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Doubts and frequently asked questions

What is a hair transplant?

It is a follicular redistribution, in which follicles are removed from the occipital and temporal areas of the head (which are not threatened by genetic and hormonal action) with their subsequent implantation in alopecia or bald areas.

What are follicular units?

The hairs are grouped in follicular units. There are follicular units of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 hairs. We always count the follicular units first and then, at the end, we work out the number of hairs transplanted. See Follicular Units.

Are 2400 follicular units the same as 2400 hairs?

No. An expert surgeon obtains more hairs in each follicular unit, since that depends on the degree of experience in the extraction of follicular units as well as the density of the patient’s donor area.
For us, 2400 follicular units would correspond to approximately 4800-6000 hairs, depending mainly on the number of follicular units of 3 and 4 hairs in the donor area of the patient. In such case, this would be a patient with good follicular density.

How many follicular units do I need?

First of all, one should be realistic with the aesthetic needs of each individual.
Working from the point of actual expectations, the total number of grafts that are required in each case will depend on the type and degree of baldness experienced to date and, if the case is advanced baldness, more follicular units will be needed.
In advanced baldness more interventions will be necessary. Those patients who choose to have more than one operation made to achieve their personal goals will benefit from a lower cost in subsequent surgeries at De Freitas Clinic.

Does the transplanted follicle or hair have the same growth and characteristics of normal hair?

Yes. A transplanted follicle carries the same genetic information as a normal hair, since this hair comes from the patient and retains the same texture and growth pattern.

Can all people have a hair transplant?

Unfortunately, no.
Hair transplant is not an option in some cases, so a prior medical examination is vital.

How can I know if I am a suitable candidate for the transplant?

The first thing is to have a medical consultation, where the scalp, hair and degree of baldness will be examined. From this consultation the doctor will define whether you are a suitable candidate or not.
In general terms, if the patients are healthy, has no important disease and a good donor area, they are potential candidates for hair transplantation. However, medical assessment is essential to investigate the changes responsible for hair loss and to indicate if surgery is advisable.

What is the advantage of having a hair transplant with the FUE Technique compared to the Strip Technique?

The main advantage of the FUE Technique compared to Strip Technique is the way in which the follicular units are extracted and implanted. In the FUE Technique follicles are extracted one at a time with surgical instruments with a diameter of less than 1mm, which leave no visible scars and allow the patient have short hair. Additionally, no stitches or bandages are used, so the postoperative period is easy, painless and with a fast recovery.

If you choose the FUE hair transplant, what will be the first step?

The first step is to choose a doctor who has extensive experience in this area and check whether they have the appropriate conditions in the location where the procedure will be made.
Then you must make an appointment for a medical assessment, in which your personal case will be studied and an appropriate treatment plan will be prepared for you.

Do I have to cut my hair to have the surgery?

We ask patients to go to surgery without having haircut or shaving it, with their normal hair. Thus we can evaluate the existing hair and the level of coverage it provides. Just before performing the procedure, we shave the area from which the hairs are removed. For hair transplant we usually shave the entire head completely. In exceptional cases, when the patient has long hair, it is shaved into small strips that are disguised with long hair; the same method used in women. However, only the doctor can evaluate what is most appropriate in your case.

Is hair transplantation only advisable for men?

No. In fact, many women suffer from baldness.
Once diagnosed, and if the surgery was deemed advisable, the procedure is the same as in the case of men. In women with long hair, it is shaved into small strips that are disguised with long hair. Implantation would be done in the selected area, among native hair.

To have a hair transplant with the FUE Technique, is hospitalisation necessary?

No. The procedure is carried out in an operating room prepared for this type of surgery and the patient enters and leaves it the same day, since this is considered a minimally-invasive, minor surgery.

Is general anaesthesia necessary?

No. We use local anaesthesia. The patient is awake all the time.

Is the procedure painful?

Usually the patient does not feel pain during the procedure nor even after the operation.
It may rarely provoke a slight discomfort that disappears with the use of common painkillers.

How long does the surgery take?

It generally takes about 5 to 8 hours, though this can vary from patient to patient depending on the number of follicular units that are removed and implanted. The patients in this period will have breaks, in which they will be able to eat or go to the bathroom.

How long Do I need to wait after the procedure and when can I return to my usual activities?

In general, it is recommended to rest during 2 days after surgery. Although there is no contraindication for an immediate return to routine, after 15 days you can resume all your usual physical activities. See After the Hair Transplant.

Will it be noticed that I have had a hair transplant?

No. We work from the principle of absolute naturalness, with details in the frontal line of implantation that imitate the natural lines of each individual. See Implantation design.

Is the transplanted hair permanent or may it fall out over time?

The transplanted hair comes from areas that are not subject to the action of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone, the hormone responsible for hair loss), so it is permanent. It will fall out and be renewed physiologically based on the phases of the follicular cycle.

Do I need to have any special care with my hair transplant? Can I dye my hair, go swimming, etc.?

It is recommended not to apply chemical products on the head during the first 45-60 days after the procedure. After this period the patients can resume they normal hair care routine. However, it is important to note that the continuous use of chemicals in the hair can damage it and cause its loss, whether it is transplanted hair or not.

Will I have the artificial look of doll hair locks in the receiving area?

Neither the donor nor the receiving area will have an artificial look.
The artificial look is seen in surgeries previously made with other methods now in disuse, due to the fact that the hairs were implanted in a straight line (which does not occur in nature). It is also be notices if follicular units with three or more hairs are used in the frontal hairline. Nowadays there are techniques that allow the aesthetic result of the hair transplant to be satisfactory, natural and unnoticeable.

Can I have someone else’s hair transplanted, for example from a close relative?

It is not recommended, since for there to be no rejection you should take immunosuppressants.
The fact does not justify the case, since we are talking about an aesthetic, not vital procedure. Immunosuppressants should only be taken when transplanting certain organs without which the life of the patient would be compromised.

Can hair be transplanted from the head to other areas of the body?

Yes, you can.
However, we do not recommend the use of only body hair because its cycle of hair growth and quality is different and this could endanger the final result. This type of hair is used to give density to an area where hair has been transplanted from the head, mixing the hairs in order to increase the density. To that end, body hair must be chosen according to texture, colour and thickness, so that it has similar characteristics compared to hairs on the head.

Can hair be transplanted from the head to other areas of the body?

Yes, it is common to transplant hair from the head to other areas of the body such as the beard, moustache, sideboards, eyebrows, chest and groin.

Is there a risk of rejection for transplanted hair?

Autotransplant or autograft is a surgical intervention in which the recipient and the donor are the same individual, i.e. the graft is extracted and implanted in the same subject. The great advantage of this type of transplant is that there is no rejection.

Will I have scars?

Every time there is a cut, there is a healing process. In the FUE Technique cuts are made with millimetric cylindrical material (smaller than 1 mm), leaving only very small whitish millimetric micro-points (with a diameter smaller than 0.5mm) in the areas where the follicular units were extracted. These points are practically invisible and whitish, which allows the patient to wear very short hair.
Nowadays, we use the MFU technique combined with FUE. This consists in looking for multiple units to extract one follicular unit and leave another, so that hair will continue existing in this space, decreasing the effect even more.

When will I see the results of the hair transplant?

The results are progressive.
Around the 10th month, you can usually see a result very similar to the final one.
After 12 months, almost 90% of the transplanted hair will have reached normal growth.
See When will my new hair grow?