Dr. Harris, Without Question,
Personally Answers Them.

Hair transplant FAQs

You have questions. We have answers. Read on, or for personalized answers to your questions straight from the source ask the experts a question or schedule a consultation.

Transplant Treatment Options Overview

What are the hair transplant options for men?

  • Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) hair transplants
  • Follicular Unit Strip (FUS) harvest

What are the hair transplant options for women?

  • Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) hair transplants
  • Follicular Unit Strip (FUS) harvest

Required time for surgery

How long should I wait between hair-transplant procedures?

If a second surgery in the same area is required, we generally schedule it 10 to 12 months after the first. There are several reasons:

• At eight to 12 months, hair length is adequate to see the effects of styling. This allows the patient and Dr. Harris to collaborate regarding further distribution of grafts

• Occasionally, when hair first begins to grow, its texture may be slightly different from your original hair. After eight to 12 months, this generally returns to normal, making decisions about grooming easier. Grooming preferences may affect the way the next procedure is planned.

• All of the growth may not be achieved and of adequate length at five or six months. Waiting a few more months gives the person enough time to see more complete growth and with this, more information to decide if a second procedure is desired.

• Seeing the hair allows Dr. Harris to better assess where to place the new grafts.

• For those individuals with tighter scalps, the skin has a greater time to restore some of its previous laxity.

If we are doing a transplant in a different area is can potentially be done two to four months following the initial transplant.

Does this procedure require me to take time off from work?

Little or no time off from work is required, and some individuals return the next day if wearing a hat is possible. If you are sensitive about how you will look during the days immediately following, you can wear a hat or scarf. You may also do what many of our patients do and begin the process just before a weekend, allowing for a few extra days of healing. One exception: if your work requires heavy or strenuous activity, a week away from work may be required.

Surgical megasessions

What are megasessions?

Megasessions are surgical hair restoration procedures where a large number of follicular units (sometimes up to 3,000-5,000) are placed at one time. Megasessions allow the patient to get more grafts with fewer sessions. At your consultation, we will evaluate your candidacy for a megasession, and you will be given all of the pros and cons for your particular situation.

Although the term “megasession” sounds intimidating these are routinely performed at the Hair Sciences Center of Colorado.

I’ve heard other hair-transplant doctors say that megasessions are inadvisable because they often don’t grow or can produce disastrous results. Is this true?

In our experience, megasessions can provide excellent density and coverage and give natural undetectable results without compromising growth. However, this is not always an option for every patient. Patients who have had previous transplants with scarring, or in whom it is not medically prudent to do so, are not given this option. Some physicians/clinics may not be set up to do mega sessions. The experience of the team is a consideration for doctors, and may indicate that they are unable to perform such intense surgery. In Dr. Harris’ office, our team of experienced nurses and technicians can transplant over 3,000 grafts in one sitting – if you are a candidate for such a procedure. Ask about your options during the consultation.

Micrografts and minigrafts

What are micro and minigrafts?

The term “minigraft” was introduced in the 1980s and refers to small plugs that were modified from larger plugs. These grafts range in size from 1.75 mm to 3.0 mm, and they are placed into holes made with punches or into tiny slits. Because minigrafts are harvested from strips of skin taken from the back of the head and cut to fit the size of the recipient site, they usually have a tufted or pluggy look – no matter how small. This is because a minigraft is comprised of multiple follicular units, an artificial grouping of hair that does not occur naturally on the scalp. Thus, the hairs in the minigrafts can be compressed together by the skin and have the visual appearance of a tuft of hair surrounded by bald skin. Micrografts also came into use in the United States in the 1980s as technicians began taking one- and two-hair grafts off the side of larger plugs. They were never intended to be placed all over the scalp, but along the frontal hairline where they would soften the transition zone from bald forehead to the hair contained in the minigrafts. As doctors began to move away from the minigraft because of its pluggy look, they turned to the micrograft, the forerunner of the follicular unit now used so successfully.

Is there a difference between micrograft surgery and follicular transplant surgery?

The implantation of both micrografts and follicular units is the same. There is, however, a technical difference between the grafts. Healing and recovery processes are identical as well.

Shock loss

What is “shock loss”?

The medical term for shock loss is effluvium – which literally means shedding. This can occur when grafts are placed in an area that has hair. There is some trauma and tissue reaction to surgery that can cause the existing hair to be lost temporarily.

It would be very disconcerting to go through a transplant procedure only to have a high number of perfectly good hairs fall out through the process. Is this possible from shock fall out?

Shock loss usually affects the miniaturized hair nearing the end of its life span due to genetic balding and is most likely to be shed at some point in the near future. Some healthy hair will be shed, but these should re-grow. Shock loss is more common when a large session is performed through thinning hair. We have noticed that this can be minimized by utilizing Rogaine®, before and after such a session.

On average, how much fallout does occur?

For most patients, effluvium is not a major issue and should not be a cause for concern. Typically, about 20 percent of patients find their hair looks a little thinner during the first and second month following the transplant, when the transplanted hair is in its resting phase. This ends when the transplanted hair begins to grow. The thinning is often more noticeable to the patient than to others. Shedding is generally noted as a thinning, rather than extensive fallout as the term shock loss erroneously suggests.

On which variables do the degree of fallout depend?

In general, the more miniaturization one has (meaning the greater number of hairs one has that are nearing the end of their growth cycle), the more likely will be shedding from surgery. In addition, the number of grafts placed in one surgery and the proximity in which they placed to one another will increase the trauma to surrounding follicles.

Can anything be done to minimize the effects of post-procedure shedding?

Yes, and it starts with proper planning. If, at your consultation, you are determined to be at risk for this condition, we will discuss all of the ways to prevent or diminish such shedding. We may suggest the use Rogaine® before and after the surgery. We will discuss transplant density requirements and its impact on shedding. And we’ll help determine the best course of action for you. Do keep in mind, however, that shedding can occur despite planning and preventive measures. If this is true in your case, we will discuss how to deal with this temporary situation and determine the best follow-up care for further procedures.

Request a consultation today!