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Hair Transplant & Restoration

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.

Hair Transplant FAQs

How much is a hair transplant?

The cost of a hair transplant can vary significantly based on your unique conditions and goals. Generally, though, you can expect to spend anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 on this procedure. During your consultation with our office, we can give you an accurate cost estimate to know precisely what to expect as you move forward in the process. 

How does hair transplant work?

In the most simple form, a hair transplant is performed by removing hair follicles from elsewhere on the body (usually the back of the hairline) and placing them in tiny holes on your scalp that your surgeon makes with a small tool. The site is then covered with gauze and remains protected until the newly placed hair follicles can secure themselves through the body’s natural healing process. 

How long does a hair transplant last?

While it takes about six months for the final results to take root and grow, a hair transplant will last a lifetime. The follicles in place will continue to grow and fill your head with hair as long as they are maintained and not damaged. While you can rely on the transplanted hair to remain, there is no way to prevent future balding from occurring as well, which is why some men may need follow-up treatment. 

Do hair transplants actually work?

Because of how many snake-oil-like treatments exist on the market that do not make good on the promises they guarantee, many people are skeptical about any type of treatment that claims to restore a hairline. Hair transplant is different. It relies on advanced medical and surgical training rather than topical ointments and creams that have no scientific basis. 

Is hair transplant permanent?

Hair transplant is permanent. The hair placed into the thinning or bald areas on your head will remain with you as long as your body can maintain them. This makes hair transplant much more optimal than other treatments that can only reliably keep results as long as you continue the treatment. In many cases, nonsurgical treatments aren’t very effective at providing any results, so a procedure that can guarantee results to some degree is already better than many gambles. 

Does hair transplant hurt?

The procedure is performed with local anesthesia and some sedation to make sure you remain as comfortable as possible. You will not feel any pain or discomfort during the surgery, but you may experience some pressure from your surgeon. Afterward, any pain or discomfort you experience during recovery can be mitigated with over-the-counter or prescription medication.  

Is hair transplant worth it?

This is an entirely subjective question, but we have found that the vast majority of our patients are able to restore a great deal of happiness and confidence after having a hair transplant performed. They no longer cling to hats or feel self-conscious in public settings, and they generally can enjoy every aspect of life much more without the development of balding or thinning hair weighing them down. 

Should I get a hair transplant?

This is also a subjective question, but we believe that anyone who is struggling with happiness or confidence issues that derive from hair loss should at least consider hair transplant surgery. It may not be ideal for every potential patient, but it is generally a good option for most people with very few limitations on who can have it performed. While it can provide very positive changes to your life, you should always temper your expectations and make sure they are realistic. Otherwise, you will continue to find yourself unhappy, even if the procedure would otherwise be considered a success.

Is hair transplant safe?

Hair transplants are remarkably safe procedures with very low rates of complications, especially when you use a physician like Dr. Yu, who has years of experience, training and expertise on the subject matter. The safety of your procedure (and the quality of it) depend largely on the person performing your treatment, so always make sure you are finding a credible medical practice. 

Can you wear a hat after hair transplants?

It may take some time for the hair follicles to grow and root deep enough to be safely secured within the skin. For that reason, we advise all of our patients to avoid any headwear or hairstyles that may cause the newly fastened hair to fail or be removed from the skin. Dr. Yu will be able to provide you with a timeline about when you can resume wearing hats, beanies and other head accessories. Typically, the timeline can fall anywhere between seven and 14 days. 

How long does it take for hair transplants to grow?

Hair growth is a relatively slow process. It can take between six and nine months for the hair to begin to grow at a reasonable pace. This is due to the time it takes for the body to heal and the generally slow rate at which hair grows naturally. Patience is vital after completing your recovery. While it may seem like an eternity to wait for results, once they do settle in, you will never need to worry about the hair thinning away again. 

How do I wash transplanted hair?

If you need to give your hair a quick wash after your procedure, you should make sure to use as little pressure as possible early on in the recovery process. Take a small cup of water and soap and rub the treated area gently. Make sure you do not remove any hair follicles in the process with too much pressure. Otherwise, you may find yourself highly disappointed in your final results. Eventually, the new hair will have taken well enough that you no longer need to worry about taking extra steps to maintain your hair. 

Can women get hair transplants?

While hair transplantation is much more prevalent among men, women can have the procedure performed as long as there are donor follicles available. Unfortunately, in some cases, it has been shown that the success rate of hair transplants is much lower in women, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on the prospect entirely. Many women have used hair transplant to restore and boost their physical appearance. 


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.