Sometimes the way hair transplants are advertised suggests there is no blood and certainly no scarring. The reality is that any surgery leaves even a tiny scar. As we age, our bodies cannot heal themselves so quickly and these little scars can last a lifetime.
Hair transplant scars can be in two different areas. Usually only the donor area (from which the hair is plucked) is affected, but it is located on the side and / or the back of the head. If your head wasn’t shaved, most people wouldn’t see these scars anyway.
The other place where you can get scars is in the recipient area (where the transplanted hair will be placed). Having scars in your donor area is accepted and expected. Usually you also have microscopic scars in the recipient area – they are practically invisible. The problems start when hair transplants in the recipient area don’t “take” and you have scars on the front and top of your head and more hair to cover them.
Ask someone who has scars from hair transplant failures and they’ll tell you that they’d rather be completely bald than try to cover up the scars that everyone can see. I experienced this in my own family – my older brother had a hair transplant when he was 18, performed by a hair transplant surgeon who can only be described as some sort of madman escaped.
Now the good news is that there are many excellent experts in hair restoration surgery. These guys can do transplants that make your jaw drop – the results are so good. That being said, you should still be aware of the scar problem. Therefore, discuss it with your clinic before the operation.
If you want to have as little scarring as possible (more, but tiny), look for an FUE hair transplant. Most transplant surgeons now offer them as standard. Some surgeons insist that a strip hair transplant (cutting a piece of skin on the back of the head) is always the best method, but you have a fairly long scar on the back of your head.
There is a new type of closure used for band-incision grafts, the trichophytic closure, which means the scar left behind should be almost invisible – but it’s still a scar. There is no magic – just a better kind of scar.
For anyone reading this who already has donor or recipient hair transplant scars, there is hope for you. Hair cloning is still far from widespread. In the meantime, however, there are ways to transplant body hair to your scalp to hide donor and recipient scars. If you want more information on this, see the Resources field at the end of this article.
Having a scar from a hair transplant will be a reality until hair cloning is the order of the day. Even then, microscopic scars are still part of the process – you cannot pierce or cut human skin without leaving a scar.