Frequently Asked Questions
We have tried to answer common questions here. If you ask a good question that we haven't already answered, we will add it to this list. We always encourage your feedback.
Click on the links below for the answer to frequently asked questions.
Why am I losing my hair?
About 30% of men and women will develop genetic hair loss by the age of 30 and about 50% by the age of 50. Genetic Hair loss is also known as Androgenetic Alopecia, or Male or Female Pattern Baldness. There are other causes of hair loss, however. To learn about why you are losing your hair it would be best to arrange a free personal consultation by calling 416-924-2482 or to start an email consultation by filling out the form on the top right of the page. In the meantime, you can learn more about Hair and Hair loss here
Does the transplanted hair always grow?
After making sure that hair transplantation is the right choice, we do everything we can to make sure that the transplanted hair grows well. Typically 90-95% of the transplanted grafts will take and will keep making hair for the rest of our patients' lives. We have never had a patient whose transplanted hair did not grow and we have met or exceeded expectations in almost all of our patients. Rare individuals have had free touch-up sessions when the hair did not grow as well as expected in certain areas. To learn more about why transplanted hair lasts read here
and to understand the basics of hair transplantation read here
Do you guarantee that the transplanted hair will grow?
Before transplanting your hair, we provide you with reasonable expectations for results. These expectations are based on your hair density and characteristics and the area to be covered. We almost always meet or exceed these expectations. Nobody can ever give a 100% guarantee when they are dealing with biology, but if we were to ever fall short of expectations we would find a mutually satisfactory way to make up the difference. We want all of our patients to be satisfied.
Will it look natural?
We use microscopically prepared follicular unit grafts that are nature's building blocks and we are very careful in our planning. Providing natural looking hair transplantation is what we do best!
How many grafts will I need?
The number of grafts you would want depends on the size of the area to be
transplanted, the thickness or density desired, and your own hair's natural
characteristics. It is best to see Dr Simmons for a personal consultation so
he can review your goals, give you an accurate assessment and discuss all of
your options, including hair transplantation at CHTC. If that is not
possible you can have an email consultation by sending photos with your
Will my transplanted hair require special care?
Immediately after their hair transplant, we ask patients to refrain from rubbing or washing the transplanted area for a few days. Once the area has healed, there is no special care required. Your newly growing hair can be cut, styled, or coloured any way you like.
Is there a minimum or maximum age for hair transplant patients?
We don't have a minimum age for hair transplants but Dr. Simmons is much more cautious for younger patients because hair loss tends to get worse with time and young patients have a lot more time to lose more hair. He has to be careful to plan for the long-term to make sure that every patient can look natural for the rest of his or her life. There is also no maximum age because hair transplantation can be safe for men and women of any age as long as they are in reasonably good health. For more about planning hair transplantation read here
and for more about safety read here
Will I have the "doll's hair" look that I have seen in movies?
The "doll's hair" look is due to much older methods than are currently used. That look is unnatural, and has been a sight gag in movies and TV shows. With our Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation (FUT), even we can have trouble telling the transplanted hair from pre-existing hair (the transplanted hair is a bit healthier).
Will I have scars?
Whether you have FUT or the FUE technique, you will have scars in the donor area. You cannot cut the skin anywhere without a scar forming but we can keep the scars very small and easily hidden by the surrounding hair. FUT allows more hair transplantation at once and the thick hair above can easily hide the typical 1-2 mm wide donor scar, even if your hair is relatively short. FUE scars are tiny and circular (0.7 - 1 mm diameter) and less noticeable than a linear scar if your hair is cut very short. The incisions for the grafts in the recipient area are so small that no scars are seen.
Will my hair transplant last forever?
Providing that the cause of hair loss is treatable with hair transplantation, the transplanted follicles will keep producing hair as long as they would have in the original location. They can last a lifetime. We obviously have to be careful not to move hair that will not last (by taking hair from too high or too low on the scalp). When people become very old, they develop a condition called senile alopecia, which causes general thinning of hair all over the body. Transplanted hair is no more or less affected by senile alopecia than other hair.
How long until the hair grows?
After the follicles are transplanted, about 90% will go into a resting (Telogen) phase within a few weeks and new hair shafts won't start growing for another 2-4 months. The hair shaft grows about 1/2 inch or 1 cm per month. There won't be much new hair in the first 4 months. By 6 to 8 months, the hair will start to look good and by 12 months it will usually look finished.
Will I need more hair transplantation later?
Depending on your goals and the size of your thinning area, we can finish a given area of thinning in one session or we can give you thinner hair over a bigger area. Either way your transplanted hair will look natural and will have a natural pattern and you will not be forced to transplant more hair there.
Particularly if you are younger and go on to lose more hair, you may wish to have more hair transplantation later to cover a bigger area or to increase the density in an area that was already transplanted.
The only time that you would be forced to have more hair transplantation later would be if the natural hair on the sides later receded away from the transplanted hair on top and left unnatural gaps or "gutters". For many men this does not happen. If it does, it does not take a lot of grafts to correct.
We will be honest with you in our planning and will discuss the future with you at great lengths before transplanting a single graft. We do not believe in giving false promises and cosmetically forcing people to have more and more hair transplantation. Our mission is to help people, not to harm them.
Will it be painful?
No. Most people say that their day of surgery was less painful than going to the dentist. There will be some discomfort in the donor area for a few days but this is easily overcome with tablets. The recipient area will not be painful and may even be numb for a few weeks.
When can I go back to work?
Physically and mentally, patients are able to do office work or light work the next day, but they usually take 1 day off. People who do physical work usually take 4 days off and must avoid heavy lifting for 2 weeks. Cosmetically, your return to work depends on your comfort level. Most patients do not want to be seen without a hat for the first 4 days, because they cannot wash or style their hair. Patients who have some existing hair in the area, or can use Toppik, may look OK without a hat on the 5th day. Some do not want to work until all the crusts are off by the morning of the 10th or 11th day.
When can I start working out again?
You can go for a walk the day after your hair transplant, do vigorous aerobic exercise on the fifth day, lift heavy weights after two weeks, and wear a helmet and play contact sports after three weeks.
Do you ultra-dense pack grafts?
We can place grafts very close together but we usually do not place more than 45 to 50 grafts per square cm, and we only do that in key areas. The reason is simple; transplanting at higher densities uses up a lot more hair that is then not available for other areas later. Ultra-dense packing does not look significantly fuller than good dense packing because of the way the human eye perceives density.
Can I transplant hair from someone else's head?
No. Your body would destroy the foreign hair unless you used powerful drugs to suppress your immune system. These medications increase your risk of cancer or serious infection. It is a worthwhile risk for your heart, lungs, or kidneys - but not for your hair.
Can I have a lower hairline if I promise to use Propecia?
We know that Propecia slows down hair loss for 90% of men for at least 5 years, but we do not have data for longer than that. While Propecia has few side effects, if you develop sexual side effects later in life, you will drop Propecia like a hot potato. Even if you do not lose more hair, we must plan your hairline to match your face as your face ages. An 18-year-old's hairline looks unnatural on a 60-year-old's face. You will most definitely still care about your appearance when you are 60.
Can I transplant my crown if I promise to use Propecia?
We can and do transplant patients' crowns when it is clearly a safe thing to do in the long-term. If a young patient has the potential to become very bald they may not have enough permanent donor hair available to cover the whole eventual balding area well. If someone is very bald, it makes the biggest difference for them to have hair in front and on top and for it to join their natural hair on the sides. That is why we want to make sure there will be enough hair to transplant the other areas before transplanting the crown.
Propecia is quite good at slowing down hair loss but if someone stops taking it, for any reason, the hair it saved will be lost. While we encourage patients to consider medications to slow hair loss, we can't count on them using them forever and so we must plan hair transplantation as if they won't.
Why don't you have more pictures of women?
We have done transplants on many women, and many women benefit from hair transplantation. Fewer women than men have hair transplantation, and fewer still are willing to show their photographs.
Women are usually able to conceal early thinning better than men are. There is an even bigger social stigma for women who lose their hair than for men. It takes more courage for women just to come for a consultation. For these reasons, male patients have outnumbered female patients 9:1. More women are having hair transplantation now than in the past.
In general, because of the social stigma, women are often more reluctant than men to show their photos. We do not show any photos without a patient's consent.
Did you do so-and-so's hair transplant?
We have been asked many times about celebrities that have clearly had transplants elsewhere with older methods. If it is obvious that they had a hair transplant, then we did not do it. Dr. Simmons has treated local celebrities, but because their results are natural, nobody has ever asked about them. Of course, even if we were asked, we would not breech patient confidentiality!
Do you do FUE?
Yes. We still do far more FUT than FUE because FUT is less expensive, more grafts can be transplanted at once, fewer visits are required, and the results are predictably excellent. We do not often do FUE, but we do offer it when it is appropriate.
Can you transplant into scars?
Yes. Hair can be transplanted successfully into scars but not as close together as in healthy normal skin. With scar tissue, the circulation could be overwhelmed if the grafts were dense-packed. Fortunately, even less densely packed hair can break up the appearance of a scar.
Do you transplant body hair?
At present, we do not encourage body hair transplantation unless it is a last resort. Body hair often does not have the same characteristics as scalp hair and spends more time in the Telogen (resting) phase and less time in the Anagen (growing) phase than scalp hair. It is also often more difficult to remove or extract than scalp hair.
Do I need to use medicines to make the transplanted hair grow?
No, the transplanted hair will grow without any medications. You can use Finasteride/Propecia and/or Minoxidil/Rogaine to help slow the loss of your existing hair. (See Other Options
) If you later stop using the medications, the transplanted hair will keep growing but you will start losing non-transplanted again. You can use medicines to speed up the growth of transplanted hair if you wish. (See News/Articles
- November 23, 2006)
Where can I learn more about Hair Transplant Credentials and Societies?
How do you transplant hair?
Hair transplantation is a minor skin surgery. We take long-lasting hair follicles away from an area where you have more than you need and move them to an area where you need more hair. Those transplanted hair follicles will keep growing hair for the rest of your days. To learn more about hair transplantation read here
and to learn more about specific techniques read here
What is the difference between FUT-T and FUE?
FUT-T and FUE are 2 different techniques to get hair grafts. They are described in more detail here
. With FUT-T a lot of hair is removed at once then dissected into grafts under the microscope. With FUE the grafts are removed one at a time. FUE takes much longer than FUT-T and is therefore more expensive. The grafts tend to be more delicate with FUE and therefore the results may be less consistent. After FUT-T, the hair on the sides and back should always be kept at least 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch long to conceal the narrow scar that is left behind. After FUE, the hair can be cut shorter. There are some situations where FUE is a good choice but Dr. Simmons believes that for the majority of patients, FUT-T is a more economical, efficient, and reliable technique.
What is a trichophytic closure?
With FUT-T, a narrow strip of skin is removed from the back and/or sides of the head. With a trichophytic closure, the surface of the skin and the tips of the hairs are trimmed on one side before the gap is sutured closed. The trimmed hair will grow back through the narrow scar that will form and that will make it easier to hide the scar later. Often patients tell us that their hair stylist could not find their trichophytic donor scar but even a very narrow trichophytic scar would be visible if they shaved their head.