7 per cent of Singaporeans would consider breaking off relations with their significant other, and a further 10 per cent are embarrassed of introducing their partners should they be suffering from hair loss – a study revealed in 2013.
Hair loss, or medically known as alopecia, affects approximately 35 million men and 21 million women worldwide. Given that humans are highly social creatures, the need to look good for social situations such as business meetings, date nights and making a good impression has impacted the way we feel about ourselves when suffering from baldness.
Hair transplants are far more common than you think – in fact, the global hair transplant industry is estimated to be worth around $5 billion in 2017 and is projected to grow to an estimated $24 billion by 2024! Even celebrities are all in – Wayne Rooney, Gordon Ramsay, Elon Musk and even Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently opened up his own hair transplant clinic in Spain.
While hair transplants in Singapore are extremely safe with few side effects, there have been cases where the procedure simply doesn’t work, or goes completely awry – from botched patches of hair, uneven hairlines to rejection of the transplant altogether.
To understand why hair transplants don’t always work, let us first understand what this meticulous procedure entails:
Hair Transplants in Singapore
A hair transplant involves transporting existing healthy hair follicles from the patient and moving them to parts of the scalp that is thinning or receding – allowing the hair to grow naturally. As compared to a hair implant, a transplant is able to achieve highly natural-looking results, the two most common surgeries being the Follicular Unit Strip (FUS) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
FUE is currently the more popular procedure in Singapore as it provides minimal scarring and a shorter recovery time as compared to other methods, meaning to say that patients are able to go back to their daily lives without any noticeable changes.
Studies have proven that approximately 85 to 95 per cent of all implanted hairs will grow in the transplanted area, showing the high success rates of hair transplants in Singapore – so why then, are there examples of hair transplant surgeries not working?
Reason #1: You are too young
Unbeknownst to many, age is actually a huge factor in selecting the right candidates for hair transplant in Singapore. Younger candidates are normally encouraged to follow other treatments for the time being as they are more prone to temporary hair loss caused by stress, and thus surgery is strongly not recommended.
Reason #2: You have underlying illnesses that can impact the results of the transplant
People who have underlying illnesses that causes hair loss such as cancer and thyroid diseases are not good candidates for FUE, which is why it is important to always first speak to your doctor.
Reason #3: You aren’t losing enough hair.
Sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true. FUE or hair transplant requires you to be at the proper phase of loss hair, and sometimes the degree of hair loss is not sufficient for the patient to undergo surgery. Undergoing hair transplant surgery unnecessarily can lead to more hair loss and an odd-looking appearance in a few years – ultimately leading to an unsatisfactory outcome.
Reason #4: You can’t find an experienced, qualified doctor to work with – not to mention a great team
There are plenty of reasons as to why hair transplants go wrong, but none of them is as critical as doing it with an inexperienced doctor. Patients may not understand and underestimate the level of skill, patience and expertise that is required to perform the surgery, as well as the amount of time it takes to master them. In addition, a number of other factors that are highly dependent on the doctor, such as proper storage of the hair grafts in order to ensure higher rates of survival and growth post-transplantation can greatly affect the end results.
Experienced doctors should be well-acquainted with the efficient utilization of the donor-recipient ratio and avoid “overharvesting” – the excessive harvesting of grafts from the donor area that can result in hair that appears less dense.
It isn’t just a one-man show – hair transplants often require a great team behind-the-scenes who are knowledgeable, delicate and quick to react as well. A fine testament is our current chief hair transplant technician who has over 10 years of hair transplantation experience under her belt, and over 2000 satisfied patients served.
Reason #5: Improper diagnosis of hair loss
Hair loss can actually be attributed to many different causes, including genetics, medication, illness and imbalanced hormones that can greatly interfere with your normal hair cycle.
During the initial consultation, your doctor will first conduct a thorough examination of your head, taking into account your detailed medical history. Using blood tests and a Hair Densitometry, your doctor will then measure your current hair density in order to correctly determine the extent of your situation and whether or not you are a suitable candidate for a hair transplant. Otherwise, an incorrect diagnosis can end up in the wrong recommendations.
Reason #6: Low survival rates of hair grafts
One of the key factors to a successful transplant is ensuring a high survival rate of the hair grafts. When hair grafts die and fall out after the surgery, what you get is often an area that looks patchy and mangy – defeating the purpose of the transplant in the first place.
At our clinic, we currently use a unique bio-solution to store each and every hair graft, providing the essential nutrients to stimulate the growth process.
Reason #7: Not waiting long enough to see results
Transplanted hair normally takes 3 to 12 months to grow, so visible results may take some time. While you won’t be able to grow a full bed of hair in one day, you should be noticing growth within the first few months. According to WebMD, majority of patients will see 60 percent of new hair grow after 6 to 9 months
Reason #8: You aren’t following the correct post-operation care
After the surgery is complete, you aren’t done – your doctor will be providing you with a list of after-care instructions that you are meant to follow closely. Often, patients turn complacent and end up falling off the after-care regime – which can greatly impact the final results. Following a proper medical treatment program for hair stabilization will ensure that you don’t continue to experience hair loss in the long run.
Reason #9: Having unrealistic expectations and wanting the easy way out.
Ultimately, hair transplant surgery is not the be-all and end-all of your hair woes. Rather than focusing too much on getting immediate results at the lowest cost, focus on the quality of the service, reputation of the doctors and the credentials of the clinic.
Given that our doctors have up to 8 years of combined experience in performing hair restoration surgery – this is what will make all the difference between a “failed” transplant and a victorious fight against the feelings of embarrassment and low self-esteem well-associated with baldness.