Hair is considered an important part of the body by many people. Aside from enhancing the physical looks of an individual, hair also serves its purpose as an initial covering or protection to the skin. However, the benefits of hair can only be experienced once it is taken care of properly. As we all know, hair can weaken as we age and it can also get damaged once it is not provided with the essential nutrients. Because of these, many people suffer from different hair problems such as hair loss. Fortunately, there are already a number of proven and effective ways in order to maintain hair on our head. One of these is so called the hair plugs. But what are hair plugs?
Understanding Hair Plugs
During the 1950’s, hair plugs are described as the first grafts used in hair transplant surgeries. These plugs are made of individual follicles of hair that are transplanted from one part of the body to the head. However, the original use of these plugs was considered unsuccessful. This is due to the fact that the original hair plugs are relatively larger compared to the natural hair follicles giving a very unrealistic look, which resembles more like the hair of a doll. Nevertheless, hair plugs are still used in many hair restoration surgeries, but their use or function has evolved over the years.
Nowadays, surgeons make use of extremely small individual grafts that are more realistic compared to the original version. During the surgery, the doctor will remove the part of the skin that contains the hair follicles and place it to the portion of the head that is experiencing balding or hair loss. In today’s medical terms, the term hair plugs is already rarely used. Hair transplant procedures these days are already referred to as follicular unit extractions. The difference between follicular unit extractions and hair plugs is based on the number of hairs removed during the procedure. In case of the former, only one to three follicles are inserted to the area, while the latter previously moved much larger areas up to 10 hairs during a single transplant procedure.
Commonly, hair plugs are used in order to treat male-pattern baldness. Male-pattern baldness is defined as a genetic condition wherein the man’s hormones alter the resistance and appearance of the hair follicles. In managing this type of condition, the hair is usually transplanted to the crown of the head or even placed along the hairline. Some of the areas of the head that are considered prone to balding include the area above the forehead (called as receding hairline) and on the vertex of the head located at the crown.
Aside from treating male-pattern baldness, hair plugs are also used in order to treat areas that are considered vulnerable to balding. These plugs can be placed to restore beard hair, eyebrows and even eye lashes. Aside from hair plugs, there are also other ways for people to use in order to cover the cosmetic effects of balding. One of these is the use of a hairpiece of a toupee. Nevertheless, the use of hair plugs are preferred by many since it can give a more natural appearance or result.
Things to Remember before Undergoing Hair Plug Surgery
Before we decide upon submitting ourselves for hair plug surgery, it is very vital for us to visit first our doctor and discuss with him/her our thoughts with regards to the matter. The doctor could also share salient points about the said surgery, which includes the number of grafts that can be successfully transplanted on the scalp. Other matters such as the number of sessions required and the approximate cost of the procedure could also be discussed with the doctor. Hair plug surgery is considered to be an outpatient type of operation only; however, the healing process could take as long as a month where we could also experience other side effects and/or symptoms such as headaches and other pains that can hinder us from performing our daily activities. It is also important for us to understand that this procedure also involves physical incisions on the scalp before placing the skin containing the hair follicles. The follicles are then broken into smaller particles in order to insert them properly into the incisions that were already created.
Approximate Cost of the Procedure
The exact cost of the procedure actually varies on a case to case basis. This can also depend on the location or the country where the surgery is to be conducted. Aside from this, the cost also depends on the amount of surface to be covered and as well as the technique to be used in the said procedure. In the US, the surgery cost ranges from 4 to 5 US dollars per graft while in Asian countries like India, the same type of operation may amount to only 1.5 US dollar per graft. In every session, the number of grafts being done usually ranges from 1,500 to 4,000. Aside from the expenses during the actual procedure, we should also consider the expenses it requires or entails during the after care of the surgery since the graft does not heal all at once. As we can see, hair plugs are very expensive. Nonetheless, many people would still spend this much just to experience the wonderful benefits of having hair plugs. These are just some of the important facts, information and details about the procedure called hair plugs.