What Is Direct Hair Implantation?
Direct hair implantation is one of the popular hair transplantation methods among patients around the world. This technique is relatively new compared to follicular unit extraction (FUE) method. Since there is no need for shaving, DHI is popular among women and men with long hair. Also, men with mild hair loss can benefit from this method.
There are certain factors that make a patient a good candidate for this method. First thing is in this method, number of grafts that can be collected in single operation is limited. Doctors can only collect 2500 hair grafts in single DHI hair transplant. Therefore, this method is not suitable for patients with severe hair loss. In such cases, classical FUE method will be a better option.
Second thing is patients can go back to their normal life on the next day. In FUE method, generally 2 to 5 days of rest are recommended. However, in DHI method, patients can continue their normal life with less interruption.
Steps for Direct Hair Implantation
Direct hair implantation process has two main steps. These are hair extraction and hair implanting. In DHI method, extracted hair are directly implanted without waiting. Since there is no waiting time in between two stages, success rates of this method is significantly higher.
At hair extraction stage of DHI method, first donor area is prepared. Before starting hair extraction, local anaesthesia is applied to both donor and recipient areas. Donor area is the area of the scalp where hair follicles or hair grafts will be collected. Hair extraction is made with special tools. These tools directly collect hair grafts without harming the roots of the hair.
After collecting hair grafts, these grafts are places inside a solution at certain temperature. The purpose of this solution is to achieve stronger placement during hair implanting stage.
After hair extraction phase, collected hair grafts are implanted with special tools called CHOI pens. This tool is called CHOI pens because the tool looks like a special type of pen. Hair extraction tool has a small tip with approximately 1mm diameter.
Extracted hair grafts are directly implanted from the special solution. The waiting period in between is significantly shorter in this method. During implanting, doctor has the complete control over the depth and direction of how hair grafts are placed. Also, placement angle is considered during implanting stage.
Post Operation Care
Post operation care of direct hair implantation is similar to FUE hair implantation. After the surgery, patients need to follow the instruction of the doctor. To minimize the pain associated with the operation, patients need to use pain killer medication. Additionally, patients need to use antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to minimise the risk of infections.
15 days after the surgery, patients can start to shave their hair. If a patient wants to change hair colour, at least 45 days must pass after the operation. Patients need to stay away from sea and pool for at least 45 days. After swimming, head should be rinsed with pure water.
When Will My Hair Start to Grow?
Generally, first significant hair growth is observed 6 months after the surgery. However, complete hair growth is achieved within one year. In some cases, it may take up to 18 months to have complete hair growth. Speed of hair growth depends on hair characteristics of patient as well as daily habits.
For example, smokers may experience late hair growth as smoking hinders development of new hair. Additionally, eating healthy and adopting a healthy lifestyle may help improving hair growth speed. When patients follow post-op instructions and take care of their new hair after the surgery, they will regain the hairline they have always been dreaming.