Hair transplants: Everything you ever wanted to know

 Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Even though science has progressed leaps and bounds, there’s little one can do with the problem of male pattern balding. You can, of course, slow it down but it is impossible to stop. One of the questions that I’m asked often, especially by my male readers, is about hair transplants and what they entail. Duesseldorf-based Dr Villnow is one of the finest transplant surgeons in the world and has worked on many Olympians and footballers including Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp. In fact, colleagues in his cosmetic surgery clinic have also worked on Hollywood actor Demi Moore. Not only is Dr Villnow talented, but also his office is prompt, and gives some of the best prices for his level of expertise. Here he answers all the questions that you didn’t know who to ask: 

 Dr Villnow (right) with a colleague. 

Dr Villnow (right) with a colleague. 

1.  How long does the operation take?
The operation takes around five to six hours including small breaks.

2. Is it painful?
There’s a little pain when the anaesthetic is applied at the beginning which is similar to being at the dentist. After that, there’s no pain. After the operation is finished there’s no pain as such but the first three days or so are a little uncomfortable whilst your body does most of the healing.

3. How much time is required off work?
Two weeks off is optimal if possible but one week will do.

4. Would I need to shave my hair?
This depends on the size of the operation but because our clinic has a lot of patients whose work keeps them in the public eye we regularly perform a technique called Unshaven FUE or U-FUE for short.This is the same as a normal FUE operation but we don’t shave your hair and you can keep your current haircut.

 Dr Villnow

Dr Villnow

5. What happens afterwards?
After two to three weeks you cannot see anything of the transplant since by then the rest of your hair will have grown back. In our experience we’ve noticed that other people notice less than you think. Normally it’s not necessary to ‘hide’ the hair. It’s hardly noticeable anyway. Nowadays if you have a U-FUE operation performed by a skilled surgeon then no one will notice anything.

6. When can we see full growth?
After two to three months the new hairs start to grow, small at first and then ever stronger. At around the 12 month mark most patients can expect to see full growth.The time it takes to grow back follows the body’s natural cycles. There’s an article about this on our website which you can find here: http://www.villnowclinic.co.uk/hair-growth-cycles/

7. Is there a need for another transplant after the first?
The transplanted hairs never fall out because they are taken from the back of the head and so medically speaking, they count as body hair. Body hair has no testosterone receptors and it's never threatened by the testosterone hormone DHT (DiHydroTestosterone) that causes hair loss on the top and front of the head.

 His clinic

His clinic

8. What kind of precautions should be taken?
With skill, experience and care a hair transplant is hard to get wrong. We expect a success rate of over 95%. Smoking can stunt graft growth. Also, it’s your responsibility to let us know about any medications you’re on for anything else. Generally speaking though, hairs grow very well and a success rate over 95% is outstanding for any medical procedure.

9. What is the time period when I should be careful?
Definitely four weeks with no professional, contact or heavy sport. Also be careful of direct sunlight in the first three months because the newly transplanted skin is not used to the sun.

Find out more at http://www.villnowclinic.co.uk.

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