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A short reading of your time
Hair transplantation is considered a cosmetic procedure that recently has gained popularity and spread rapidly. Although the beginning of this phenomenon was during the sixties of the last century, the last ten years are seen as a real revolution of hair transplantation procedures in Turkey with the discovery of (FUE) technology. This technique contributed significantly to the spread of hair transplantation among many mediums and countries. The cost of hair transplantation varies from one place to another, due to the high competitiveness among hospitals, medical centers and clinics. (Unfortunately, this widespread competitiveness resulted in some non-specialists and those without experience in this field, and wanting to benefit financially from its popularity, luring clients by offering services at lower costs.)
In the Middle East, Turkey is considered the main and most popular destination for those wishing to make hair transplantation; a preferred fashion in the world of plastic surgery. This type of plastic surgery has become one of the most desired procedures in Turkey and is not limited to patients from the Middle East, but many Europeans are also interested in having hair transplantation.
Recently, the number of people who have made hair transplantation in Turkey has increased significantly; many of them are from Canada and the United States.
The natural growth of hair
There is no specific diet, that a person can follow, which guarantees healthy hair. Lifestyle, quality of food and hair type must be taken into consideration when trying to adopt a routine to grow and maintain healthy hair.
Diet for healthy hair
There are some elements, which help to keep our hair healthy, such as:
Food that inhibits hair growth
Exercise stimulates blood flow to different parts of the body, helping nutrient-rich blood to nourish all hair follicles promoting healthy hair growth. Insufficient blood flow causes the hair to grow slowly and weakly, i.e. hair loses its vitality. Additionally, exercise helps to relieve stress, which is considered one of the causes of hair loss.
Folklore and common misconceptions
There are many myths and old wives’ tales spreading common mistakes and beliefs about healthy hair growth. Some of these myths are proven correct. However, in spite of many people believe in them, most of them are incorrect.
This idea is incorrect. Cutting and trimming are done to the ends of the hair, which are usually “dead,” and this will not help the roots or the scalp area. Perhaps this belief came about with the thought that by cutting and trimming the hair it would eliminate the split ends, resulting from damage that causes breaks in the hair. According to this idea, cutting the hair allows the hair to grow longer and faster without splitting, while the fact is that they just reduce the “dead ends.”
Hair texture does not remain the same; it changes. A good example to prove this fact is to note the difference between an adults’ hair structure compared to what it was like during their childhood. In many cases, a baby’s hair is considerably softer compared to the texture in later years. Pregnancy and medications also change the hair texture.
Both thoughts are incorrect. Considering the difference in hair structure and hair type from person to person, each individual should learn how to use the proper products for his/ her hair, such as shampoo and moisturizers, he/ she also should know how often to wash their hair. Usually, people who have healthy bright straight hair wash their hair more often to avoid excessive accumulation of oil, while people with curlier and thicker hair wash their hair less often to avoid drying it out. Curly hair prevents essential oils from reaching the scalp and hair roots, causing dryness, this hair usually lacks brightness, and loses its natural wavy pattern; consequently, it becomes brittle. People with thicker and curlier hair need to use chemical moisturizers to compensate for the lack of natural moisture.
This idea is also incorrect. Brushing hair daily helps to get rid of only the falling hair, which needs to be removed. However, it is advisable to avoid excessive brushing which may irritate the scalp and weaken the hair, causing damage and embrittlement.
Reasons of baldness
Hair transplantation using FUE technology
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) technology is a method for hair transplantation. FUE helps to renew and strengthen hair follicles, and is considered one of the most modern technologies for natural hair transplantation. This process is performed without surgery or stitches. The cuts that occur during the procedure are very small (about the size of a pin); usually, they heal easily within three or four days without leaving any visible scars.
Steps of hair transplantation using FUE technology
Advantages of hair transplantation using FUE technology
Phases of hair transplantation using FUE technology
Phases of transplanted hair growth are very similar to the phases of normal hair growth. This is because hair transplanted using FUE technology is taken from one area of the scalp, the back and the sides of the head, and transplanted to the area with hair loss.
After undergoing a hair transplantation procedure, hair will have the following four natural growth phases:
Rest phase (Telogen): At this phase, the hair follicles drop old hair through the first two weeks following the surgery. After the hair falls, hair follicles rest for 3-4 months.
Hair growth phase (Anagen): The next phase you will experience after hair transplantation is the anagen phase. In this phase of hair growth, the transplanted follicles should start producing new hair. The rate at which the hair grows varies from person to person, but you should expect around a 1/2 inch of hair growth per month. It is usually at the beginning of this phase that your cosmetic surgeon or hair transplantation specialist can tell if further grafting is necessary to provide the desired fullness of hair. After the follicles rest completely, then the transplanted hair grows, you will begin to notice the expected look for the entire scalp.
Hair growth stop phase (Catagen): The third phase you will experience after hair transplantation is the catagen phase. This is essentially a transition phase, where the hair stops growing and moves into dormancy. The catagen stage is the shortest of all hair growths stages, lasting upwards of 2 weeks.
Final phase (Telogen): After nine months of plastic surgery, most hair grows (about 80%), however, the result of successful hair transplantation stabilizes a year later. One percent of patients experience hair growth immediately after the surgery, but this is rare, the hair transplantation growth process takes time. Although there is a significant improvement after the ninth month, and 80% of hair growth is achieved by the end of this period, patients should wait for a year so they can see the pattern of growth for the transplanted hair and determine the final appearance of their hair. Fortunately, since transplanted hair is not associated with genetic traits, it is expected to last a lifetime.
Hair transplantation procedures performed on diabetics
Before talking about hair transplantation and diabetes, we have to clarify some concepts in order to enable you to have a complete idea about the process.
Diabetes is considered one of the most widespread worldwide diseases, according to CNN News. The estimated number of people with diabetes is about 23 million in the United States; the report assumes that about 24% of the people living with diabetes did not undergo medical tests confirming their illness, therefore, are not aware that they are living with the disease. In Arab countries, the percentage of diabetics in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Lebanon amounts to almost 20%, while in Egypt, Syria, Oman, Jordan, Yemen and other Arab countries are about 11- 16%, which are considered high compared to the rest of the world.
Diabetes is manageable and its symptoms and consequences can be avoided, but the disease stays with the patient throughout his/ her life. Therefore, the routine and the pattern of body functions adapt to the disease until it becomes controllable. In spite of that, diabetes remains a key factor in some biochemical changes in the body and cause concern to many patients.
Many people do not know that one of the biggest symptoms of diabetes is hair loss. The daily normal average of hair fall is usually between 50-100 strands, and more than that causes hair loss and baldness. Some main symptoms that accompany diabetes, other than hair loss are dry mouth, excessive thirst, frequent urination, decreased physical activity, and vision problems, which all are signs of a high sugar level.
Causes of hair loss in diabetics
Physiological and biological changes that occur due to diabetes significantly affect the functions of some organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver. Those changes have a close relationship with hair loss. The main reasons hair loss occurs due to diabetes are the following:
Hormone imbalance affects the biological processes with diabetes patients in many ways. One of these symptoms and negative effects is hair loss. At the onset of diabetes, the body starts to have hormonal changes to adapt to the developments that occur due to the disease, which cause a hair dysfunction leading to hair loss.
The body requires specific nutrients and vitamins in order to grow healthy hair. Additionally, a sufficient rate of blood circulation is necessary to transport these nutrients to the scalp providing nourishment to hair follicles, revitalizing the hair. Diabetes affects blood circulation efficiency, which also affects the most important part of the body, the head, subsequently, hair. Blood flow to the limbs is greatly affected in diabetics, in addition, the hair, follicles, in particular, are not provided with an adequate blood supply; subsequently, they stop producing new hair.
High blood sugar levels
Diabetics suffer from hair loss due to high glucose levels in the blood. With this remarkable rise, nutrients, and especially oxygen fail to reach hair cells. As a result, any lack in the arrival of oxygen and nutrients impedes new hair growth.
Stress and diabetes
When a person knows he/ she suffers from diabetes, many changes occur in their daily routine. Changes in daily physical activity and diet put the patient under pressure and stress, which steadily affect the growth of hair, making hair loss inevitable. Among the most important psychological pressures that affect the patient is the fact that diabetes is one of the diseases that threaten the patient’s life in general, causing him/ her to be vulnerable to health and psychological crisis, which all are factors that affect healthy hair growth.
The possibility of hair transplants for diabetics
Diabetics are prone to hair loss even more after the progression of their disease, especially with the deterioration of the patient’s health status. Hair loss is one of the complications and they may experience partial hair loss or become bald. Some people like to have hair transplantation to avoid the psychological feelings of theses dramatic complications. Before starting surgery, a medical specialist has to identify the type of the sickness or diabetes, and control it and maintain a normal blood sugar rate in order to have a successful surgery without any problems.
Controlling diabetes before hair transplantation
Before starting a process of hair transplantation, the patient must follow some instructions, including:
Controlling diabetes during hair transplantation
During the process of hair transplantation, sugar rates should be measured periodically and continuously. Based on these measurements and results, the patient will be given injections of insulin to regulate his/ her blood sugar during the surgery. Any medications or prescriptions for the patient that affect blood sugar, such as some structural steroids used by patients to reduce weakness caused by diabetes, should be stopped.
Diabetes after hair transplantation
The diabetes follow-up process should not stop until the effects of the surgery and the possible rise or fall of blood sugar are controlled, due to the wounds and surgical procedures made during the surgery. In most cases, hair transplantation does not require follow-up, however, in the case of diabetic patients, continuous follow-up for a two-week post-surgery period is highly recommended ensuring that no serious complication will occur and there will be a successful outcome.
To conclude, it is possible to perform a hair transplantation procedure for diabetic patients, but it must be conducted using an extensive care and follow-up methodology. The center or the specialist in hair transplantation has to be knowledgeable of the types and patterns of diabetes and how to control them; he/ she must be able to manage any possible complications after the procedure.
Hair loss treatment using Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy (PRP)
Stem cells in our bodies are considered a powerful and unique kind of cell; they fight against disease, repair damage and restore growth of important cells, such as those necessary for hair growth and skin. Any problem arising with the renewal of stem cells causes many diseases; including hair loss that can be treated using Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy, which adds stem cells useful for treating the affected area and stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself by the re-growth of new hair.
People eligible for Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy
Hair treatment using Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy is considered a safe option for many patients who suffer from hair loss. However, patients suffering from current infections in the scalp, people with diabetes or those with blood clotting disease are not eligible for hair treatment using Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy.
Procedures of Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy
Specialists take a blood sample, and the stem cells are extracted. Laboratory technology is used to separate the Platelet-Rich Plasma, which contains blood stem cells. Then, the plasma is injected into the scalp where the patient is experiencing hair loss. Full treatment takes about one hour and it is not painful. Patients can resume their normal daily activities immediately.
Mesotherapy as a hair loss treatment
Mesotherapy is considered an option for baldness treatment; it allows hair to re-grow for both men and women. It is a non-surgical medical treatment, which can be used to treat a variety of hair loss problems; such as male pattern baldness.
People eligible for Mesotherapy as a hair loss treatment
People considered most eligible for Mesotherapy as a hair loss treatment are the patients who have the following:
• Hair loss in specific places
• Gradual hair loss
Mesotherapy procedure for hair loss treatment
Mesotherapy is applied by using special vitamins, which help to strengthen the blood circulation to the area affected by hair loss, good blood circulation supplies nourishment to the hair follicles, thus prompting hair re-growth, leading to significant improvement in hair growth.
Mesotherapy is administered by injection.
After administering Mesotherapy as a hair loss treatment
When Mesotherapy for hair loss is successful, there is no need for surgery. To achieve the greatest benefit of Mesotherapy, you should avoid toxins in your diet and follow a healthy exercise program.
Smoking, alcohol and drugs in relation to hair transplantation procedures
Do you smoke? Do you drink alcohol? Are you taking any medications? Do you take any supplements or herbal products? These questions and others may be asked to the patient to know about things that may affect hair transplantation so he/ she can avoid them before the procedure. Hence, first, we must ask and know about the relationship between smoking, alcohol and hair transplantation. Additionally, patients must know the degree to which this procedure can be affected by these activities, and to which extent herbal products and supplements, such as vitamins, are used by patients to improve their health, can affect the process.
The relationship between all of these questions and the efficiency of the surgery affects the healing process, so the patient has to answer these questions truthfully:
The patient should be clear and honest when answering these questions; he/ she should not hide these habits from the consultant physician. Depending on the patient’s medical history and initial assessment prior to the hair transplantation procedure, the specialist would be aware of the patient’s health circumstances and determine which procedures should be taken. If the patient doesn’t remember the medications he/ she usually takes, our specialist contacts the patient’s doctor to understands the patient’s unique health situation.
If our specialist considers the patient not to be in good health, noticed that the medications taken by the patient may negatively affect the process, or the patient’s habits, such as consuming alcohol and smoking, could have a significant impact on the procedure, then the specialist may postpone the procedure until, at least, the seriousness of these factors is reduced. The specialist may request the patient to stop consuming alcohol, smoking and using drugs for a period before the hair transplantation procedure.
The decision to delay the procedure is determined by our specialist who makes that decision based on the patient’s health situation or medical history. This assessment differs from patient to patient depending on the information the patient provides to his/ her specialist, in addition to the medical tests conducted before the surgery, which clearly and accurately reveal the patient’s health status.
Factors affecting the hair transplantation procedure
Smoking tobacco excessively and for long periods has many negative health effects on the patient’s body, such as an increased risk of lung cancer, lung diseases, angina, shortness of breath, heart disease and circulatory system disease. Nicotine and chemicals associated with cigarettes cause blood circulation disorders leading to an increase in bleeding during the surgery and after. Additionally, smoking reduces the flexibility of the small blood vessels that supply blood to hair follicles, causing a lack of blood supply to the transplanted hair and thus may affect the success of the surgery. That is why the specialist may ask the patient to stop smoking for a while prior to the procedure if it is determined that smoking will affect the success of the process.
Drinking alcohol is one of the most common causes of bleeding during and after surgery. Alcohol affects the blood clotting process due to its effect on platelets and clotting factors of molecules. This happens because of the influence of alcohol on liver enzymes and its function. It is certain that the specialist will request the patient to stop consuming alcohol for a period before the hair transplantation procedure in order to reduce the risk of bleeding.
Some people, as a way to achieve comfort and elation, occasionally use drugs, such as cocaine. It is likely that these drugs may interfere with other medications, which may cause invisible side effects and other health problems, for example, cocaine affects the body’s ability to respond to general or topical anesthesia, such as rendering the application of Lidocaine topically to the scalp through the hair transplantation procedure useless.
Contact between the patient and the specialist before the hair transplantation procedure
The patient should discuss with his/ her hair transplant specialist about drugs and medications taken, even if a medical specialist prescribed them.
The most common questions about hair transplantation (FAQ)
Will the donor area be affected following hair transplantation by FUE?
FUE technology does not leave any scar in the donor area, the extraction and removal of the hair follicles are individually implemented; one by one using a Micro Motor with tiny headers. Patients may notice small drops of blood in the transplanted area because of the needle used during the planting of hair follicles; they usually disappear after the first washing session after the surgery.
When does the appearance of the hair transplantation procedure disappear?
The scalp and hair appear normal immediately after the surgery; there may be slight redness of the scalp, which gradually disappears by using the prescribed medication given to you. Within a few days, the redness disappears and the skin or scalp returns to its pre-procedure state.
When can I see the results of the surgery and get a full idea of post-procedure hair appearance?
The results of hair transplantation appear after the follicles completely adhere to the channels in which they were transplanted, then the follicles begin to produce new hair in the third month following the surgery, the period varies from a person to person and depends on the nature of the skin.
Is there any guarantee of a successful hair transplantation surgery?
Medical Excel Center is confident in offering successful hair transplantation surgery, and provides a certificate of guarantee for a successful surgery and assures that the transplanted hair will not fall for a lifetime; this guarantee is authorized by the hospital. Our confidence in the success of hair transplantation stems from that fact that the planted follicles are taken from the strongest follicles in the body, therefore, resulting in successful, lasting transplantation. In the event hair loss of the transplanted hair occurs, the hospital will be responsible for a full new surgery and its expenses.
The results vary depending on the nature of the body; some people may see the results within six months and others at almost a year.
What is the period required to stay in Turkey to complete the hair transplantation procedure?
Three days are required for a hair transplantation procedure. The first day is the surgery day, the second is a resting day and the third day is to check the transplanted area and receive a washing a session. However, you can leave the hospital and travel on the third day, without the possibility of complications.
Is it possible to receive hair transplantation for all areas of hair loss using this surgical procedure?
This depends on the density of the hair at the back of the head.
Is it possible for patients with heart disease, problems with blood pressure and diabetes to undergo hair transplantation surgery?
After completing the required tests, and given medical clearance, they can undergo this surgery.
Is there pain with the hair transplantation procedure?
Topical anesthesia is used in hair transplantation, making the procedure painless.
Is age an important factor with hair transplantation?
Hair transplantation can be conducted for any person over 18 up to 60 years.