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What Is Surgical Hair Restoration: Procedure And Side Effects


Surgical hair restoration, also known as hair transplant, has become a state-of-the-art procedure and many have benefited from the tremendous advances that the technique has made over the last few years. This has literally given a new lease of life to the aspirations of many who had lost their hair early and had given up hopes of having it back. Both surgical and non-surgical techniques can be used to transplant hair. However significant concerns still remain about the efficacy of the procedure, given the number of side effects that could still result from it. This is why you should always talk to a doctor who will be able to give you a realistic picture of what you could expect from a transplant before you decide to take up the procedure. 

What Is Hair Restoration Surgery?

A hair restoration treatment is a simple surgical procedure where you remove hair from an area of your body that has more hair and plant it on your sparsely populated head. The process requires a level of skill and craft that probably not all doctors are capable of. This means that while most doctors claim to have the necessary expertise, they might not be able to perform the procedure with desired competence. This is why you should be very careful while choosing the doctor if you decide to opt for a hair transplant. The surgery will help 80% of your hair grow back in a matter of 3-4 months.

Hair transplant treatments are quite expensive. A hair transplant cost is typically around Rs. 25-45 per graft with each graft containing 1-3 follicles. You will require a minimum of 3-4 sessions for a satisfactory conclusion to your efforts to get good hair. So, taking the number of grafts into consideration the cost of the overall procedure could be anywhere from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2,50,000.

Hair transplantation is a very elaborate procedure. The surgeon must clean the scalp thoroughly and then numb the area with local anaesthesia. There are 2 main procedures to get hair follicles for transplantation. 

  1. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): The surgeon cuts off a section of skin from the back of the scalp with a scalpel by making a longish incision. It is then stitched again. The section of skin is then cut into small sections which are later implanted for natural hair growth
  2. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): Here the hair follicles are cut from the back of the head by creating thousands of small incisions. Then the surgeon makes many more small incisions in the scalp area which is supposed to receive the transplant. The hair is then inserted into these small incisions. Bandages are then used to cover the section where the hair has been newly inserted for a few days. 

There are also a number of post-operative measures that one needs to take to deal with all the possible complications. It can include pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs and medicines to treat possible infections. 

Who Are The Right Candidates For Hair Restoration?

While all people with sparse hair would like to queue up for hair transplants, they might not necessarily be the best possible candidates to experience its benefits. The following are the right candidates:

  1. People with late stages of male pattern baldness
  2. Women experiencing thinning hair issues
  3. People who have lost hair from scalp injuries and burns 

The following are the people who should not attempt the procedure.

  1. Women who have experienced hair loss throughout the scalp
  2. People who have experienced hair loss due to chemotherapy
  3. Individuals without enough donor areas to take hair from

Side Effects Of Hair Transplant

Side effects of a hair transplant are not a given. The luckier ones could have a smoother experience but you should be warned that some serious, as well as milder side effects, might be a possibility. 

  1. Bleeding: The patient might have to deal with bleeding complications during and after the surgery. There could be bleeding in the area from where the hair has been taken which normally stops if pressure is applied. However, if the bleeding continues, you might have to seek a doctor’s help. 
  2. Infection: This is not the sort of situation you would want to deal with, but you might have to face this too. The doctor in most cases might prescribe an antibiotic to take care of the infection. 
  3. Thinning of hair: You will initially experience thinning hair which will gradually gain in thickness in course of time. 
  4. Pain: Pain is always a possibility if you have done your transplant through the FUT procedure. Painkillers could be used to take care of the pain which should subside in a couple of days. 
  5. Scars: Scars will line the donor area if you have the FUT procedure for your transplant. The scars should ideally fade over time but that depends on the speed of the healing process. 
  6. Scalp swelling: At times the recipient area might experience some swelling which should ideally lessen in a couple of days. If it does not, you would be required to consult a doctor. At times, this could also lead to a black eye as the fluid flows down and settles near the eye. But the condition normally heals in a couple of days. 
  7. Shock fall: The trauma of the surgery could also lead to additional hair fall of healthy and strong hair but that gets sorted in a couple of days. The hair that has been transplanted could fall out in 2-3 weeks but this will only facilitate new growth of hair. This new growth typically happens 8-12 months after the completion of the surgical procedure.
  8. Folliculitis: There is a likelihood of pimple-like swellings appearing near the recipient area but that is easily solved with the application of a moisturiser which will help clear the swellings in a matter of days.  

The quality of hair that you grow after the surgery depends on a number of factors and differs from person to person. It depends on the tightness of the skin on your scalp, the density of the hair follicles in the transplanted area, on whether your hair is curly, wavy or straight, and the essential quality of your hair. 

As your body attempts to heal from the incisions made on your scalp, you might have to deal with pain. Therefore, you need to stay in constant touch with your doctors for a better recovery process. 


Thanks to significant advances in modern technology, surgical hair restoration procedures are now conveniently done while the risk of pain and complications have reduced. However, one still needs to do some research and look for a skilled doctor as this is a critical procedure. If the person opting for the surgery is a suitable candidate, then the chances of success are quite good and you could move around with renewed confidence with a great crop of hair in a matter of months. 

The surgical hair restoration cost is quite high and so one needs to proceed on this route with utmost caution by undergoing the right tests before beginning the procedure. Make it a point to discuss your expectations with the surgeon to avoid any disappointments later. If your hair loss is at a stage where it can be managed holistically and non-invasively, prefer opting for them. Visit Traya to take help from our experts who will help you with the correct diagnosis and suggestions to facilitate the suitable method for your hair loss treatments.


Q1 - How Does Hair Restoration Surgery Work?

A surgeon uses an elaborate procedure to insert the implant below the scalp. This is called the tissue expander. The expander is inflated gradually over a period of weeks and this stretches the skin. A second procedure is then performed to cover the bald area with stretched skin. 

Q2 - How Long Does Hair Restoration Surgery Last?

The surgical procedure could take anywhere between 4-8 hours. 

Q3 - Does Hair Restoration Surgery Hurt?

Since the procedure involves the use of anaesthesia and effective post-operative care, the surgery though not entirely painless is a pretty convenient experience for most patients. 

Q4 - Are Hair Restoration And Hair Transplant The Same?

The term hair restoration refers to all procedures that are undertaken to bring back hair and increase the density of your hair. This may include hair transplants, platelet injections, and the use of prescription medicines among other things. A hair transplant is a surgical intervention to bring back hair growth to bald areas.


Zahra Lokhandwala

Hair Coach

Zahra is the hair coach-in-chief at Traya. She works closely with the doctors to monitor all cases. She is a fitness freak and has not touched sugar in years!

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