Is a No-Shave Hair Transplant Permanent?
Hair loss is no small problem. Sometimes, it feels like it affects every facet of your life – work, socializing, and even relationships. Luckily, treatments are better than ever, and hair transplants can provide a whole new head of hair.
However, a No-shave FUE transplant is no small investment. Hair transplants are surgical procedures, and they require expertise to perform. It’s no surprise that patients want to be sure that they will get the most value for their money, and that their results will last.
Surgical hair restoration is permanent. It is the only treatment for hair loss that will last a lifetime. But some factors can affect the long-term look of your new hair. To maximize your satisfaction of your Shave-less FUE treatment, you will want to pay attention to a few key factors.
How To Decide To Get a Hair Transplant
If you’re seriously considering a hair transplant, one of your first stops should be your GP’s office. Hair loss can be a sign of underlying illness or a bad reaction to some medications. If you are able, see a physician and rule-out any such factors that could be contributing to hair loss.
Once you’ve ruled-out any other factors, and have determined that a hair restoration procedure is for you, it’s time to find the right specialist.
There are many places you can go for a hair restoration treatment – some dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, and even national chain brands offer these services.
However, your best option is a doctor who specializes in hair restoration. Cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists are certainly highly trained, but hair restoration is likely not their specialty.
National hair restoration chains may offer treatments at a deep discount, but often, your procedure at such a clinic is not performed by a doctor. Instead, technicians perform the procedures.
Dr. Daniel Danyo is the founder and medical director of North Atlanta Hair Restoration. He is certified through the American and International Board of Hair Restoration Surgery – and one of only 400 people in the world who is.
He personally performs every procedure at North Atlanta Hair Restoration, placing every graft on every patient. From your first consultation to your annual follow-up appointment, he is involved in every step of the process.
If you cannot get to Atlanta to be seen by Dr. Danyo, look for a doctor in your area with similar credentials. Also, be sure to see before and after photos of previous clients, so you can be sure the practice has worked with your hair type in the past.
How Does No-Shave FUE Work?
Hair transplants are cosmetic surgical procedures. Hair follicles are taken from one area of the scalp (the donor site) and relocating them to areas where the hair is thinning.
The first hair transplant surgery was performed in 1959 by Dr. Norman Orentreich. His method involved using “plugs,” of hair – groupings of follicles that were about four to six millimeters wide.
For many years, “hair plugs” were the prevailing form of hair restoration. While revolutionary, the results were not always subtle. Since then, hair transplants have become less invasive and less noticeable.
The two modern hair transplant procedures that doctors perform most often are Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
During FUT, a patch of scalp is moved from the back of the head to a thinning or bald area. This procedure is also known as “strip harvesting,” because a strip of scalp is relocated.
While this method is less noticeable than hair plugs, it does leave scarring. It is also a somewhat invasive procedure involving stitches or staples. You will also need to visit your doctor after about four weeks of healing to have your stitches removed.
Occasionally, patients report numbness or discomfort in the transplant area long after the surgery.
Shave-less FUE is a less invasive hair transplant procedure that avoids nearly all the pitfalls of FUT. During FUE, individual hair follicles are removed either manually, or using a robotic device called ARTAS.
Small punctures are made around each hair, removing the entire follicle without disturbing the surrounding skin. Hairs are individually placed in the thinning area, allowing for a natural look.
With FUE, there is no scarring or long-term discomfort. Most patients are fully recovered within days – some even return to work the very next day.
FUE can be performed with or without shaving a portion of the scalp. Dr. Danyo specializes in No-Shave FUE. He is one of the world’s leading experts in this technique, and has performed over 1 million graft excisions and placements.
When hair follicles are moved to a new area of the head, the hair continues to grow and behave exactly like your own hair, because it is your hair. A skilled doctor will place your follicles so the new growth will match the hair in and around that area.
FUE requires artistry in addition to precision. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced doctor performing your procedure. A trained surgeon will be able to achieve natural, seamless results that blend perfectly with your existing hair.
Are Shave-less FUE Procedures Permanent?
In a word: Yes.
Once your follicles are transplanted to their new location, they cannot be removed. They will continue to grow and produce hair, despite the move. This is called “donor dominance.”
Generally, hairs that originate on the back of the scalp are resistant to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (or DHT). DHT attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss. Your doctor will move hairs from DHT-resistant areas and use them to fill the thinning patches on your scalp.
The relocated hair is no more fragile than the rest of the hair on your head – it can be washed, cut, colored, and styled exactly like “normal” hair. In fact, it is normal hair!
However, most people, even those who do not have male-pattern baldness, experience some thinning of their hair as they age. Your transplanted follicles may eventually produce fewer hairs than they did originally.
Will I Need Another Transplant Eventually?
Hair transplants cannot be reversed, and are therefore permanent. However, your hair may not always look exactly as it does after you heal from your procedure.
Hair loss is generally progressive. If a person suffers from male-pattern baldness, the hair that is native to the thinning rea will likely continue to thin over time. The relocated hair follicles will produce a greater volume of hair, but the surrounding area may eventually produce fewer hairs.
Your doctor may recommend another FUE procedure after a few years to maintain the thickness of your restored hairline.
Other patients may begin their treatment knowing that they will have another procedure sooner than later. Depending on the look of your scalp before your first transplant and the hairstyle you hope to achieve, your doctor may recommend more than one transplant session in your consultation.
If you are hoping to replace the hair in a large, balding area through FUE, you may achieve more natural results by undergoing more than one procedure. Taking too many grafts from one area can cause trauma to the scalp. It can affect the way your follicles heal and the hair growth that follows. Your doctor may recommend doing several sessions so your skin has time to recover, and they can observe your new hair growth.
Also, remember that donor hair is a limited resource. Because your grafts are taken from your own scalp, you have a finite supply of hair to draw from. Your doctor is not creating new hair, but spreading0out the follicles that already exist on your head.
For this reason, it is often not possible to recreate the exact density of hair you had before your hair loss began. Also, placing too many grafts too close together can lead to irritation and irregular growth.
To combat this, your doctor may recommend medications to keep your hair as full as possible.
Healing From a No-Shave Hair Transplant
Shave-Less FUE is a non-invasive procedure with a quick recovery time, but your hair will not be in its final state immediately following your procedure.
Once follicles are grafted to a new region, your skin will need to heal. You may even lose some hair in the first three months after your treatment. This is normal.
It takes between 6 and 12 months for your scalp to fully recover from the procedure and produce the maximum amount of new hair growth. Hair tends to grow about half an inch per month, and you will likely begin to see healthy, new hairs coming in after a few months.
Eventually, this DHT-resistant hair should match the surrounding hair in texture. Depending on your hairstyle and cut, the new growth may not even be noticeable to the eye. Thanks to No-Shave FUE, it is often possible to place the follicles so your new hair is unnoticeable as it grows in, immediately blending with the surrounding hairs.
This can be slightly more difficult for women, whose hairstyles tend to be longer. But your doctor will have tips and tricks that can help you achieve a seamless transition as your hair comes in.
To ensure the health of your hair and maintain the look you desire, we recommend following our post-treatment care recommendations:
- We will provide a spray bottle, which you should use to mist your hair with saline or water four times a day
- Avoid letting your shower spray directly onto the transplant area for three days; instead, pour water onto your scalp from a cup to clean it
- Use a gentle shampoo that does not contain alcohols
- Avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for two weeks
- Do not dye your hair for four weeks
Your doctor may recommend additional medications, such as minoxidil or finasteride to encourage hair growth and prevent thinning in other areas of the scalp.
If you experience any bleeding or swelling in the days after your treatment, contact Dr. Danyo right away.
Why Choose North Atlanta Hair Restoration
Once you have visited North Atlanta Hair restoration, you are our patient for life. Dr. Danyo is committed to helping all his patients achieve their optimal results.
Hair is deeply personal, and Dr. Danyo understands this, as he has experienced hair loss himself. At North Atlanta Hair restoration, we want every patient to be happy with their Shave-less hair procedure for many years.
Thanks to telemedicine, it is easier than ever to consult with your physicians. If you have any questions about your results after your procedure, contact our office and we can set-up a remote appointment so you can see Dr. Danyo whenever is most convenient.
Dr. Daniel A. Danyo is the founder and medical director of North Atlanta Hair Restoration, specializing in treating hair loss in both men and women. He is one of only 300 people in the world certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery.
He is a member of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons, American Hair Loss Association, and The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.
He is also an early adopter and pioneer of Shave-less FUE, one of the most discreet surgical procedures available for hair restoration. Dr. Danyo performs every procedure himself, from start to finish. He individually extracts and places every graft on every patient. Learn more about Dr. Danyo on his Meet Dr. Danyo page.