In micro-grafting, follicles or hairs including the roots are transferred to another area on your scalp that lacks hair growth. They are inserted into a pin-hole incision made by a scalpel, one by one, follicle per follicle. This is a meticulous process for the doctor since it requires proper scrutiny, competent judgment and good equipment. This procedure has been found to be safe, and predictable with natural and aesthetically fulfilling results.
Generally, transplanting procedures can be done in 4 to 5 sessions but a sixth session may be done to polish your hairline or thicken any given area.
These transplantation sessions are done at least 5 to 6 months apart. That is a good time to make a further assessment if you will need to undergo further sessions. The primary effect is falling hair for the first weeks after the surgery. As we discussed, this thinning is temporary. You have to wait until your hair grows to at least an inch. The hair needs to thicken in the transplanted areas before a second session can be done.
However, the frequency of surgery sessions will largely depend on the individual. There are certain characteristics to consider in determining how many sessions you will require. Your requirement depends on the following characteristics:
The scalp for treatment
The extent of work will be based on your hair loss pattern. The percentage of baldness will determine the amount of work to be done. So, a wider bald area will also mean a bigger area to restore and the more hair to place in it. If you have a considerable area of good hair, then the restoration work will be smaller.
The number and size of grafts
Micro-grafting means transplanting grafts with 1 or 2 hairs. One follicle can generally be situated at 1/16 of an inch from another and no closer than that. To place them closer to each other will disrupt the blood supply to each follicle. Closer packing needs to be avoided because swelling happens after the surgery process. However, normal human hairs are positioned much closer than this. Thus, some 3 to 5 sessions will be required to fill in these “spaces”.
The desired density
It is essential to realize that a dense end result cannot be fully achieved with one session of surgery. Even if you complete 3 to 5 sessions, there will probably be a thin appearance of hair on a fairly bald scalp. If your hair is not thick or dense normally, it requires more effort to achieve density, and thus may take more sessions of transplant. You have to grow the current transplants before you can proceed. So, your transplantation sessions will be higher than the average.
Available donor hair is usually measured by density. Density is the number of hair follicles per square centimeter available on your scalp. So, people who have high donor density will need fewer follicular units. Moreover, people with low donor density will need more hair units. This will only mean that more harvesting is required for some period of time.
The individual characteristics of the patient
Your type of hair will also determine how much surgery you need. Take the condition of coarse hair. Coarse hair gives a fuller appearance than fine hair. Coarse hair is thicker and fine hair is thin. Fine hair has less coverage, therefore more growth is needed to achieve coverage.
Furthermore, if you have straight hair, it will tend to hang down or sag. This will not help much in terms of extent. If you have curly hair, the tendency is it stands up from the scalp and will cover more area. Another personal factor is the scalp condition. If you have a sagging scalp, it will take a lot of time to distribute the available hair in ways that maximize the result. You may need more restoration techniques rather than a micro-graft procedure.
The estimate of the number of sessions can be discussed during the consultation with your surgeon. He will suggest if you may need additional follow up procedures.
In some patients, subsequent procedures are only done after a period of several years. This is done after progressive thinning takes place but only happens in minor cases.