Hair Transplant
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If you're considering a hair transplant or other similar treatment, this learn hub is the place to find the information you need, allowing you to make a more informed decision about your hair.

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Coping with hair loss

Over the past few months, there have been a significant number of reports in the news of people experiencing hair loss after being diagnosed with COVID-19. As a result, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed hair loss as a possible long-term effect of the illness, along with symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness and joint pain. 

A study published by the medical journal The Lancet reported that 22% of the patients it had observed suffered from some degree of hair loss six months after falling ill, with women being more affected than men. 


Why does COVID-19 cause hair loss? 


Although there are several studies linking coronavirus and hair loss, many of the reports we hear about are anecdotal – at the moment, it’s too soon for scientists to officially establish a link between the two. 

However, the type of hair loss that COVID-19 sufferers are reporting seems to be consistent with telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium occurs when more hairs than usual suddenly enter the shedding phase of the hair growth cycle at once, causing a more noticeable amount of hair to shed at once. It’s normal to lose up to 150 hairs per day, but if you spot that you’re losing much more than that – such as clumps coming out when you’re brushing or washing your hair – it could be telogen effluvium. 

Due to the length of the hair cycle, telogen effluvium typically occurs two or three months after a period of significant stress, which can include illnesses such as COVID-19. When undergoing stressful situations, the body puts all its resources into maintaining essential functions only – which, unsurprisingly, does not include hair growth. As a result, you end up with hair loss. 

However, several other conditions can cause hair loss – such as thyroid issues or nutritional deficiencies – so if you are concerned, visit your GP, who can rule out other underlying causes with a simple blood test. 


Will my hair grow back after having COVID? 


If the hair loss is the result of telogen effluvium, most people will find that the hair will eventually grow back without the need for treatment. Typically, once the trigger or stressor is removed, the hair will grow back on its own. 

If you notice that the hair loss is persisting, there are a number of medical, cosmetic and hair transplant treatments available to help – Crown Clinic offers a range of options to support those struggling with hair loss, so don’t hesitate to get in touch

The most common type of hair loss in men, male pattern baldness – also known as androgenic alopecia – affects around 50% of all men by the age of 50 but can start much sooner. Male pattern baldness is a type of diffuse hair thinning that is typically characterised by a receding hairline and hair loss around the top and front of the scalp. 


What causes male pattern baldness? 


Several factors increase the likelihood of hair loss in men – namely genetics, hormones and ageing. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a male sex hormone derived from testosterone. High levels of hormones such as DHT can shrink the hair follicles and shorten the hair cycle, meaning that hair starts to thin and shed more rapidly. Some men are more susceptible to the effects of DHT than others, which can make them more likely to experience male pattern baldness. 

Early signs of male pattern baldness can start to appear at any age, but it most commonly sets in around 25 to 35, getting progressively more noticeable over time. Although baldness isn’t necessarily always inherited, it’s thought that men with close relatives who have experienced hair loss are more likely to lose hair themselves. 


Do I have male pattern baldness? 


Although we would have to assess a patient to determine what type of hair loss they are experiencing, male pattern baldness generally presents as a receding hairline with thinning areas around the crown. This will eventually form a horseshoe pattern of hair around the back of the head, just above the ears. 


Is there a cure for male pattern baldness? 


Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for male pattern baldness. However, if you are concerned about sudden hair loss, you may want to see a doctor to rule out other causes, such as dietary deficiencies or underlying health conditions. 

Although there is no way of preventing or curing male pattern baldness, there are several ways to manage it. 


Treating male pattern baldness 


In the early stages of hair loss, it may be an easy and quick fix to simply change your hairstyle – your hairdresser or barber will be able to suggest styles that help to disguise the thinning areas. Wigs and hairpieces can also provide a natural-looking way to hide your hair loss, although this is only a temporary fix. 

Medications such as Minoxidil and Finasteride may also be effective for male pattern baldness. Minoxidil (Rogaine) is applied directly to the scalp, stimulating the follicles to produce new hair, although this will usually fall out after stopping the medication. Finasteride can help arrest hair loss by blocking DHT production, although similarly to Minoxidil, the hair loss will return if you stop taking it. Both types of medications carry some potential side effects, so make sure to bear this in mind if you’re considering taking hair loss medication. 

Hair transplants are the only permanent way to restore the hair to its former glory. Follicles from the back of the scalp – typically more resistant to androgens – are removed, either via FUT or FUE methods, before being transplanted into the balding areas. The end result of a hair transplant is a natural-looking head of hair that is indistinguishable from the “real” thing.  

If you are struggling with male pattern baldness and would like to discuss your options, contact our clinic to find out how we can help you. 

Trichotillomania is a mental health condition where sufferers feel the urge to pull out their hair. Around 350,000 people in the UK are thought to be affected by the condition, although the actual figure could be higher. Trichotillomania is more common in women, teenagers and young adults, but anyone can suffer from it. 


What are the symptoms of trichotillomania? 


Trichotillomania suffers repeatedly pull out their body hair, most commonly from the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes, although hair can be pulled from any part of the body. The urge to pull out the hair can be very intense, followed by a sense of relief afterwards. It can be a very distressing condition, with sufferers reporting varying degrees of hair loss as a result of the compulsion. Some people also find it embarrassing, going to great lengths to disguise the thinning hair. 


What causes trichotillomania? 


The exact cause of trichotillomania is unknown, although it has been compared to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) due to the similarity of the symptoms. Trichotillomania may also be a reaction to stress or anxiety, as some sufferers only have the compulsion to pull the hair during, particularly stressful periods. However, this is not true of all cases, as some sufferers find that they pull their hair out subconsciously, even when they are in a relaxed state. 


How is trichotillomania treated? 


As it is a chronic mental health condition, trichotillomania unfortunately won’t just go away on its own – it requires treatment. Sufferers needn’t feel embarrassed about seeking help, as it is a relatively common condition. Other treatments may focus on learning to recognise triggers and patterns of hair-pulling. 

Treatment is usually Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, using a specialist technique known as habit reversal training, which aims to help sufferers replace the compulsion to pull their hair out with a less harmful habit. Medication is rarely prescribed to treat trichotillomania, except where it presents alongside other mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Your GP will be able to examine the areas of hair loss to ensure there is no other reason behind the shedding and offer referrals for further treatment. 


Can people with trichotillomania undergo a hair transplant?  


If patients are currently suffering from trichotillomania, they will not be a suitable candidate for surgery. However, if you have long-term hair loss as a result of the disorder and no longer have the compulsion to pull the hair, it may be an option. If you would like to find out if you are a suitable candidate for hair transplant surgery, please get in touch

Hair Transplant Surgery

When performed by a qualified, experienced hair transplant surgeon, hair transplants are a very safe procedure. Hair restoration is a minimally invasive treatment that allows patients to return home the same day, with the procedure only requiring local anaesthetic. 

However, if you undergo a hair transplant abroad – such as in Turkey – the risk attached is much higher. 


Risks of hair transplants in Turkey 


It’s no secret that undergoing hair transplant surgery in countries such as Turkey is a gamble. Every year, countless patients are reeled in by the low prices and package deals offered by overseas clinics. Many of the clinics boast ‘five-star’ ratings and an active social media presence, duping unsuspecting patients into thinking they are visiting a reputable clinic. Although, when you dig a little deeper, you may discover the reviews are faked and the ‘after’ pictures are heavily edited or taken from other clinics. 

Another trick that patients fall for is believing that a surgeon will be carrying out the procedure, as many of the clinics advertise that a surgeon leads them to convince patients that they are legitimate. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean a surgeon will be carrying out the hair transplant itself. In fact, many clinics hire under-qualified technicians with little training to keep the costs down, only seeking the supervision of a surgeon if the procedure goes wrong. 

Over the years, Crown Clinic has fixed countless botched hair transplants, mainly from overseas clinics. The most common problems that we see are unnatural-looking hairlines and unsightly scarring as the result of the surgery being carried out by unlicensed practitioners. Other risks are infections, as sanitation is often extremely poor at the clinics and damage to the scalp due to the result of the incorrect tools being used to carry out the surgery. 


Are there any side effects to having a hair transplant? 


If you choose to have a hair transplant in the UK with a reputable surgeon, side effects will be minimal. The hygiene standards will be incredibly high, meaning the risk of infection is negligible, and you will be given clear instructions on how to take care of your scalp after the procedure. Crown Clinic has an excellent aftercare service, offering a day-by-day guide to ensure optimum healing and results.  

Unlike at overseas clinics, where it can be impossible to follow up after the procedure to discuss any concerns related to your hair transplant, Crown Clinic is more than happy to answer any questions you may have during this phase. 

When it comes to hair transplants, there are two pioneering techniques that are most commonly performed: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Both are incredibly effective hair restoration techniques, with a few key differences. 


Which is better, FUE or FUT? 


We often hear patients asking which is the ‘better’ hair transplant technique – FUE or FUT. The simple answer is, there’s no ‘better’ technique! When you have your hair transplant consultation, your surgeon will assess your hair loss, as well as your medical history and lifestyle factors, to decide which technique will suit you best and yield your desired results. 


What’s the difference between FUE and FUT hair transplants? 


There are several differences between the hair restoration techniques, but in the simplest terms, during an FUE transplant, individual follicular units are removed from a donor area, usually at the back of the scalp. These units are then carefully transplanted in the balding parts of the scalp. An FUT transplant is similar, except a strip of hair containing thousands of hair follicles is removed instead, to be transplanted into the thinning area. 


What are the benefits of FUE surgery? 


One of the key benefits of FUE surgery is that it results in minimal scarring, as the individual grafts that are excised during the procedure are very small. If you wear your hair shaved or very short, FUE only leaves tiny, dot-like scars that are barely noticeable. The surgery doesn’t require stitches that will need to be removed either, which is a bonus. 

FUE is also a slightly less invasive surgery, which means the recovery time is often faster, so you can get back to your daily life sooner. However, it’s worth noting that the surgery itself will take longer, due to the hair grafts being removed individually.  


What are the benefits of FUT surgery? 


As FUT surgery involves removing a strip from the scalp, the procedure is faster, which means it is a cheaper option than FUE surgery. That’s not to say the results aren’t as impressive – both types of surgery will leave you with natural-looking regrowth. FUT is often recommended for people with extensive hair loss, as a large number of grafts can be transplanted in one procedure. 

There is typically a higher chance of scarring after an FUT transplant, but in the hands of a good surgeon, the scarring will be minimal. Plus, once the hair has grown back in, it will be totally unnoticeable. Because of this, FUT surgery can be a great option for anyone who wears their hair longer. 

Above all, hair transplants require a large amount of technical skill to make sure they are indistinguishable from natural hair growth – something that Crown Clinic prides itself on. If you’re wondering which type of hair transplant would be best for you, why not book in for a consultation?  

Hair transplants are an increasingly popular procedure, boasting an impressive success rate that leaves patients with the hair they have always dreamed of. However, you may be surprised to hear that hair transplant aftercare is as important as the surgery itself when it comes to the final result. 

One of the many reasons why Crown Clinic advises against undergoing hair transplant surgery in countries such as Turkey, is that there won’t be a proper aftercare procedure in place. Once you have left the country, it becomes much harder to follow up with the clinic if you have any concerns – unfortunately, the wellbeing of patients is of little interest to these clinics. 


Why is hair transplant surgery aftercare important? 


After your hair transplant, you must be extremely careful with your scalp, to minimise the risk of infection, scarring or even disrupting future hair growth. This means that in the weeks following surgery, there is advice you need to follow to make sure you’re giving the newly-transplanted hair the best chance to thrive. 


Hair transplant aftercare 


Following your hair restoration surgery, we would recommend taking 7 – 10 days off work after the procedure, if possible – although if you have a manual job, 14 days would be advisable. You’ll also need to make sure that, amongst other precautions… 

You sleep with your head elevated on 2 or 3 pillows for the first few days after surgery. 

You avoid strenuous exercise for the first few weeks. 

You regularly spray your new hair grafts with saline solution before you are instructed to start gently washing your hair. 

It might sound like a lot to consider after your hair transplant surgery, which is why Crown Clinic offers a helpful guide to get you through the first few weeks post-surgery. It offers a day-by-day post-operative calendar to advise you on how to look after your new grafts in the first 10 days, as well as in-depth advice on how to care for your scalp. 

Plus, the guide explains any potential side effects that you may notice after your surgery – most very minor – and how to treat them at home. However, the team at Crown Clinic are happy to discuss any concerns you may have after your hair transplant. 

Some patients panic when the new hair sheds a few weeks after the surgery and worry it’s to do with improper aftercare – but please note this is usually normal and it will grow back. It takes around 4-6 months after the hair transplant for the hair to start to grow, although it can take longer, so patience is key. 

TV Appearances

Crown Clinic surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak honoured by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. View the award here

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Hair Loss FAQs

Although the bald look may work for the likes of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and heavyweight hardman Tyson Fury, for many people, baldness can feel like a curse. 

For centuries, scientists around the world have searched for a cure, confident that they would stumble on a breakthrough discovery – but a miracle solution still evades them. It doesn’t mean there will never be a cure for hair loss, but for now, there are plenty of options for people who are struggling with it, from temporary solutions such as wigs and hair pieces, to hair loss medications and hair transplants

There are many causes behind hair loss, for both men and women. Hereditary hair loss, determined by our genes, is the most common cause of hair loss for all genders. Other common causes include ageing, Alopecia areata and hormonal imbalances. 

The short answer is yes, hair transplants really do work! The principle of hair transplants is the same as any other type of transplant – however, as the tissue is coming from your own scalp, it won’t be rejected. 

The hair is taken from a donor area at the back of the head, before the follicles are surgically implanted in the recipient site and maintained by the constant blood supply to the scalp. The hair will keep the same characteristics as the rest of the patient’s hair and will continue to grow – so it should be no surprise that around 50,000 people undergo hair restoration surgery every year. 

Proper aftercare is a very important part of the hair transplant process, so you must adhere to the instructions provided in your care plan to ensure optimum healing. Crown Clinic has a very detailed aftercare plan that gives you day-by-day instructions to make the process as easy as possible. 

In terms of hair growth, the donor hair should shed within around 14 – 28 days of the surgery, before the new hair growth commences after approximately 4 – 6 months. 

As with most minor surgery, hair transplant surgery can cause discomfort. However, it is conducted under local anaesthetic so the procedure is painless, and a minor sedative may also be issued. Patients can watch a film or read a book during their surgery – many patients actually find they are so relaxed that they fall asleep! 

The standard period of time is five days post-op, but this will be discussed with your consultant when planning your tailored aftercare plan. 

The initial outlay of a hair transplant is more expensive than other temporary solutions, but as it is permanent, it is much more cost-effective in the long run. We understand that it can be a significant sum to pay upfront, which is why Crown Clinic offers interest-free finance for hair transplant surgery. 

This depends on the patient’s specific hair type and requirements. At your hair transplant consultation, your hair density will be assessed along with the size of the restoration area to determine the number of grafts needed to create your ideal look.