Another name for hair transplant is hair grafting. The stigma associated with this kind of procedure is depreciating, and different methods are occasionally formulated too. One of them is FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction), and one may resort to this procedure out of embarrassment from other conditions such as baldness. People may also undergo hair transplants to cure different scalp conditions. In this article, we provide you with a guide to a new way of grafting without shaving. Usually, a hair transplant involves head shaving.
A significant question often asked is, “Is there a possibility of having hair grafting without shaving my head?”
The answer is uncertain, and it depends on several factors, such as the patient’s condition. Also, if the affected area covers a large circumference of the head, then the clinician may be left with no choice. The surgeons must shave the donor and affected areas to make the procedure effective. It also depends on the type of operation, such as FUE or FUSS.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) is the process of moving hairs from follicular units in one region of the head (donor area) to another (recipient area). Usually, hairs are more on the side, and often, surgeons take them out from them to the front, where the head is bald. One of the main reasons adduced for shaving of the head before hair grafting is to clear access. If the hair would be shaven, the dermatologist does so a day before the primary operation. Hence, it is a pre-operative measure.
During the operation, the plastic surgeon makes a deep slit of not more than 1mm in the scalp area to be operated on. In this open slit, a graft is placed singularly to reveal a clean hair follicle. However, the hair graft must be on the same measured level as the surrounding part. Whether the hair is shaven or not, different side effects are apparent. They include swelling of the scalp, scabbing, scalp infection, itching, bleeding, numbness, shedding of grafted hairs, inflammation, bruises or even shock loss.
Non-shaven Hair Transplant
If you fear that your hair may be fully shaven before the transplant could be performed, you may need to enlighten yourself. It is an erroneous belief, and it is possible that the affected area is not shaven before the main procedure.
The consequence is that the view is unclear. Nonetheless, the process varies based on the clinic. In some clinics, they leave the recipient area unshaven and remove hair in the donor sites altogether. On the other hand, other clinics completely shave the donor area and cover it with surrounding hairs. In extreme cases, no part of the region is shaven. That is, none of the recipient and donor areas are shaved.
These three procedures, although available, are not particularly compatible with everyone’s conditions. One, the operation takes more time and requires more professional hands. Also, complications may result from such a procedure; infection is more likely to occur from the unshaven part.
Therefore, patients should be dissuaded from undergoing such operations, especially when their scalp condition is incompatible with it. Clinicians advise on these conditions and often perform non-shaven hair grafting when a tiny part is affected.
Why is shaving a pre-operative measure in hair grafting?
The hair is shaven before any transplant procedure is carried out because of some reasons:
The areas are often shaven to allow the surgeon to see clearly what he is working on. Hence, the procedure is performed better and faster when the areas are shaved.
Simpler and Quicker Procedure
If the recipient area is unshaven, it makes the job a tough one because the surgeon must navigate through the hair carefully. Obstruction from the hair also delays the procedure and prolongs the process.
Clinicians thus prefer to shave the hair because then; they can carry out the operation effectively.
Elimination of possible risks
There are risks associated with unshaven hair procedures, such as tangled hair. This can be avoided by shaving the hair in the affected region, and it need not be obsessively handled up to a limit where tangling occurs with the pre-existing hairs.
Easy post-operative measures
After the procedure, the head needs to be cleaned. Cleaning is more accessible when the coast is clear. When the hair is unshaven before any surgical procedure, there is every possibility that it would accumulate dirt.
Simple Aftercare Procedure
Complications such as itching and bleeding do occur after some procedures, and recommended treatments such as ATP spray are advised. Spraying a shaved head is more effective and with faster results than with an unshaven head.
Minimal risk of having a graft dislodged
If a tangled graft surrounds a hair or hair stick or lies above it, it is most likely that the graft may be dislodged. Hence, if the affected area is minimal, clinicians would advise that the hair surrounding it should be shaven to avoid this complication.
It can also prevent quick recovery.
Won’t people call me bald?
This question precisely scares many people and makes them succumb to the appealing procedure of unshaven hair transplant. However, it is unavoidable, but the assurance is the regrowth of fuller and thicker hair.
One way to get used to this new look is having your hair on a low for a short time before the hair transplant. People would have gotten used to this by the time the surgical procedure is rounded up.
Alternatively, you may invest in hats, wigs and caps after the surgery has been undergone. However, wearing head-covering material such as hats or caps may not be feasible during the first week of the procedure to prevent interfering with treated scalp regions.
Is it possible to have a hair graft without shaving my hair?
One of your fears is that your long hair will be cut short and may not grow faster as you want it later on. Yes, you can do an unshaven hair transplant but only with careful consideration, such as your scalp condition. Also, such procedures are more expensive.
Unshaven hair graft is more suitable for persons with minimal hair loss or affected scalp area.
What makes shaved hair different from unshaved hair transplants?
As the name suggests, shaved hair transplants mean all the surrounding hairs of the affected scalp are removed. It would help create a clear vision of the part and accelerate the process.