The following article, written by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. Victor Hasson, was posted on our Hair Restoration Social Community and Discussion Forums.
Frequently, patients ask us about styling options after the hair grows in from their hair transplant. Will they be able to style their hair in any fashion or will they be forced to style it in a particular way to maintain coverage and naturalness?
In general, if the transplanted hair is directed correctly, the styling options will increase with higher transplant densities. At low density it is important to comb the hair in a particular direction to maintain the hair shingling effect to bridge over balding scalp until the hairs reach the next follicular unit (FU) at which point the hairs from that next FU will take over the coverage function. In addition, lower densities will require longer length hair for coverage. However, there is a point where the hair can be too long, thus making the hair appear to give less coverage. Each patient is different so it is up to the individual to find the best length to maximize coverage given their degree of hair loss and coverage..
If an individual intends to part their hair through a transplanted area that was previously bald the transplanted hair density required rises dramatically. The shingling effect is largely negated here and what becomes impacted is the distance between transplanted FU’s. Generally, for a part to look natural, transplanted densities of 50 FU per cm2 and up are necessary. Obviously the hair characteristics such as shaft diameter, color and curl will come into play as well.
As you can see the patient’s expectations with regard to styling should be an important part of the pre-op consultation. With sufficient donor availability, hair restoration patients with ever demanding expectations can be satisfied but it is important to identify those patients who are demanding in the absence of sufficient donor. These are the patients who should be counseled more extensively to avoid later disappointment.
Victor Hasson MD