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Hair Transplant Scarring Concerns: Will My Scar Be Noticeable?

8/7/2008 1:35:00 PM

Question:

If I need approximately 2500 follicular unit grafts for my hair transplant needs, how large will the donor area need to be? How long will it take to heal, and will there be noticeable scarring as the normal result of this process? In other words, will it be obvious to my barber where the donor hair came from?

Answer:

All surgery results in some form of scarring, and this is true for hair transplant surgery also. Using the follicular unit hair transplantation strip harvesting method, a linear strip of skin is removed with the hair follicles and then sutured back together creating at best, a thin linear scar. The new trichophytic closure technique helps minimize the appearance of the scar by allowing existing natural hair to grow through the scar by overlapping one side of the wound over the other. Choosing the right hair restoration physician will play a significant role in the appearance of the scar. However, an X-factor remains (though rare), which refers to unknown variables that can cause poor hair growth or scar stretching. Other known variables can cause scar stretching, so be sure to speak to your selected surgeon about this. In most cases however, patients can wear the hair on the sides and back of their head very short without showing a visible scar.

The recipient area heals quite quickly while the donor area can be tender up to a couple of months.

How long and wide the donor strip harvested will be depends on your donor hair density and scalp elasticity. To minimize the width of the scar, typically surgeons will harvest the strip from ear to ear (maybe a little beyond) and go as wide as your laxity will allow or for as many grafts as you need. At a average hair density of 80 follicular units per square cm, a surgeon may choose to remove a strip 1cm wide and 31.25 cm high. Taking a wider strip will clearly result in a shorter scar.


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    All Articles by Bill Seemiller

    Bill was the managing publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and The Hair Loss Learning Center. He is 4 time hair transplant patient and has over 15,000 helpful posts on our hair restoration discussion forum. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a Master’s in Christian Counseling. In addition to his work in helping hair loss experiencing men and women finding the best hair transplant surgeons, he helps people with various addiction and mental health related issues in his free time. He enjoys weight lifting, kickboxing, movies, researching conspiracy related topics and spending time with his family.