We live in a world where procedures and augmentations that might once have been seen as being vanity-driven are now accepted as being part of everyday life. Everything from corrective eye surgery to Botox injections, fake tans to hair extensions are now regarded by most as perfectly normal fashion accessories, akin to buying a stylish jacket or having your eyebrows plucked.
And one procedure that is becoming increasingly popular, mainly with men, is the hair transplant. Those cursed with premature loss of hair no longer have to live with the look that fate (or more probably their genetic coding) has forced on them and restorative surgery is at hand for those who want it. As wondrous as such a procedure is, it pays to know what you are getting into before you chose to travel down such a path.
Firstly, although seen as a beauty treatment or a fashion enhancement, a hair transplant procedure is surgery. Fact! At the heart of any surgery is a balance between pain and pain control, in this case through anaesthesia. Getting the balance right depends on how good your clinician is but be warned, any hair transplant will require many anaesthetics injections, a lot of discomforts and a long time in surgery. If any clinic suggests that their procedure is quick and pain-free, then they are sacrificing the truth in the name of false advertising.
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With any surgery, there are risks, especially with something so invasive as hair transplantation and, although not the norm, there have been many recorded cases of the patient suffering from a permanent loss of feeling after the anaesthetic has worn off. Such information is infinitely harder to find on the internet than the advertisements for clinics all too eager to take your money and sign you up.
Most men travel to destinations outside the western world, Turkey, Africa and South-East Asia in particular, to find a cheap service for such a procedure. This might sound like a great idea but would you feel secure travelling to such places rather than locations in The UK, France or Germany to have stents fitted, or a pacemaker, or a complete heart transplant? Should cost ever be the deciding factor in medical decisions? Definitely not.
We all know of someone, "a friend of a friend" or " a guy where I used to work" who travelled abroad and had such a procedure done with no problems. Not only does everyone react to such surgery differently, not everyone will have the same experience, but again, should you really be making such big decisions based on hearsay? Would you travel to a, perhaps, less reputable country (medically speaking) to have corrective laser treatment on your eyes because a guy down the pub said it was okay to do so?
And then there is the end result. Are you going to come away from such treatments, even after the hours of surgery, with your head of hair looking like your 18-year old self? 2000 grafts of hair might sound like a lot but it isn't anything close to enough to make you look like the guy in the advertising photographs. The industry plays on the vulnerability of the patient. Once the patient has had the first transplant procedure and realised that the results don't match their expectations, they will probably want to have a second, a third, more even, until they are finally happy. And the cost soon mounts up.
And yet, despite all of these, often well-documented dangers, men are risking all to get the quick fix that they feel that they so desperately need. I'm not saying don't undertake such a course of action. What I'm saying is to be aware of the dangers and don't make cost and hearsay your driving factors. Better still, embrace your unique self, whether you are blessed with luxurious, long-lasting locks or a dramatic and distinctive dome.