5 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE A HAIR TRANSPLANT — and what to look for in a clinic


Choosing to undergo a hair transplant is a significant decision, one that should be made with as much information as possible. Often, hair transplants are regarded as a last resort to address hair loss or hair thinning, as regards improving appearance and boosting confidence. But while hair transplants have many benefits, they’re not suitable for everyone, depending on factors like the availability of adequate donor hair and the individual’s general health.

Our latest blog post is meant to guide you through this process. It provides crucial insights on what you should ask your potential surgeon and how to evaluate a hair transplant clinic. Read on to arm yourself with knowledge and confidence, ensuring you make the most informed decision for your journey towards hair restoration.

What is your experience and qualifications?

First, ensure that your hair transplant surgeon is highly qualified and experienced. After all, you will put your health and well-being in their hands.

Hence, it would help if you asked about their specific qualifications and the number of years they have been performing hair transplants. It’s also important to inquire about relevant board certifications and professional memberships.

Check that the doctor is legally allowed to practise and is registered with the Singapore Medical Council. They should also be part of international hair restoration groups. Ideally, they should specialise in dermatology or reconstructive surgery.

Likewise, the surgeon needs special training and certificates in hair transplant techniques. These should come from well-known hair restoration organisations. Finally, the surgeon should keep up-to-date with their skills by attending workshops and seminars. You can often see their past work on their website or social media.

What type of hair transplant do you recommend for me?

There are two prevailing types of hair transplant procedures: FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). Each type has its benefits and drawbacks and may be more suited to certain types of hair loss than others. Your surgeon should be able to explain why they recommend a specific technique for you.

FUT, also known as strip harvesting, involves removing a strip of skin from the back of the scalp where hair growth is typically dense. The hair follicles from this strip are then separated into grafts and implanted into the bald or thinning areas. While this method can allow for many grafts to be transplanted in one session, it leaves a linear scar on the back of the scalp, which can be visible if you wear your hair very short.

On the other hand, FUE involves extracting individual follicular units (a group of 1-4 hairs) directly from the scalp using a punch tool and then transplanting these into the balding areas. This method is more time-consuming and can often require multiple sessions for large areas of baldness. Still, it leaves minimal scarring, making it a preferable option for most people.

Ultimately, the best hair transplant for you depends on your circumstances, hair loss pattern, lifestyle, and personal preferences. It’s important to talk openly with your surgeon so they can guide you and suggest the best method for you to achieve the results you’re looking for.

Can you show me examples of your previous work?

Before going through the procedure, ask to see before-and-after photos of previous patients with similar hair loss patterns and who have undergone the same procedure. It will give you an idea of the quality of their work and the results you can expect.

Not everyone knows this, but surgeons in Singapore are not allowed to post before-and-after photos of their patients on their websites or social media. This is in compliance with the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act – PHMC Advertisement Regulations, which are intended to maintain ethical standards in medical practices and prevent any misleading or false advertisements that could unduly influence a patient’s decisions.

However, you can ask your doctor personally about similar surgeries they’ve done in the past. You might also ask if you can read any patient reviews, keeping in mind that patient privacy should always be respected.

What will the recovery process look like?

It’s equally important to know the necessary aftercare measures, what to expect after the procedure, the timeline for recovery and when you can expect to see the final results.

After the surgery, your surgeon will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions. It typically includes guidance on how to gently clean the scalp, using any prescribed medications such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs, and advice on regular activities like bathing, exercising, and sleeping. It’s vital to strictly follow these instructions to prevent infection and promote effective healing.

The recovery time can vary based on the individual and the extent of the transplantation. Typically, patients can return to non-strenuous work within a few days. Still, avoiding strenuous activities for at least a week is usually recommended to prevent any complications. The surgical area will generally heal within a couple of weeks.

The transplanted hair typically begins to grow around three to four months post-surgery. Still, it can take up to a year or longer for the full, final results to be visible. Everyone’s hair growth cycle is different, and results can vary.

What are the potential risks and complications?

Like any surgery, hair transplant procedures have potential risks and complications. Your surgeon should be upfront about these risks, their frequency, and how they manage them if they arise.

While they are rare, infections do sometimes occur after a hair transplant. If symptoms like persistent redness, pain, or discharge occur, it’s important to contact your surgeon immediately. They can prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.

Depending on the type of procedure (FUE or FUT), you may experience minimal to noticeable scarring. FUE generally results in less visible scarring than FUT, but this can also vary depending on your body’s healing response.

Sometimes, the transplanted hair might not look as natural as desired. It could be due to the alignment of the hair follicles not matching the natural growth pattern or the transplanted hair density differing from the surrounding area. This risk is minimised when an experienced surgeon performs the procedure.

Remember that not all transplanted hair follicles will successfully root and grow. Some may not survive the transfer, particularly if they were damaged during the procedure. This risk is reduced when a skilled and experienced surgeon performs the procedure.

Hair Transplant in Singapore

In Singapore, FUE has quickly gained popularity as the preferred long-term solution for hair loss. Worldwide 3.4 million hair transplant procedures were performed in 2021, most of which were FUE hair transplants.

Hair transplant cost in Singapore varies based on factors like hair loss degree, technique, and graft count, typically charging SGD 6 to SGD 10.8 per graft. Total cost includes surgeon’s fee, necessary work extent, and incidental charges.

The shaving method — fully, partially, or not shaved — also affects the price, adding an extra surgical fee. The cost covers postoperative hair wash, scab removal after two weeks, and a one-month follow-up review.

Dr Tyng Tan is one of the few doctors approved by the Singapore Medical Council to carry out both FUT and FUE hair transplants — including no-shave FUE, where donor hair length is preserved. Reduction in downtime after surgery is possible.

There are many ways to measure the success of a hair transplant, but at the end of the day, what matters most is achieving a result that looks completely natural and leaves the patient feeling happy and confident — and here at Dr Tyng Tan Aesthetics and Hair Clinic, that is our commitment. Do you need more information about your hair transplant options? Please get in touch with +65 6235 0010 today to book a consultation with Dr Tyng Tan.

About Dr Tyng Tan

Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan, MBBS completed her graduate and medical education in the United Kingdom over a span of 10 years.

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