It is one of the most commonly asked questions during consultation regarding hair transplants, which is understandable. A hair transplant is an appearance enhancement procedure. No one wants too many scars from an appearance enhancement procedure.
However, a hair transplant is a surgical procedure as well. It is inevitable to execute a surgical procedure without receiving some degree of scarring.
The process of surgical hair transplant has come a long way since the early days of hair plugs. However, scarring is still an inevitable aftereffect of the procedure.
There are two types of widely used surgical hair transplant techniques. Each leaves a different kind of scarring. The amount of scarring depends mainly on the skill and experience of your surgeon.
Various factors determine the most suitable surgical treatment for an individual.
- The hair loss pattern
- Type of scarring
- The amount and quality of your donor’s hair
- The size of the scalp area requires surgery.
Another factor might be the cost of the surgery. The best way to determine the perfect treatment for you is to consult your doctor.
There are two main hair transplant techniques used around the world. These are follicular unit transplant(FUT) and follicular unit extraction(FUE). Let us elaborate on them to understand the nature of the scarring.
This process requires the doctor to extract the follicular unit of hair from the donor area of your head and graft it to the infected area of the scalp. The doctor uses a small microneedle or a punch tool to make an incision around the hair follicle before extraction. Each extraction leaves a tiny round scar on the extracted area.
To obtain the desired results, it might require the extraction of hundreds or even thousands of hair follicles. These scars are usually tiny circular dots and are white.
Each hair follicle is then transplanted onto the recipient areas of the scalp again by making an incision with the micro punch tool. This process is prolonged and may require several hours or even days for completion.
This process requires the surgeon to cut a strip of skin from the donor area, usually from the back of the head. The size of the extracted strip depends on the number of follicles required to cover the bald spot. After removing the hair strip, the doctor stitches the wounded area.
The scar produced from this surgery is usually linear, and its length depends on the size of the strip removed. In some cases, the scarring might extend from ear to ear.
The removed hair follicles are then transplanted onto the recipient areas of the scalp. It again requires a microneedle to make incisions for each hair follicle.
This process requires the injection of local anesthesia on the scalp. The removal of stitches from the donor areas usually takes place after ten days from the date of surgery. The pain and swelling resulting in this process might be more than the FUE process.
Various processes may help lessen or reduce the scarring from the surgical hair transplant. The success rate varies from case to case and is not always guaranteed.
For moderate to large size scars, plastic surgery is a good option. In this process, the surgeon uses the wound convergence technique to reduce the extent of scarring.
Another option is to use the FUE method to conceal the scar from FUT surgical transplant. This process requires a surgeon to transplant hair follicles to the scar strip. It essentializes the concealing of the scarring.
It is also known as the medical hairline tattoo or scalp hair tattooing. In this process, pigmentation is injected directly into the scalp giving it the appearance of thicker hairs. Some people prefer SMP over surgical hair transplants.
However, this process is also helpful in concealing the scar obtained from FUT surgical hair transplant. The SMP may require several sessions to complete, depending upon the size of the area injected.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your hair may lighten with time, but the ink may not lighten at the same rate. This process may cause some amount of discomfort as well. You must consult your doctor about these risks before opting for this treatment.
Tricopigmentation is popularly known as TMP. It is a temporary form of SMP. In this process, semi-permanent ink is injected into the epidermis. The length of time that the ink may last vary from clinic to clinic, anywhere between 6 months to 3 years.
Over time, the popularity of appearance-enhancing surgical procedures has increased. The hair transplant surgical procedures are one of them. It helps people regain their confidence and restore the look of a rich head of hair.
However, scarring is an inevitable part of hair transplant surgical procedures. The FUE procedure provides less noticeable scarring as compared to the FUT procedures.
It is essential to choose a surgeon with adequate knowledge and expertise. If you are concerned about the scarring, talk to him to determine the best-case scenario.