Hair Transplant in South Korea
A hair transplant is the process of taking hair from a hair dense area like the side and back of the scalp, and transferring it to a balding area. South Korea has become synonymous with top-notch medical care, especially when it comes to cosmetic surgery. With its cutting-edge technology and highly skilled doctors, South Korea provides some of the best hair transplantation services in the world! This, combined with affordable prices makes South Korea the first choice for people looking to get a hair transplant.
At Shin Medical, providing premium service and absolute satisfaction is our top priority. Our agency only works with the most experienced, highly qualified doctors, and medical teams. We provide the best medical results, making sure you are taken care of before and after your procedure. We make everything hassle-free and effortless, so you can focus on getting better while enjoying your stay in South Korea.
Doctors will conduct multiple consultations with you to get a better idea of your individual expectations, and to answer any questions you might have. When you are happy with the decision you have made, the rest is taken care of for you. From pre-procedure consultation preparations, to follow-ups after the procedure, we make the whole experience as stress-free as possible.
Each procedure has its own advantages and after listening to your expectations, doctors will recommend which procedure would be best suited for you.
What is a Follicular Unit (FU)?
The Follicular Unit (FU) is the organic way in which hair grows on the human scalp. The hair follicles in human hair grow as groups, as opposed to the common belief that they grow one-by-one. These groups are called Follicular Units (FUs) and they contain on average 1-4 hair follicles; having the same sebaceous gland, the same nerves and vessels and all that are enclosed in a common “tunic” of connective tissue.
There are two methods on how the hair transplant is done. They are Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). The difference between two methods is the technique of grafting the hair.
- Turnaround for daily activities: 10 days
- Turnaround for intense activities: 4-8 weeks
- More grafts per session, up to 4000
- Longer healing period
- Mild post op discomfort
- Small linear scar
- High level of graft survival 98%
- More ideal for longer hair due to linear scar
- No need to shave hair
- Short surgery time: avg 5 hours
- Ideal for dense hair
- Turnaround for daily activities: 3-5 days
- Quick turnaround for intense activities: 10 days
- Fewer grafts per session, up to 2000
- Fast healing (no sutures)
- Less post op pain
- Hardly any scaring
- Graft survival of 85%
- Good for very short hairstyle
- Some shaving in donor area
- Longer surgery time: avg 8 hours
- Better for less dense donor area
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation / Strip)
The first of the 2 main options for hair transplantation the FUT method. Using the FUT/S method, doctors will remove multiple follicular units (a grouping of 1, 2, 3 or 4 hairs) at a time. This is done by removing a long thin strip from the donor area, situated around the back or at the sides of the scalp and the incision is closed with a suture. The removed hair strip is then transferred to a special microscope, where the doctor will separate it into smaller individual strips. These individual strips are separated into follicular units and prepared for transplantation.
After the follicular units are harvested, the subsequent steps for FUT is practically the same as with FUE. The hair is dissected under a microscope to harvest the follicular units, and after the position scan to determine perfect placement is completed, the FU is transplanted to the thinning or balding area on the scalp.
FUT does require stitches which will be removed after a few days. This suture will leave a scar. However, with modern advances in techniques and technology, scarring can be reduced to such an extent that it will not even be visible. The FUT can provide maximum coverage of a sparse or empty area, as more hair can be harvested at a time.
This video illustrates how an FUT operation is performed.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)
The other commonly used hair transplantation method is FUE. The FUE transplant procedure is a technique whereby a follicular unit(a grouping of 1,2,3 or 4 hairs), is individually extracted using a small micro instrument from a denser hair area (donor area). The instrument extracts the FU by making a small round incision around the hair follicle. After the surgeon has made the small incision, they will remove the graft with another instrument. This is done very meticulously in order to ensure the hair remains in optimum condition.
Now that each graft has been extracted from the donor area, the surgeon uses a state-of-the-art scalp scanner to determine the perfect position for the grafts to be inserted. The surgeon then transfers the grafts one-by-one to the recipient area, at the most natural angle to maintain an organic look and maximize regrowth.
The FUE method uses the 1mm incision instrument to remove the follicular unit when the procedure requires no sutures. No sutures means faster healing and minimal to no scarring. The FUE is minimally invasive with very little bleeding, some cases might not have any bleeding at all.
Patients using the FUE procedure method report minimum, or even no postoperative pain. Patients can expect a uniform use of the donor area which allows the hair in the donor area to regrow leaving a full and natural look without a linear scar. An added benefit of FUE is that regrowth in the donor area can again be used for future operations, if necessary.
This video illustrates how an FUE operation is performed.
ARTAS is a state-of-the-art robotic system that uses the latest in AI technology to improve hair transplantation. ARTAS uses the most advanced technology to assist physicians with laborious and repetitive tasks that require manual movement. ARTAS automates two important steps during FUE transplantation; The FU graft harvesting, and also during the creation of implant sites.
Hair Loss Treatment
Your hair does not simply go through the process of growth and loss on its own. In reality, it is constantly affected by various signal transmitters that help assist the growth or cause regression of cells within our bodies.
For instance, WNT, which promotes hair growth, is secreted somewhere between telogen (resting stage) and anagen(growth stage). On the other hand, BMP (bone morphogenic protein), which causes hair loss, is secreted between catagen(regression stage) and telogen.
- WNT: stimulates hair growth
- BMP: causes hair loss
In addition, various other signal transmitters interact with each other to control hair growth and hair regression; however, hair loss may occur if the interaction between these transmitters is out of balance.
Injections of signal transmitters to induce hair follicle regeneration.
Drug and stem cell therapy for internal growth and thickness recovery of hair follicles.
Ultrasound therapy to strengthen hair follicles.
Laser therapy to strengthen hair follicles.
What do we inject?
- IGF-1(Insulin-like growth factor-1)
- HGF(Hepatocyte growth factor)
- VEGF(Vascular endothelial growth factor)
- BFGF(Basic fibroblasts growth factor)
- Shh(Sonic hedgehog)
FAQ Hair Transplant
The best procedure for you will be determined after consultation with the doctor is complete. Your doctor will first take a look at your hair to determine what the state of your hair loss progression is. Your doctor might determine that you need hair loss treatment, a hair transplant or perhaps that you might need to start using medication.
If you are traveling to Korea for your hair transplant, we recommend a minimum of 2 weeks in Korea. This is because you will need to do a few follow ups. The doctor will make sure you are healing well and that the transplant looks good.
Yes, that is possible. Many of our patients, especially businessmen, only stay for 3 days.
FUE transplant takes a bit longer than the FUT because each follicle is extracted one-by-one.
FUE takes around 6-9 hours depending on the amount of grafts necessary.
FUT transplant takes a little less time due to the entire strip being harvested at once.
FUT takes around 4-7 hours depending on the amount of grafts necessary.
Transplanted hair will last you a lifetime.
It is generally not necessary to get another procedure done. In some cases another procedure might be necessary:
- If you need a very large number of grafts to be implanted
- If the previous surgeon did not do a good job and you need a revision surgery.
Immediately after the procedure the doctor will prescribe some antibiotics, anti inflammatory and pain medicine. This is to be taken for around 5 days after the procedure, or as necessary. If you do not yet use finasteride or propecia, the doctor will prescribe some for you and you will need to start taking it 1 month after your procedure.
When doing a hair transplant the doctor uses hair harvested from the back of your scalp. When doing any hair transplant the doctor will only use your hair.
Scarring for FUE and FUT is very different. It is important to know that there is no such thing as completely scarless hair transplant surgery.
FUE – With FUE there will be a series of very small 1-2mm sized hole scars. These scars are only visible when the hair is completely shaved, and even then it is barely visible.
FUT – With FUT there is a linear scar that runs along the back of the scalp. This scar is visible when the hair is shaved or very short. But with as little as 3mm growth the scar will not be visible.
In order to ensure maximum survival of the transplanted hair it is important to take it easy after the surgery. It is best to avoid exercise for a week after surgery. After a week you are free to engage in light exercise that does not cause excess perspiration. After 2 weeks you can start exercising again, The important thing to remember is to avoid any activity that can cause trauma to the hair.
No, the doctor will use local anesthesia so during your procedure you will be awake. So you will be able to talk to the doctor, get up and drink water, stretch your legs or go to the bathroom.
Everybody has different pain tolerance levels so the amount of discomfort you feel will largely depend on how well you deal with pain. Some people report FUE to be completely pain free and some people only report minor pain. Likewise most people report FUT to be only uncomfortable due to the tightness of the suture.
How many grafts you will need is completely up to the doctor. Patients can discuss what they want the final result to look like with the doctor. It is important that the doctor and patients expectations match up.
Hair transplantation is a timely process and lots of patience is required. For a very few people you might start seeing results after as little as six months but in most cases you are expected to wait around 1 year for your new hair to be fully grown in.