If you have visible scarring in your scalp that affects your hair growth it is only natural that you may want to try and disguise it. Oftentimes, simply growing your hair longer can cover scars, but I appreciate that not everyone wants to do this and some people prefer shorter hairstyles.
So what do you do? Are there any treatments and is there such a procedure as hair transplant scar removal? This is what I look at in this article so you can understand the options available to you, to hide or remove your scars.
Understanding Hair Transplants
First, let me state that hair transplant scar removal is a real thing. This is a surgical procedure done by professional hair transplant surgeons that aims to implant hair grafts into your scar tissue. An FUE hair transplant scar removal procedure follows the following typical process:
- Hair grafts are surgically removed from a healthy donor area of your scalp.
- These grafts are then surgically implanted into your scar tissue.
- The grafted hair follicles hopefully heal, take root, and grow as normal.
The donor area is a healthy area of your scalp with no scarring and good hair growth. A tool is used to remove grafts containing 2-5 individual hair follicles. These are then implanted into the scar tissue and should eventually grow naturally.
FUE hair transplants only leave small circular scarring that is barely visible compared to your existing scalp scars.
Scar Types and Their Challenges
People can get scarring on their scalp for various reasons such as accidents, trips, brain surgery, or even other hair transplants using older methods like FUT.
These can present challenges and depending on the extensiveness, length, and width of the scars, they can cause large patches of baldness.
This is because hair typically doesn’t grow in scar tissue as there are no hair follicles there. The blood supply is also lesser compared to healthy tissue which can cause issues with hair growth.
The Science Behind Scar Removal Hair Transplants
The premise of hair transplant scar removal is simple – you take hair follicles from a healthy part of your scalp and implant them into the scar tissue.
This is because as stated above, hairs don’t naturally grow in scars so they have to be manually inserted there. In the right conditions and with the right procedure and aftercare, the hairs can grow, and your scar is effectively “removed”.
Please note that scars cannot be removed with surgery in the way that we think. For example, you can have laser surgery on scars but this doesn’t remove the scar tissue or help hair growth, it simply improves the appearance of scarring and reduces after-effects like itching and pain. This holds true not only for scalp scars but scarring on other parts of your body.
Scar tissue response to transplanted hair
The main issue with a Turkish hair transplant for scar removal or indeed from any country is the chance of success and the issues with hair follicle regrowth.
Scar tissue does not have a great blood supply and this is essential for the growth of new hairs. Therefore, there is not as high a success rate for hair transplant scar removal procedures as there is for standard hair transplants like FUE into healthy scalps.
During the procedure, the hair transplant surgeon often leaves larger gaps between hair follicles so that the blood flow is shared better between the grafts. As a result, you may not get the coverage over your scar that you wanted from one session and multiple sessions may be required over the course of months and years.
How to Know if You Qualify for a Scar Removal Hair Transplant?
Hair transplants for scar removal aren’t suitable for everyone and they won’t work with every scar type. Currently, this procedure is suitable for:
- Surgical scars.
- Trauma scars.
- Scars as a result of infection.
- Hair loss scarring (cicitaricial alopecia).
This does cover a wide range of scarring and hair transplant scar tissue is something that can definitely be sorted – particularly with the characteristic long thing scar that an FUT procedure leaves.
Hair Transplants for Scar Removal are Viable With Caveats
I hope you now have a clear idea of what you can do about scarring on your scalp and how it can be treated. The reality is that hair transplant scar removal is a viable option and it can be used to effectively “remove” your scars.
Providing that the grafted hair follicles take root and remain healthy, new hair can grow and this can cover your scars. You have to be aware that the chance of success is not as high as a standard hair transplant procedure though, and you may need multiple treatments before the hair takes root properly.