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Complete Guide to
Hair Transplants




Hair Transplant, Wimpole Clinic

Hair Transplant

Harley Street, London


Book a Consultation

Simply fill in your details and we'll get in touch with you shortly.

Causes of hair loss


What causes your hair to fall out?

90 to 95% of the time hair loss is simply caused by genetics, passed down from your family. The inherited gene affects how sensitive your hair follicles are to a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). That gene makes the follicles shrink and so the hair gets smaller and thinner – to the point where it no longer grows.


Do diet and stress levels affect hair loss?

Diet and stress can play a small role in hair loss. But only in the same way that if you have a bad diet then your skin will also suffer, or your nails. Or if you’re under extreme stress then your body will be less healthy. But by far the main factor of hair loss or baldness is genetics.


What are the stages of male pattern baldness?

The industry standard measurement of male pattern baldness is called the Norwood scale. It runs from Stage 1 (some thinning at the temples or the widow’s peak) to Stage 7 (severe hair loss).

Hair transplant treatment summary

Procedure time

Procedure time 5 to 8 hours

anaesthetic type

Anesthetic Type Local

Hospital stay

Hospital stay Day case

Return to work

Return to work 3-7 days

Reasonably mobile

Reasonably mobile Immediate

Sexual Abstinence

Sexual abstinence 2 weeks

Sleeping Position

Sleeping position On back for 1 week


Washing Wash hair after 1 week

exercise including gym

Exercise including gym 2-4 weeks


Driving Immediately

bras and garments

Bras & Garments None

full recovery

Full recovery 4-6 weeks

final results

Final results 12 months

Causes of hair loss in women

Why do some women experience hair loss?

Like men, women also have DHT – the hormone that triggers hair loss – in their bodies. It’s just typically at much lower levels. But those levels can go up and down. Like men, women can experience hair loss as the DHT reacts with the inherited gene that shrinks and weakens hair follicles.


What is the difference between male and female hair loss?

Hair loss in women tends to be a general thinning of the hair all over the head rather than the male pattern baldness. But essentially, the reason for hair loss in women is the same as men – genetics.

Hair transplants – the basics

What is a hair transplant?

During a hair transplant, we extract follicles from a donor area (usually the back or the side of the head), make an incision in the area which needs filling, and place the graft into that incision. That hair then grows in its new position, filling the gap.

It takes place under local anaesthetic so you’ll be awake the whole time. The surgery lasts between four and eight hours and you’ll go home the same day.


What is the difference between FUE and FUT?

Some studies have suggested that FUT gains slightly better results than FUE. But in the end, there is no definitive answer. They are two different ways of extracting the hair follicles but with the same results.

FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) involves collecting a small strip of skin from the donor area so you’ll have a scar at the end of the procedure and it takes a little longer to recover.

FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) is where the follicles are extracted directly from your scalp. So it’s less invasive and more discreet.

The choice of which one to go with is up to you. In your initial free consultation with us, we can take you through the options but it’s worth reading up about them in advance.


Follicle Transection Rate (FTR)

Whereas an experienced surgeon can harvest up to 600 follicles an hour, an unexperienced surgeon harvest at a rate less than 100 follicles an hour. This presents a major problem when a patient is seeking to acquire high numbers of grafts. The use of mechanised devices has helped to improve harvest rates, but the skill needed to remove the grafts remains.

All hair transplant surgeons must be concerned with the rate of transection of hairs and fragility of these grafts. The follicle transection rate (FTR), is the rate in which follicles are damaged during removal. As these grafts will not develop and grow after a transplantation, FTR is a very common way to measure a surgeon’s effectiveness; the lower the FTR, the more effective a result. Whereas an experienced surgeon has a transection rate of 5-7%, an inexperienced surgeon’s rate can range anywhere from 20%-75%.


Who can get a hair transplant?

Any adult can get a hair transplant. It’s not advisable for anyone suffering from alopecia areata (an autoimmune condition which causes bald patches) to have a hair transplant, nor will it help people who have lost their hair through chemotherapy.

What should I consider before getting a hair transplant?

Hair Transplant, Wimpole Clinic

It is important to find a surgery clinic that is registered with the Care Quality Commission and has received a good rating so you have a guarantee that you will benefit from adequate care. Before going any further you also need to ensure that you will be receiving the services of a very qualified and experienced hair transplant surgeon.


What should I expect during my initial consultation?

During your initial consultation you will be asked about your medical history and your hair and scalp will be examined microscopically. Your hair density will be evaluated and we will look to compare the amount of fine hair to thick ones; we assess the degree of miniaturisation of your hair strands caused by shrinking hair follicles and the diminishing of each hair’s diameter and length. You will be advised on the best way we can achieve the required end results and you will be given a full explanation of the entire transplant procedure, including any associated risks. There will be time to answer any questions or queries. We always suggest that you bring a family member/friend or partner to your consultation as they can give a useful and added perspective.

Hair transplants – different hair types

Do hair transplants work for afro hair?

Yes. The process is slightly more complicated because the hair follicles are curly and so they’re harder to extract from the head. But the time, cost and success rate is the same as it is for straighter hair.


Do hair transplants work for women?

Yes absolutely. The process and success rates for hair transplants in women are exactly the same as they are for men.

When to get a hair transplant

What age should you get a hair transplant?

There’s no particular age when you’re too young or too old for a hair transplant. Each case is different.

You should bear in mind, though, if you’re very young (early 20s, for example) and thinking about a hair transplant there is a good chance you will need another one in the future.

Think about it this way, if you’re 25 and already showing signs of hair loss in your widow’s peak, you can get a transplant to fill in that area. But there’s a strong likelihood that thinning will then happen a little higher up, or on your crown.

A hair transplant is very effective for covering a certain area of your head – but it does not stop general hair loss.


What stage of male pattern hair loss do you commonly fix with a hair transplant?

For male pattern hair loss, the front – at the temples – tends to be the first area to thin. The crown is also a common area. But in the end, the process of a transplant is the same regardless of area.

In terms of the Norwood scale of hair loss, we most often perform transplants for those between Stage 1 and Stage 4 or 5.

Hair transplants – the procedure

Is a hair transplant painful?

No. The area of the scalp can be slightly tender for a couple of days after the transplant but it should not be painful.

The procedure takes place under local anaesthetic so some people find the needle to be a little uncomfortable but that only lasts for a few seconds.


How long does it take to recover from a hair transplant?

You’ll be able to go home on the same day of the surgery. We recommend you take a week off work starting the day of the procedure.

The doctor will let you know what aftercare or medication you might need ahead of time so that you can stock up before you have the transplant.


What aftercare is involved in a hair transplant?

After a hair transplant, you have to be a bit careful for about two weeks. There are a few things you need to do to take care of the hair and the head during that time – washing the hair with saline solution for example.

But it’s nothing major and our specialists will make sure you’re fully informed of what you need to do well in advance.

Hair transplants – do they work?

When do hair transplants look normal?

After about four weeks the transplant should no longer be noticeable to anyone. This can vary but four weeks is the average.

For the hair to start growing in its new place, it takes between three and six months.


What is the success rate of a hair transplant?

It is very, very rare for a hair transplant from a good clinic to fail. Wimpole has a success rate of between 97% and 100%.

It is important to remember that a hair transplant does not stop general hair loss. A hair transplant covers the area which is losing hair. There is still a chance that hair will recede in a different area. But we will make sure you’re totally informed of all this before any commitments. Remember, our initial consultations are always free.


What other options for hair loss prevention are there?

If you have decided that a surgical procedure is not something you want, no need to start pulling your hair out (!) as there are other, non-surgical options to help with your hair loss, such as laser treatment, medication, natural remedies and sometimes even mere lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress, improving your diet and quitting smoking.

At Wimpole Clinic we offer a full range of non surgical and alternative therapies to combat hair loss and are happy to advise on the best method just for you.