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Six myths about hair transplants

You read a lot these days about 'fake news' - stories that gain great traction in the media which are deliberately concocted and are untrue.

There is a lot of fake news about hair transplantation. We thought it would be a helpful to guide you through some of the myths about procedures.

Crown Clinic is one of the very best hair transplant clinics in the world. Our surgeon Asim Shahmalak is respected globally for his expertise carrying out FUE (follicular unit extraction) and FUT (follicular unit transplantation) procedures.

We write this blog to provide clear and accurate information about hair transplants and shatter some of those myths which can cause confusion in some potential patients and lots of unnecessary worry.

Here are six of the most common myths about hair transplants.

1 Hair transplantation is not suitable for elderly patients.

This is a myth - as long as you have healthy donor hair, there is no reason why you cannot have a hair transplant if you are at an advanced age - over 70, 80 or even older. If you feel that a hair transplant might improve your self confidence and make you look better, just remember that age is no barrier.

2 Hair transplants only work on men

Another myth - around 10% of the clients at Crown Clinic are women. Around 40% of women suffer hair loss at some point in their lives. Mostly this is temporary hair loss - for instance during pregnancy - and the lost hair grows back, so there is no need for the sufferer to have a hair transplant. But other women have naturally very thin hair or suffer from permanent hair loss - female pattern baldness - and they can benefit from a hair transplant in much the same way as men.

3 A hair transplant gives you an immediate result

We would love to say that this is true but unfortunately hair transplantation does not work quite like that. The fact is that in the first three weeks after a hair transplant, a lot of the new transplanted hair drops out. This is entirely natural and nothing to worry about. The root of the new hair will be established in the balding area and this new hair will grow back again. But the patient may not see the full benefits from a procedure from between six months and up to a year after the initial surgery. Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to hair transplantation.

4 Transplanted hair is temporary

This is another myth -  any transplanted hair should last the patient for the rest of their life once it is established in its new home in the scap. What patients need to remember is that hair loss is a continual process. So while the transplanted hair is permanent, the patient my continue to lose their natural hair near to where the transplanted hair has been moved. That is why hair transplant surgeons such as Crown Clinic's Asim Shahmalak often recommend a two-pronged approach - combining a hair transplant with some clinically approved medication such as Finasteride. Finasteride will not grow any new hair for the patient - but it may prevent them from losing any more of their natural hair.

5 A hair transplant helps a patient to grow new hair

We would love this to be true as well but sadly it is not. A hair transplant does not create any new hair - what it does is move hair around the scalp so that a balding area is boosted with additional hair from an area of the scalp where there is an abundance of hair. In virtually all cases, male pattern baldness happens on the top of the sclap. Even the most bald man tends to have a permanent horse-shoe of hair around the back and sides of the scalp - this is where the donor hair is taken from. Most men have easily enough hair on the back and sides of the scalp to provide donor hair for at least three transplants (around 6,000 transplanted hairs) without anyone noticing that hair has been taken from the back or sides of the scalp for the transplant - ie you do not need to worry about creating a new bald spot in harvesting the hair for a transplant. 

6 Washing your hair too frequently after a hair transplant can result in additional hair loss

Another myth - immediately after a hair transplant patients need to be careful that they do not displace any of the new folliciles. We ask that they sleep upright for the first few days after a procedure and they wear a buttoned up shirt rather than sweater which is removed by pulling over the head (this movement could also dislodge the new hair).

But you can shampoo your hair as often as you like a week or so after the procedure. In fact, we recommend that you do so because it is important to keep the treated area clean to avoid infection.