Strip Hair Transplant FAQ
Want to know more about strip hair transplant? Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about strip hair transplant.
What is a strip hair transplant?
A strip hair transplant is a procedure where a narrow strip of hair is taken from the back of the scalp (known as donor area). The hair transplant grafts are then individually dissected and placed in areas of balding.
Is a hair transplant safe?
Yes, Dr. Sean has performed over 2,000 cases without any incident.
Does the result look natural?
Yes. People just notice more hair.
Will the hairline look natural?
Yes, Dr. Sean creates a natural non-pluggy hairline, guaranteed.
Why does Dr. Sean perform only one hair transplant a day?
Hair transplants are a delicate process. Dr. Sean’s goal is to provide the best result for every patient. Thus he only performs one case a day. On the day of the procedure, he performs the procedure himself.
Dr. Sean does all the numbing, the removal of the grafts and the skin closure, making sure it is done appropriately. He takes as much time as possible making sure that the scar is as minimal as possible. He creates all the recipient sites including the angles of every site.
When performing a hair transplant that requires over 2000 grafts, it is very important that every angle and every direction of every hair is made appropriately. Overall, Dr. Sean recognizes the importance of every step of the hair transplantation process and as a result, he performs only one procedure a day.
This has been his philosophy from the beginning and has ensured great results with every patient. Technicians assist with Dr Sean. their main goal is to dissect grafts and place them.
Is there something a patient can do to get more grafts in a maximum session?
Yes, the scalp stretching exercise. In fact, in our practice every strip procedure patient needs to do the scalp exercise for better results. This loosens the skin on the back of the scalp so more tissue can be take out.
The video below explains how the scalp exercise is done, During the consultation, Dr. Sean explains it in more detail.
What is scalp exercise and how can it benefit me?
Hair transplant candidates will be taught a special scalp stretching exercise that increases the laxity of the donor area and enables Dr. Sean to remove more grafts.
Typically, the scalp exercise increases the number of grafts that can be obtained by 20-30%. So the value of the surgery is literally in the patient’s hands. Because we offer flat fee pricing, the more scalp exercise a patient does, the more grafts Dr. Sean can get reducing the cost per graft.
You can watch how the scalp exercise is performed by clicking on the below video. during the consultation, Dr. Sean will review this in more detail as well.
How can scalp exercise result in minimal scars?
Scalp exercise increases scalp laxity. When a strip of tissue is removed, increased laxity decreases skin tension and results in minimal scarring. In addition to the exercise, the method of closing the skin is also very important.
Dr. Sean does only one case a day and he spends as much time necessary to get the perfect closure in the donor area. He use the double layer suturing technique as well as the trichophytic closure (overlapping of the skin) to minimize the scar.
Is there prolonged downtime?
The pictures below demonstrate post operative changes after the hair transplant procedure. Over the past years, Dr. Sean has fine tuned the process such that patients develop only minimal swelling, bruising and scabbing. More information on how we achieve these are explained during the consultation.
When can I go back to work?
About 85% of the patients can go back to work by the second day after the procedure. Because of the modified techniques that Dr. Sean uses, there is minimal downtime.
Is the area where the strip removed (aka donor area) visible after the hair transplant?
The picture above demonstrates how the hairs in the donor area are covering the suture area. As long as you keep your hair at least 1 inch long, the donor area can be covered very well by your existing hair immediately after the procedure.
Is it painful?
Minimally. In fact our recent questionnaire showed that 98% had less pain than going to the dentist, and 96% reported that the procedure day was one of the most relaxing days they have recently had.
The procedure only involves the top layer of skin. So local anesthetic is sufficient. Dr. Sean performs only one case a day, so he will slow down as needed
Is transplantation done under general anesthesia?
No, it’s all local. Even before Dr. Sean uses local anesthesia, he uses oral valium (relaxer) and vicodin (for pain) so your day goes very smoothly.
Is there bad ugly scar?
Dr. Sean performs only one procedure a day and takes his time suturing the donor area. He does a procedure called the trichophytic technique, where he creates an overlap between the two edges of the skin so hairs grow into the level of the scar ( please see pictires below).
He also uses a double layer closure technique, where he completely sutures the inner lining of the skin and the outer layer of the skin, which help reduce tension and further decrease scarring.
What guarantees do I get?
We stand behind our work. We guarantee that the transplant looks natural transplant and non-pluggy. PLease look at the picture below. The picture is 10 months after hair transplantation. The hairline looks very natural. No one can notice this person had a hair transplant.
How soon will I see results?
After the hair transplant procedure, hair starts growing by about 3 months. They will grow 1 inch every 3 months. So, by the 10 to 12 months, you will see about 2 to 3 inches of hair growth. In general, it will take a good one year to see the full result.
How do I know I’m a good candidate for hair transplantation and have good quality hairs?
During the consultation with Dr. Sean, he analyzes your scalp hair using a video microscope as well as a densitometer. It can demonstrate whether your donor hair is good and whether you are good candidate or not.
Hair Densitometer: This is used to measure the number of grafts per centimeter square, which allows Dr. Sean to estimate how many grafts he can remove in one session.
Who is not a candidate for hair transplantation?
Those with very low density in the donor area or with thinning in the donor area. During the consultation and examination, Dr. Sean will use a video microscope to analyze the grafts in the donor area.
If the grafts are thinned out then you are not a candidate. He also uses a densitometer to calculate the density of the donor area. Again if the density is low, you are not a good candidate.
If you have a significant skin condition that contributes to scarring, such as scarring alopecia then you are also not a candidate. It is thus very important to come to the consultation and see Dr. Sean and this why Dr. Sean sees every patient himself during the actual consultation.
Are there any hidden fees on the day of the procedure?
No, there are no hidden fees. We are very upfront with our costs. We present you with all the cost at the consultation. We do not overcharge or have any surprise charges on the day of the procedure.
Does Dr. Sean have any video testimonials of patients who had hair transplant done?
Please click on below videos to watch real patient testimonials.
Does hair transplantation use my own hair?
Yes, we use the hair from the back of scalp. The hair in this area is permanent, meaning that it does not thin out in about 90% of the population. In order to find whether you are a candidate, Dr. Sean will analyze your scalp using a video microscope as well as densitometer at the consultation.
How soon will I see result after my hair transplantation?
The implanted hairs will temporarily shed over the first 2 weeks after hair transplantation procedure. This is natural. However, the hair follicles are still intact underneath the skin.
The hair will start growing out at the 3rd or 4th month after the procedure. It will continue to grow about 1 inch every 3 months. So by 10 to 12 months, it has grown almost 2 to 3 inches.
What kind of anesthesia is used?
Dr. Sean uses local anesthesia, similar to what your dentist uses. He also uses oral medications such as Xanax, which helps with mild anxiety as well as Vicodin which helps with pain.
If I lose my current existing natural hair, and I am only left with transplanted hair, will I look unnatural?
No, Dr. Sean designs the hairline in such a way such that even if you lose all of your original natural hair, the transplanted hairs will look natural. It would not look funny.
What is the day of the procedure like?
Hair transplantation patients describe the procedure day as one of the most relaxing days they have had. The day begins with Dr. Sean going through all the consent forms. Dr. Behnam is actively involved in every step and does not allocate it to any nurse or physician assistant or other doctors.
He first meets with you and goes through the entire plan. During the consultation, you and Dr. Sean have already decided on the hairline and the number of grafts required. Dr. Behnam will review all of these with you. Dr. Sean typically likes to even plant more grafts to make sure that result is fantastic.
After everything is reviewed, you are then taken to procedure room, where the donor area is numbed and the grafts are removed. Dr. Behnam creates all of the sites where the grafts will be placed.
You will then have lunch. Afterwards, the grafts are individually placed back into the scalp by his skilled technicians. You will then be discharged home. Dr. Sean requests a follow up with him the following day and a few times within the first two weeks following the procedure.
I have grey hair, am I a transplant candidate?
Yes, we specialize in all kinds of hair color. We have special microscopes and special lights that we utilize during our procedure that makes it possible to perform hair transplantation on grey hair.
Above is a gentleman with grey hair who had a hair transplant. The left is the before picture and the right is the picture taken one year after hair transplantation.
Above is the picture of microscope used in dissecting grafts. The arrow points to the light box, which emits light from the bottom that will make it very easy to see grey hairs.
In addition to all the high tech equipments, we also have excellent technicians with over 10 years each in dissecting and placing grafts..
What are recipient sites?
Recipient site are the holes that the grafts are placed into. A small instrument is used to create such small hole. The instrument does not leave any scarring.
Is any suturing required to hold the grafts in place in the recipient site?
No. The holes created are less than 1 millimeter in width and the grafts are held in tightly. So no suturing is required.
I have slight anxiety about the procedure, could any anti-anxiety medication be used?
Yes. Xanax or Valium, which are for anxiety, will be given to you if needed.
Will I be awake during the procedure?
Yes. There is no general anesthesia used. We may give you some Xanax or Valium to calm and relax you. You may also sleep during the procedure or watch a movie. You can bring your own DVDs or CDs.
I am from out of state, are there any accommodations available?
Yes, there are two hotels adjacent to the practice. For those from out of the city, we will cover your hotel stay.
Where is the hair transplant procedure performed?
The hair transplant procedure is performed in our beautiful office in Santa Monica.
The two above pictures are of our beautiful office building in Santa Monica. We have a 3,000 square feet suite on the 3rd floor of class A medical office in Santa Monica.
How is the procedure room structured?
The room is set up such that the technicians work in front of you, the patient. No graft or strip is ever worked on in another room. We feel this is the most ethical way of doing it. The responsibilities of the technicians are to dissect the grafts.
The room is also equipped with TV, so you can bring your own CD or DVD and can watch a movie.
Will I get Dr. Seans cell phone number in case I need to call him?
Yes, every one of Dr. Sean’s hair transplant patients get his direct cell phone number. This way, he can be reached 24 hours a day without going through any secretary or answering exchange.
Does Dr. Sean have any published articles?
Dr. Sean’s articles have been published in Skin Med, Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, Journal of Drugs and Dermatology, Psoriasis form, expert opinion in pharmacotherapy, and Journal of Organic Chemistry.