How can I learn more about hair transplantation?

Dr. Nicole Rogers and Hair Restoration of the South offer this short informational video about contemporary hair transplant surgery. Warning: Some graphic content.

Is it safe to color my hair before or after surgery?

Yes, so long as you are using a familiar product and have not developed any irritation or allergic reaction to it. Some hair or beard dyes containing paraphenylenediamene (PPD) can cause an itching on the scalp or other remote areas of the body. A safe approach is to color your hair at least a week before surgery and wait 2-3 weeks after surgery for your next treatment.

How soon can I wash my hair after surgery?

You will be able to wash the hair with regular shampoo on the 3rd day after surgery. For the first two days we encourage patients to spray the area gently with saline (provided on the day of surgery) and gently pour warm water over the grafts. Patients may also lay a washcloth on the scalp to soften the spray from the shower head.

Should I take my other medications before surgery?

Yes, it is very important that you continue the rest of your medications prior to surgery. This is especially true for blood pressure medications which will help minimize bleeding during surgery. If you are taking blood thinners electively (such as a baby aspirin) and your primary doctor is comfortable with you stopping it then these are the only drugs you would stop. We also urge patients to stop all supplements, especially vitamin E, fish oil, krill oil, garlic, gingko, or ginseng which may thin the blood.Even if your supplement is not on this list, it is not worth taking the chance that it may have unknown effects on the success of your surgery.

Am I too young for surgery?

Dr. Rogers occasionally transplants men in their twenties. Candidacy depends on the existing pattern of hair loss, patient expectations, and family history. Medications are generally a good starting point for men this age. If the area that can be transplanted will look good in both the long and the short run, regardless of future hair loss, you may be a candidate.

Women can undergo hair transplantation at nearly any age. This is because for most women the frontal hairline stays intact. It does not usually move backwards as a male hairline can.
Am I too old for surgery?

So long as you are healthy and not required to be on any major bloodthinners, you may be a candidate for hair transplantation. Dr. Rogers has successfully transplanted patients in their 60’s and 70’s. However if you have a major pulmonary illness or cardiac risk factors, you should discuss the procedure with your primary doctor first. Dr. Rogers may request additional information from your doctor to be sure you are healthy enough for surgery.

I smoke. Can I have surgery?

Patients who smoke are encouraged to discontinue cigarettes preferably for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery. Nicotine can reduce local blood supply that is crucial for normal healing after surgery.

What is a megasession? Do I need one?

The definition of a megasession varies, anywhere from 2000-6000 follicular unit grafts performed in a single session. This term is frequently used for marketing purposes to attract patients who want to achieve dramatic results in a single session. It is important to be aware that graft survival drops off dramatically once they have been harvested for 8 or more hours. For this reason, Dr Rogers suggests that those patients requiring a large number of grafts should consider multiple procedures rather than one lengthy procedure. The limitations of these procedures is that with prolonged time out of the body (8 or more hours) the survival of the grafts can dramatically drop off. Also, the increased width of the strip needed to harvest such a large number of grafts can leave an undesirably wide scar.

Patients who are in need of more than 2000 grafts should consider having staged procedures over 1-2 years, or plan for a two-day procedure, in which half the grafts are harvested and transplanted each day. This way, the other follicular units can remain in the body with normal blood supply and survival until they are ready to be placed.
What is the ARTAS™ Robotic Hair Transplant System?

ARTAS represents a robotic technology used to perform FUE (follicular unit extraction) technique. It represents an interesting and exciting technology that allows a computer to angle and harvest each follicular unit individually from the donor scalp. Manual extraction is still required to remove the grafts. Also, there is considerable risk of transection (damage to the grafts) if the robot is not aligned properly. It is unclear how widely this machine will be adopted. Presently its size, expense, and technical limitations are factors being considered by many hair transplant surgeons.