One of the primary goals of transgender women is to grow hairs in the bald areas resulting from male pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia is one of the most common causes of hair loss in men. It results in a distinct baldness pattern, a receded hairline that begins at the temples and moves up to the crown area. A receded hairline, obviously, does not look feminine and thus projects one of the biggest challenges to the transgender patients. There is probably no better indicator of a feminine style than a properly designed, fully grown feminine hairline.
Hair transplant surgery is to date the only guaranteed solution for male pattern baldness. Luckily, transgender patients can also benefit from surgical hair restoration. Transgender hair transplantation surgery is no different than the traditional surgical hair restoration.
A medical procedure like a hair transplant seems very technical and difficult to understand to a transgender patient with no medical background. If you are also planning to undergo a hair transplant surgery but do not know what to expect during the procedure, worry not. Here we will explain this extremely technical procedure in a non-technical, easy to understand way. Continue reading to know how transgender hair transplantation surgery is performed.
What is hair transplant?
The name is quite self-explanatory! A hair transplant takes hair follicles from one location of your body, mostly your head, and plants them to the other location, the balding areas. As we all know hair follicles, commonly known as the roots of hairs, are responsible for growing hair on our head. When a hair follicle is extracted from its original location (known as donor site) and implanted at the balding area (known as recipient site), it starts growing at the planted site. This simple phenomenon which involves the extraction and implantation of healthy hair follicles is known as hair transplantation.
The famous donor dominance principle:
Donor dominance is the basic working principle behind the success of hair transplant procedures. When a hair follicle is extracted from the donor site and planted into the recipient site, it retains balding resistant characteristics of the donor site and stays at its new place for a long time. This is known as the donor dominance principle, that unlike the original hair at the recipient area, the transplanted hair does not take effect of hair shedding hormones and stays there for a longer time.
How the procedure is performed?
A hair transplant procedure is broadly divided into two phases: the extraction phase and plantation phase. In the extraction phase, the surgeon extracts balding resistant hair follicles from the donor site. After extracting the required number of grafts, he/she moves to the plantation phase. Before discussing the plantation phase, let’s discuss the choices the transgender patients have for donor hair extraction.
Choices — the traditional strip removal method transplant and the FUE
Like a conventional hair transplant, transgender patients also have two choices to extract hair follicles from the donor site: strip removal and FUE. Strip removal is a more invasive but effective and time-tested method. This method removes a linear strip of skin from the back or sides of the scalp. This strip contains thousands of healthy, balding resistant hair follicles. The follicles are separated into individual grafts under a powerful stereoscopic microscope.
FUE (follicular unit extraction), on the other hand, employs a different non-surgical graft extraction technique. It extracts each hair follicle individually. The surgeon, using a specially designed punch tool, extracts hair follicles one by one, without cutting a strip of skin. This is why it is a less invasive and most demanded procedure. The only downside of FUE is that it is slower than the strip method and it demands more time and effort from the surgeon. Consequently, it costs more than the traditional strip method transplant, also known as Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT).
How the plantation is performed?
Plantation of grafts is carried out the same way you plant trees! There is a similarity between planting trees and planting hair follicles. First, the surgeon carefully creates tiny holes (called slits) at the recipient site. Then he carefully places the extracted hair follicles in these tiny holes. Planted hair follicles attach themselves to the blood supply of the recipient area within a week or so and start growing.
What happens after the transplant?
You need some patience to see the growth of your transplanted hair. Be very careful and stick to guidelines provided by your surgeon. Immediately after the surgery, your scalp will be sore and swollen. Use ice packs and prescribed medications to alleviate these symptoms. After 3 to 4 weeks the transplanted hair will shed and the hair follicles will undergo a dormant state for the next 2-3 months. They will start their normal growth after this dormant period. The good news is that you will get permanent hair that does not need any extra care, and they give you the looks and confidence of having your hair back.
The hair transplant Dubai Clinic also caters to transgender patients. To know more about transgender hair transplantation surgery, pay us a visit or book an appointment now by filling the free online consultation form. We have some of the world’s best-known hair transplant surgeons who have a wide experience of natural hairline restoration for transgender patients.