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Hair Transplant & Restoration

Everyone ages in different ways but one thing is quite common; men worry about the loss of hair much more than the formation of wrinkles or a double chin. Thinning hair can be devastating for some men, affecting their professional and personal lives in profound ways. The issue can even lead to depression and anxiety in some individuals.

Fortunately, hair restoration techniques have advanced significantly in recent years, allowing many of these men to enjoy a full, natural head of hair once again. At Dr. Kenneth Yu Plastic Surgery, we use state-of-the-art procedures to provide our patients with the best possible results. We also provide hair restoration treatment for patients that have lost hair due to burns, injuries or diseases of the scalp.

Why Does Hair Loss Occur?

There are different reasons why men might suffer hair loss:

  • Genetics
  • Hormone levels
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions

Genetics are probably the most common reason behind hair loss, which means if you have family members that have experienced significant thinning, you are more likely to do so as well. You can also predict with some degree of accuracy how old you might be when your hair loss begins, based on what family members have experienced.

Male pattern baldness, the most frequent type of hair loss in men, is also closely linked to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of testosterone. DHT shrinks hair follicles in men that are particularly sensitive to the substance, which can make it difficult for hair to grow in the follicle over time. Sensitivity to DHT is likely a genetic problem, which is why we see a family history of hair loss in many men suffering from this problem.

Are You a Good Candidate for Hair Restoration?

Hair transplantation is a procedure that yields both natural and permanent results. When a man experiences male pattern baldness, the hair loss usually begins at the front of the head, working its way across the top of the scalp. A horseshoe shape forms around the lower scalp and the hair below the ears typically remains since it is genetically programmed not to fall out. These follicles become the donor sites which are placed into the balding areas to grow hair in those places.

To be a good candidate for hair restoration, you must have sufficient hair in the donor area to be able to move follicles into the balding site without thinning the hair in the donor area too much. Candidates also need to be in reasonably good health, without underlying medical conditions that could affect the outcome of the procedure. Dr. Yu will perform a thorough assessment at your initial consultation to determine whether you are a good candidate for hair transplantation.

What are Your Options?

Hair transplantation is performed using a couple of different techniques:

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

This method removes follicles individually from the donor site and places them into the balding area. Once the follicles “take” in the new area, they will grow hair just like the original follicles once did. This procedure is more time consuming than other methods of hair transplantation but involves smaller incisions at the donor site and patients may enjoy a slightly shorter recovery process afterward. This technique is typically used in men who want to keep their hair very short.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

Also known as the strip method, this procedure removes a very narrow strip of hair from the donor site and then places the individual follicles into the thinning area. Removing follicles through the strip method offers a higher graft survival rate, which means more follicles can be successfully transplanted. Because the follicles are dissected and placed into the new area individually, the result is natural with minimal scarring involved.

Dr. Yu prefers the FUT technique for most of his patients, due to the benefits this approach offers. It has been considered the gold standard in hair restoration for two decades and continues to be preferred by many surgeons and patients today. Rest assured your procedure will be tailored to your precise needs so that you enjoy the best outcome possible.

Hair Transplant Procedure Details

Dr. Yu performs hair transplantation using local anesthesia in most cases. The process begins with an incision at the donor site that allows for the removal of a narrow strip of follicles. Once the follicles are removed, the incision is meticulously closed to minimize visible scarring afterward. The remaining hair in the area will also cover the incision over time.

The removed follicles are then carefully dissected under a microscope so they can be transplanted into the treatment area in groups of one to three or four hair units at a time. Care is taken to ensure the follicles are placed so that all the hair in the new area will grow at a similar angle. Experience is a critical element during this step of the procedure to ensure the most natural results, which is why patients often choose Dr. Yu for their hair transplant procedure.

Hair Transplant Recovery

Men are often pleasantly surprised at how quickly they heal after hair transplantation. Most men head back to their activities within a matter of days without worry that others will notice they had a hair restoration treatment performed. It will take time for hair to grow in at the treatment site, allowing for natural growth and fullness of the hair in that area. Once the hair grows in, it can be cut and styled just like the original hair on your scalp.

If hair loss has been a stressful event for you, solutions are available. Contact Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic Surgery today at (210) 876-6868 to find out if hair transplantation is the right choice for you.

*This content was reviewed by Dr. Kenneth Yu, a double board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon specializing in head and neck surgery (otolaryngology). His practice — Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery — proudly serves the San Antonio and Austin communities.