Regardless of the reason, hair loss can make you feel less confident. When you’ve lost hair due to scarring, it can seem even worse. Scar tissue and regular skin tissue are different, and hair doesn’t grow on scar tissue — but with a hair transplant, it can.
At NeoGraft Hair Restoration, our staff, led by Dr. Dana Brownell, understand that you want to feel good about how you look. We offer innovative hair restoration procedures that can help you grow hair, even on scar tissue. You don’t have to simply live with hair loss, regardless of what caused it.
The scar tissue difference
Before we describe the procedure Dr. Brownell uses for hair restoration when scarring is involved, let’s address why scar tissue is different.
Most of your skin is covered in small openings called pores, and each pore contains a hair follicle. The follicles also require blood vessels in order to thrive. Hair grows from your follicles in a cycle, so you don’t always have hair coming from every follicle.
When you’re injured and a scar forms, it’s made up of fibrous tissue called collagen instead of regular skin cells. The collagen forms a thick layer in order to protect the skin underneath. Because the collagen is structured differently, there’s no room for follicles, so there’s nowhere for hair to grow.
What works with scars
Dr. Brownell practices a type of hair restoration called follicular unit extraction (FUE), using an automated device called the NeoGraft, as opposed to the more common procedure called follicular unit transplantation (FUT), which is sometimes referred to as the strip method.
When a person undergoes FUT, the doctor removes a strip of skin — usually about 6-10 inches long — containing hair follicles. The doctor cuts the strip of skin into much smaller pieces, with each one containing a few hair follicles. Then the doctor creates small openings in the scar and implants the grafts.
With traditional follicular unit extraction, the doctor removes single follicles, rather than a strip. Each follicle is then implanted in the scar tissue where you want to have hair. FUE is a much slower and more meticulous process.
Because Dr. Brownell uses NeoGraft, however, FUE goes much more quickly and precisely. With this method, there’s also less potential for damaging the fragile follicle during the transplantation process.
After your procedure
We can’t promise that you’ll walk out of our office with the hair of your dreams — but your hair will grow with time. You may need several appointments depending on the amount of transplantation desired.
After your procedure, you’ll leave with some bandages and the need to heal. You may need some over-the-counter pain relievers to deal with some mild discomfort, and Dr. Brownell may recommend other medications such as an antibiotic to reduce the possibility of infection, or an anti-inflammatory to help keep down swelling. She may also recommend a hair growth stimulant.
We give you thorough aftercare instructions at the time of your procedure. You may need to take a few days off work, and you should avoid exercise for a week or so to prevent irritation. You shouldn’t comb or brush the transplanted hair.
You should also know that it’s normal for the newly transplanted hair to fall out. The process is a shock to your follicles, and you may have to wait for a new hair growth cycle to see your results. Plus, when hair is being implanted in scar tissue, it can take a little while for blood vessels to begin nourishing the follicles.
Want to know if NeoGraft is right for you?
Every situation is unique. The location and size of your scarring, your follicles, and many other factors affect the likelihood of success. If you’d like to learn more about how hair transplants on scars work, schedule a consultation by phone or online. Dr. Brownell is happy to give you advice and guidance based on your circumstances.