With traditional hair loss restoration, the hair is cropped close; both at the donor site as well as the area to receive the hair. This give the hair restoration surgeon a clear view, lessens the chance of infection and allows the procedure to go more quickly.
But recently, a few hair restoration surgeon offices have begun doing what are called “long hair loss restoration procedures, wherein, the hair is left at the length the patient normally wears it. According to one hair restoration surgeon performing this procedure, the advantages are that the patient can see how his or her hair will look on the day of the procedure. The long hair also covers the surgical areas so no one can tell the hair loss restoration has happened even on the day the patient leaves the office.
However, there are some distinct disadvantages to long hair loss restoration surgery. One being the cost. Removing a follicle in one area and transplanting it to another area with a long hair in place is extremely time consuming. As a result, a long hair restoration surgeon typically charges three to five times more for this type of procedure. Another aspect to long hair transplants—like short hair transplants—is that all of the hair in the transplanted follicles falls out a few days after the surgery. So, despite spending all that extra money, the longhair patient will end up looking just like the short hair patient. Finally, there is the issue of infection. Bacteria can hide in long hair and it is thought that this could lead to a higher rate of infection.
So what are the advantages of a long hair loss restoration? If you’re a celebrity trying to evade the paparazzi and keep you transplant a secret, then longhair loss restoration surgery might be right for you. Otherwise, the traditional method of cropping the areas close, prior to surgery remains the best option.