Frequently Asked Questions

Questions to Ask

Questions: What is the cause of hair loss?

Answer: While there are several causes of hair loss, nearly 95% of all hair loss is caused by a condition known as "androgenic allopecia", commonly referred to in men as "male pattern baldness." There are several factors which lead to the onset of this condition, including the following: 1) a genetic predisposition to hair loss; (2) the presence of dihydrotestosterone, a male hormone; and (3) age. On average, individuals typically lose some 100 hairs daily. These hairs should regrow several months later, and it is only until the hair loss exceeds the new hair growth that baldness results. Once hair loss starts, however, it is a progressive condition and will continue for a lifetime.

What is androgenic allopecia?

Androgeneic Allopecia is the most common form of hair loss and is known more readily in men as "male pattern baldness". It is a progressive disease which, once begun, worsens with age. There are several factors which lead to the onset of this condition, including genetics, age, and the presence of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

How does hair transplant work?

Hair transplantation is really about relocating (transplanting) the bald-resistant hair follicles from the back of the head to the balding areas on the top of the head. This process works for a lifetime because the hair follicles taken from the back of the head are genetically resistant to baldness, regardless of where they are relocated to.

Does the hair transplant procedure hurt?

Patients are given local anesthesia in the donor and recipient areas. Most patients find that once the anesthesia is given they feel no pain or discomfort during the surgery. Following surgery patients will typically feel some amount of numbness, with some mild discomfort. Most patients are pleasantly surprised by how minimal the discomfort from the surgical procedure is.

I am a 26 years old male and have been losing my hair for the past about one year. Hair density throughout my scalp and especially the crown area has become sparse. My hairline is receding too. When my hair is dry, only my hairline is obvious. What do you advise regarding time of surgery?

It really depends on how much your hair loss is bothering you. The right time for surgery is once hair loss really starts to bother you. If that time is now, you certainly could be a candidate for surgery, but should understand that given your young age, completely filling in the crown area is not the best idea as you will likely continue to lose hair from there. You need to take a considered opinion of a qualified hair transplant surgeon.

What is the minimum age a person should be to have a hair transplant?

Patients usually range in age from 21 to 80. However, since hair loss is not limited to a particular age, hair transplantation really has no minimum age requirement. Regardless of your age, the best thing to do is address your hair loss as soon as possible.

At just 21 I am getting uneasy about my hair loss. I wonder if there is any way to know how much more hair I will lose.

You can`t really guess as to how much further hair loss will occur, though you can estimate, and not necessarily very accurately, your potential for future hair loss by looking at your relatives. Generally speaking, there is a greater chance of further hair loss progression the younger the age of onset.

Who makes a good candidate for hair restoration surgery?

Any person who is concerned about his/her hair loss and willing to undergo a minimally invasive procedure is a potential candidate for the procedure. AHRS-India doctors have seen a wide range of patients who have been as young as in their late teens to as old as in their late 80`s. They have had hair loss patterns ranging in severity from minimal hairline recession and early thinning to advanced baldness where nothing but a rim of hair was left along the back and sides of the scalp. But you need to see a doctor before you get a considered opinion.

Can good hair be cloned and used for surgery in order to save the donor hair?

Cloning hair is not an option today, though perhaps it will be in the future. With the proper procedure, you need not worry about wasting your donor hair at the expense of achieving great results.

Will an eyebrow restoration procedure work for someone with absolutely no hair on their eyebrows?

For someone with no eyebrow hair, a single procedure can provide enough volume to make the eyebrows appear thin but natural appearing. Unless this thin appearance is sufficient, most patients find that they need to continue to pencil in their eyebrows in order to complete the look. In order to provide more density, a second and even a third procedure can be performed in the future.

I`m interested in moustache and beard transplants but concerned about the scars and wondering how bad they are!

Our doctors have performed a number of facial transplants and can tell you that you need not worry about scarring. By transplanting follicular unit grafts, the cheek, chin and temple skin will grow hairs without noticeable bumps. This hair can be trimmed and even shaved. The only scar that results is the one on the donor area on the back of the head, and this is a single fine-line scar that is imperceptible even with a haircut using a number 2 razor.

I am a blonde and wondering if the procedure can be good for me, or if having blonde hair has any special concerns.

The most pleasing & subtle results actually tend to occur in blondes, though there tends to be a little less density achieved than with individuals with darker hair.

I`m interested in getting a hair transplant but I currently wear a hair piece and am wondering how to ensure that the transition won`t be too noticeable. Would a concealer work?

You can wear a concealer like Toppik. Typically you would not wear the hairpiece for the first 3 weeks. After this you can then wear it regularly but on the advice of your treating doctor. One way to make the best transition would be to get the hair piece cut thinner and thinner, then go away for a week and return with a goatee. Believe it or not, most people won`t realize the difference.

What is the recovery process like in men who receive facial hair transplants? And do the hairs all fall out before regrowing?

Facial hair transplants involve a similar recuperation process to the usual hair transplant. Tiny crusts will occur where each graft of one and 2 hairs were placed and will last for about one week. For another week or two after that, you will have the little hairs but without the crusts. By the third week, the transplanted hair will fall out, about 70% or so, while the remaining 30% stick around and continue to grow. At this point, the transplanted areas will look nearly undetectable until, one to three months later, the hair begin to regrow.

How long after the procedure until you get back to your usual routine?

Within 1-3 days patients are typically able to return to work and most of their social activities. All activities, including most exercise can be resumed within four to six days. Some advise that a powder called Toppik be applied to the scalp to help conceal the tiny crusts which develop around each graft.

I`m not in India so I`m wondering how long I`d have to stay at the clinic after the operation?

If you`re not looking to spend some time visiting India, you can fly home the very next day.

I have several questions: is the whole head shaved during the procedure and are there any marks like cuts or anything else on the head immediately after the procedure? Also, how long would it take to complete 1,000 grafts? Could it be done all in one day?

A qualified doctor will only shave those hairs from the back of the scalp that are to be transplanted. After the procedure you can expect tiny crusts to form where the grafts were placed, and these last for about one week. While most patients require more than 1,000 grafts to achieve any degree of density while maintaining a completely natural result, it would take about 2-3 hours to complete a 1,000 graft procedure.

I`d like to know if the results are actually permanent because I`ve heard that they can look good initially but then not look so great later on.

The results of hair transplantation really are permanent. The hair will grow and continue to do so for the rest of your life because the hair transplanted from the donor area is not sensitive to the balding process.

Can you tell me about detectability and scarring after a hair transplant?

In my opinion, a hair transplant wasn`t performed properly if you can tell that an individual had the procedure. A completely natural looking head of hair, one in which the hairline is so natural that the hair can be brushed back and even cut very short, is completely attainable using state-of-the-art techniques available with AHRS-India doctors. There is also a bit of artistic license here as the natural appearance is achieved by using the right combination of different sized follicular unit micro grafts transplanted at the proper angle, and by designing a hairline that is in harmony with the individual`s facial proportions. Follicular unit transplantation is a technically demanding procedure, but by far creates, for most individuals, the most natural appearing results.

How long does it take for transplanted hair to grow and what`s the growth rate?

Once the transplanted hairs begin to grow, they will continue to do so for a lifetime. The growth process typically starts about 3 months after the procedure, while final coverage is evident within 8 to 12 months after the procedure.

Is there any guarantee that the transplanted follicles will grow hair?

Patients can expect 90-plus % of all transplanted hair to grow at the clinics of doctors of the AHRS-India since they have acquired a degree of competence over years of practice. However, procedures performed in an area of scar tissue (e.g. after surgery to remove skin cancer), it is more common for about 70% of the hairs to grow.

About a year and a half ago I started taking Propecia with very good results. I wasn`t really considering a hair transplant until I came across your website! Though I have noticed that the hair in my mid scalp has continued to get thicker, I would be interested in getting approximately 500 grafts in and around my mid scalp. I`d be interested in hearing your opinion and how many grafts you would recommend. I`m also wondering if there is any chance that the grafts applied to my midscalp could damage my hair that`s already there and stop the hair from growing. Thanks.

There is a risk of damaging already existing hairs by placing grafts into an area that already has hair. However, the risk is minimal when the microscopic technique is used. Patients can expect no more than 5% to 10% of temporary thinning in the area, allowing for that area to look significantly thicker once the newly transplanted hairs have grown in.

What do you think specifically makes members of AHRS-India good hair transplant surgeons and what do you think people should look for in a surgeon?

The most important decision in restoring your hair is the physician you choose. First, when looking for a surgeon it`s very important to find a qualified and experienced surgeon, specifically with hair transplantation. AHRS-India doctors are certified through a credentials & ethics committee and they are familiar with and utilizes the most advanced techniques for hair transplantation.

The skill, talent, and experience of hair restoration doctors vary widely, as do the end results. Who you choose will determine how natural and full your new hair will be for the rest of your life.

What are the risks associated with the procedure?

The risks associated with hair transplantation done at a one of our qualified doctor`s clinic are typically very rare and minimal. Patients will occasionally get a few pimples that clear up soon afterward, or on occasion may experience a little numbness of the scalp which clears up within six weeks.

Since I would have to travel for the procedure from London to India, would it be possible to plan a vacation or time off with my family at the same time?

A vacation is certainly a possibility and there are numerous options available in India. Your doctor`s clinic staff will certainly help you in this regard.

We typically advise that you allocate one or two full days to the procedure, depending upon how many grafts you need. On the first day after the procedure you will be shampooed at the doctor`s clinic. On the second day you will be able to enjoy some time with your family though your head maybe slightly to somewhat tender. Most activities are permitted the very next day, though we recommend that you take some precautions to cover or keep your head out of the sun. Several of our patients have enjoyed mini-vacations in India to the Taj Mahal, Goa, wild life sanctuaries and the hills following their procedure, including one who commented: "Only the first day was a little hectic. After that, everything was back to usual. Wearing a cap wasn`t even a big deal!"

Is there any negative impact that can happen from flying after the surgery?

No, there are no negative impacts that can result from flying soon after the procedure.

If I`m traveling for the procedure, is it necessary to bring someone with me?

While not necessary, it is always nice to have someone accompany you. Good quality hotels are available near to the clinics of all the doctors of AHRS-India. Their office would be happy to arrange travel for you to a hotel in the area.

I`m a woman, 34 years old, and very depressed about my hair loss, which is in the immediate front like it`s going to form a bald triangle above my forehead. It also seems to be thinning a lot along the side/front of my head, basically sideburn and the area above. I don`t have any medical problems, no family history, no clue, and have had all blood tests done. I`m wondering if a transplant is a possibility for me and how long I should wait. Also, I just read a very informative article on your website about women`s hair transplantation. Please advise me.

From your description, you sound like a very suitable candidate for hair transplantation. Typically, when hair loss is bothering you enough that you want to do something about it, that would be the right time to undergo the procedure.

Hi, I`d like to know if there`s anything you can do about a forehead that`s too high.

Several procedures can effectively reduce the high forehead. Hair transplantation is one of these procedures which, when performed properly, can yield quite natural appearing results.

I am a 42 years old woman and I have very visible hair loss that is progressive and makes me look older than my years. What can I do to stop hair loss and regain a full head of hair?

The degree of hair loss that is considered "very visible" and "unacceptable" varies from person to person. Studies have shown that about 80% of premenopausal women who look for hair loss will discover some degree of thinning hair. At what point the hair loss becomes "unacceptable" is an individual assessment for each person. Some women will accept hair loss as a condition of ageing. Others will demand that hair loss be halted or reversed.

Hair loss patterns in women are typically different from those in men; that in women tends to be more diffuse than hair loss in men, but more typically male patterns do occur in some women. The more characteristic female pattern is diffuse thinning over a considerable area of scalp, or diffuse thinning in a "Christmas tree" pattern over the central scalp. An advanced form of diffuse hair thinning is called diffuse unpatterned alopecia (DUPA) that involves the entire scalp.

A woman`s hair loss that is visible, progressive and unacceptable to the woman should be evaluated by a physician hair restoration specialist to determine (1) the cause of hair loss, and (2) whether hair loss can be halted or an acceptable appearance restored by medical or surgical treatment.

Hair transplantation is almost always the surgical treatment of choice for a woman. The procedure has a high rate of success in women and the great majority of women are very satisfied with the results. However, not all women are good candidates for hair transplantation. Factors that most frequently rule out hair transplantation for a woman are:

  • Because of diffuse thinning over a large area of scalp, there is not enough donor hair to carry out acceptable hair transplantation, or
  • A patient has unrealistic expectations that hair transplantation can completely restore her pre-thinning appearance of hair fullness and density, rejecting any significant improvement that is less than 100% restoration of pre-thinning appearance.

I have a medical condition. Can I still receive a hair transplant?

Pre-existing medical conditions are always a concern. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, please tell the doctor at the time of your consultation. AHRS-India doctors routinely perform a lot of successful hair restoration procedures for patients with diabetes and other medical illnesses.

Who is the best hair transplant doctor in India? My hair transplant didn`t work that well because of poor postoperative care. What should I tell my hair transplant surgeon and how can I get some kind of refund? He told me he can redo my hair replacement surgery but I don`t have confidence in him.

We can well understand your concerns and will address them one at a time. Regarding the "best" hair transplant physician, there are a number of surgeons that do quality work however, there are even more who do poor quality work. Research is the key to selecting a first-rate hair transplant doctor. At the AHRS-India, we have done some of the research for you by pre-screening hair restoration specialists. We recommend that you do your due diligence in research of any doctor you are considering by looking at before/after hair transplant. Regarding your current hair replacement, we recommend first contacting the hair transplant clinic which performed your first surgery to express your concerns and desires. Be sure also that you`ve given your hair transplant at least a full year to mature before you give it a full evaluation. Ethical hair transplant clinics will do anything they can to help a patient with a less than satisfactory result which may or may not include giving a partial or full refund. In our opinion, if you have lost confidence in your surgeon, we would not recommend you to go back to him/her for a second hair restoration surgery. Please contact our "Patient Complaint Box" on the home page and we shall get back to you.

I had a hair transplant about one and a half years ago. The hair has grown and reasonably thick. I do however have dandruff and occasionally scratch my head quite hard, even on the transplanted sections which are at the temples and also use a tooth comb to scratch it. Is it possible I am doing damage to the transplanted sections, or because it is just on the skins surface so the hair beneath wont be affected? Thanks

The way you phrased your question, it seems you already know the answer. Of course, scratching hair will potentially cause hair loss from what might be traction causes. After a year and a half, you`re not going to pull out any grafts, but treat your scalp and hair with a good anti-dandruff shampoo rather than scratching hard on your scalp. If you have a scalp condition, see a doctor. Heavy, hard scratching does not produce much value and can harm your scalp or hair.

Do you do eye brow transplants? I have toe hair, and I would like to either remove it or have laser done to get rid of the hairs. I don`t like my eyebrows, because they are thick. The color matches between my eyebrow and my toe hairs and they seem to have the same texture. I think I would be a good candidate if you could consider it.

Mark TwainYes, we do eyebrow transplants! Body hair transplants (from the back, chest or leg) have been attempted in the past with minimal success because the telogen cycle is long, at times longer than the growth cycle. Although scalp hair transplant to the eyebrow is routinely done, it does not always produce soft eyebrows that women want if the scalp hair is anything but fine. Keep in mind that scalp hair is generally more coarse than eyebrow hair. Thus, eyebrow transplants for men with coarser hair produce a more aesthetically pleasing result (as men generally want bushy, coarse eyebrows like Einstein or Mark Twain - well, maybe not that far). The key point is that everybody is different and each patient needs to have realistic expectations and goals and know the limitations of such surgery with regard to the thickness of the hair being transplanted. This goes for any type of surgery. We would not object to toe hair transplanted to the eyebrow, but it would be purely experimental and the growth rate may be less optimal because the sleep cycle (telogen) is relatively long, possibly longer than the growth cycle. The reason we suspect that this is the case is that we have rarely seen very long hairs growing from the top of the toe. We would want to know more about what the patient expects and what other hair may be available as an alternative.

Why can`t you transplant hair from one person to another? If the hair is exactly the same colour and close enough the same texture is it possible to do this? Also, on the same note can hairs removed during a procedure be preserved or do they have to be put into a head straight away? Honestly it would be a great idea, people with generously thick hair "sell" their hair to you and then you could probably charge 3 times that amount to put it into someone else`s head, it would make lots of money!

FreezerThere is a lot of experimentation occurring, but nothing that exists at this time. Hair grafts start dying at about 8 hours out of the body while kept in ideal conditions like iced Ringer`s solution at about 34 degrees Fahrenheit. The death rate for grafts occurs at a rate of about 1% per hour after the 8 hour period. In 24 hours, there will be 24% death rate of grafts, 48% at 48 hours etc. Hair follicles are organs, and like with a kidney, liver, or heart transplant, these organs also have limited times to get them into their new and final resting place. You would have to take anti-rejection medication for the rest of your life if you used anybody`s hair organ other than your own and the risks of these drugs are high for death - a risk perhaps worth taking for a heart or liver, but for hair? No way. These medications can lead to other health complications, and since a hair transplant isn`t exactly a lifesaving procedure (like a heart transplant would be), the end doesn`t justify the means.

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