bit immediately after returning home from the surgery, and possibly for another day or so. You could theoretically go back to work the next day, and some men do, but most patients opt to take a few days off before returning to work. The donor and recipient area are generally healed and back to normal within 5-7 days. 

What should I avoid after a hair transplant?

For the first few days after your surgery, we ask you to take it easy. Please don’t work out, don’t wash your hair, don’t touch or pick at the follicles, don’t expose your head to lots of direct sunshine, don’t wear hats or helmets, and so on. Basically, you want your newly transplanted follicles to exist in an extremely “mild” environment without any touching, irritation, or unnecessary agitation, to maximize their opportunity to take root and grow strongly.

However, you can resume other normal activities such as working, shopping, driving, etc. the next day.
After roughly 7 days, you can resume all of life’s normal activities without fear of damaging the newly transplanted follicles. However, for about one additional week after that, we still ask that you use common sense and don’t do anything totally egregious, like fiercely yanking or tugging on the new hair.

When will I see results from my transplant?

Growth after a hair transplant varies from patient to patient. However, some patients begin seeing new hair growth as early as 3 months, while many others begin seeing new hair growth by 6 months. In rare cases, it can take a little longer. The initial growth is very exciting, but it is typically not indicative of the full and final results. For some men, it takes 9 to 15 months post-op for the new hair to fully grow in and for the final cosmetic result to be reached.

Does a hair transplant leave scars?

Modern FUE hair transplants leave virtually no visible scarring, and are visually superior to the old “strip” (FUT) method. However, it is technically false to say that it’s impossible for scarring to occur. Any cosmetic surgery that involves penetration of the skin can sometimes leave a miniscule amount of minor scarring behind. Although, in the case of FUE hair transplants, those theoretical scars are the size of tiny pinpricks, and you will enjoy the benefit of covering and concealing them with your hair.

How long does post-op redness last after a hair transplant?

Post-op redness in both the donor area and the recipient area varies from person to person. Typically, African Americans and other men with darker/tanner skin will experience the least amount of post-op redness with a faster return to normal. Caucasian men with very pale skin will also heal perfectly fine, but they may experience some lingering redness for slightly longer before returning to normal.

How soon can I shower after a transplant?

We ask that you avoid washing your hair and/or running your head under the water for at least one week. We want the newly transplanted follicles to firmly take root and avoid any trauma that could knock them loose. You can shower, just keep the water below your neck.

Can I wash my hair after a transplant?

Please wait at least one week before washing hair after a hair transplant. Also, the first few occasions that you wash your hair should be quite gentle rather than vigorous. Though it should be safe after one week, it’s still important to avoid egregiously pulling, yanking, or severely traumatizing the newly implanted hairs and grafts if it can be avoided.

Can I wear a hat after a hair transplant?

Absolutely, and this is extremely common in the weeks following your procedure, although we advise you to please not wear a hat for the first few days post-op. It’s critically important in those first few days post-op that you avoid disturbing and jostling the newly transplanted hairs.

When can I exercise after a hair transplant?

We ask that you not exercise after a hair transplant for a few days following the surgery. However, after roughly one week, feel free to return to your normal exercise routine without any worries.

When can I go back to work after my hair transplant?

We ask that you take the rest of the day off after your surgery. However, theoretically, you could return to work the next day. A high percentage of men take-off at least a few days following their surgery, and/or schedule several consecutive work-from-home days after the surgery.

What is shock loss after a hair transplant?

A very small percentage of men will experience a phenomenon called “shock loss” after their hair transplant procedure. What is shock loss? It’s an uncommon reaction to the surgery, and it describes the temporary loss of hair that is otherwise healthy in your donor and recipient regions. Even in procedures that are executed correctly, shock loss can still occur in some men, although ultimately, the hair will regrow after several months.

What are possible side effects after a hair transplant?

Possible side effects after a hair transplant include: (1) swelling of the forehead, which eventually disappears on its own after a few days. (2) temporary in-grown hairs, in both the donor area and and the recipient area. These can appear a few weeks after the surgery, but are not permanent and will eventually dissipate on their own; and (3) a condition known as “shock loss” which can also occur in some patients. “Shock loss” is temporary hair loss of otherwise healthy hair in the donor and recipient regions. This can feel traumatic to patients for obvious reasons, but shock loss typically reverses itself and the hair returns after several months. This happens in approximately 15% of patients. However, using minoxidil for several weeks prior to your procedure can reduce the chance of it occurring by 50%.

What is hair transplant recovery like?

Because hair transplants are an outpatient procedure, the recovery process is typically focused on pain management and avoiding certain activities that could be a detriment to the growth of the new hair. You will have thousands of tiny scabs that will resolve themselves naturally over the course of the next 7 to 10 days. You will occasionally feel slight pain that can be resolved with pain medication. And we ask that you avoid certain activities that could damage the new hairs.

How do I sleep after a hair transplant?

In the first few days after a hair transplant, we ask that you use a neck roll for support while sleeping. This stabilizes your head position and prevents you from rolling over in the middle of the night, which protects your newly transplanted follies from accidentally making contact with anything. You may think you can control your position while sleeping, but we strongly recommend a neck pillow for those first few nights, just in case.

Does a hair transplant cause dandruff?

No - there is no correlation between a hair transplant and dandruff. However, dandruff after a hair transplant can occur for other reasons, like beginning to use a new hair loss shampoo or a topical medication like Rogaine. We have frequently encountered men who started some kind of experimental, non-FDA approved “rapid growth” shampoo shortly after their surgery, and that was ultimately the cause of their dandruff, rather than the surgery itself. On a related note, just continue using a normal shampoo after your surgery rather than an experimental one.

When can I have sex after a hair transplant?

As soon as you’re fully awake and feeling 100% again - go for it. However, we strongly advise you to warn your partner to avoid tugging, pulling, or even running their fingers through your hair for several weeks afterward.

Can you fix a bad hair transplant?

Yes - you can fix a bad hair transplant, assuming there are enough follicles remaining on your head in the donor region. Typically, bad transplants fall into three camps 1) unnatural looking hairline, 2) low density, 3) linear scarring from the old strip method.
An unnatural looking hairline can be fixed through softening or simply changing its shape. Low density can be fixed by inserting additional follicles. Lastly, linear scarring can be minimized by inserting new follicles directly into the scar itself, to help minimize the scar or having SMP (scalp micropigmentation) performed in that area.

Non-Surgical Hair Restoration

Why consider a hair transplant over non-surgical options like pills, creams, and shampoos?

The bottom line is that non-surgical options like pills, creams, and shampoos can help slow down hair loss slightly, but 99% of the time they cannot reverse it. Meanwhile, a hair transplant tangibly reverses your hair loss, and restores hair into places where it doesn’t currently exist.

Does Rogaine work?

If Rogaine was the magic solution to baldness, and it reliably produced super impressive results, then most bald men would use it, and suddenly there would be very few bald men in the world. However, it doesn’t quite work that effectively. Rogaine can definitely help slow down your hair loss slightly, and sometimes it can even help regrow a few dozen hairs, but it simply doesn’t have the ability to fully reverse hair loss and restore a much younger hairline. Nearly all of the dramatic before and after photos you see for impressive hair regrowth, whether it’s from celebrities or regular guys, comes from hair transplants.

Does Propecia work?

Propecia is also known for slowing hair loss and helping to thicken existing hair. Depending on your stage and pattern of loss, a combination of defensive therapies along with a transplant procedure is usually recommended.

What is Finasteride?

Finasteride is the generic name for Propecia. They are synonymous and interchangeable.

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is the generic name for Rogaine. They are synonymous and interchangeable.

What are Finasteride / Propecia side effects?

Possible Propecia side effects are rare (less than 2% of patients) and can include: decreased sexual appetite, erectile dysfunction, decreased semen, lump and tenderness in the chest, pain in the testicles, and inabiltiy to urinate normally. Allergic reactions to the drug itself are extremely rare.

What are Minoxidil / Rogaine side effects?

Possible side effects of Rogaine include: itchy scalp, flaking of the scalp, chest pain, heart palpitations, irregular or fast heartbeats, headaches, flushing, and swelling. Allergic reactions are extremely rare.

What is EverHair?

EverHair is the most aggressive non-surgical treatment plan available for male pattern baldness - it includes finasteride, minoxidil, laser treatment, and PRP treatment, all of which are clinically proven methods. When applied together, all four treatments can produce noticeable results.

What is PRP?

PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. This particular therapy uses an enhanced concentration of a patient's own platelets to stimulate and accelerate hair growth in the scalp. Because it's your own platelets, the results can promote more growth than what would occur naturally.

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