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How Hair Transplants Work

Hundreds of thousands of people experience some level of balding in their lifetime and not a single person enjoys their newfound receding hairline. Over the past several decades, there have been many doctors working to alter the balding progress or cover it up completely. Unfortunately, the old methods and lack of technology left many men with unsightly toupees and wigs.

The times have changed and now there are several options to cover up bald spots that will leave you good as new. The advancements in technology give those thousands of men and women an opportunity to have their hair look young again. Never again worry about being the recipient of bald jokes and feel as if you should constantly wear a hat to cover it up.

While there are two types of drugs on the market that are known to slow down hair loss, increase hair thickness, and even sometimes improve hair growth, they are not a guaranteed permanent solution for balding. Although they can be expensive to use for long periods of time, over the counter drugs can be a great short term solution while you are deciding on whether or not to fix the problem forever by going in for hair transplant surgery. Although hair transplant surgery can be used to help restore many areas including eyelashes, eyebrows, beard, and chest hair, the procedure is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness on the scalp.

How Hair Transplant Surgery Works: The latest surgical advancements can permanently fix your balding scalp by transplanting hair follicles to the bald areas of your head. The procedure works by identifying strong hair follicle groupings of 1-4 hairs in areas of hair that are not balding and then physically moves those follicles to the bald scalp areas. This is different from older procedures because when the follicles are moved they can be placed in a way that mimics nature and gives your scalp a more natural look.

One of the common questions regarding hair follicle transplants is whether the hair will grow in the new bald area or if it will die out like the original hair follicles. Dermatologist Norman Orentreich proved that the new hair follicle would grow in the same way as it would have in its original location. The theory is called donor dominance and was a breakthrough in hair transplant practice in the 1950s. Later developments included the practice of sourcing the hair follicles from areas of the scalp known to have the strongest hair growth. This resulted in the transplanted hair follicles growing just as strong in the bald areas and giving the patient a new head of hair.

Modern technology has taken the knowledge of the past and made it much more efficient. The sizes of each incision are much smaller, leaving practically no scar whatsoever and allowing surgeons to place many more grafts in a smaller area. The latest ultra refined follicular unit hair transplantation can place over 50 grafts into one square centimeter area. The best part about the new advancements is that patients can be in and out of the doctor’s office in just one visit without any downtime or needing to stay overnight. There is almost no recovery time, pain is limited, and the patient doesn’t need to miss any work. This is why there are thousands of people finally opting to permanently fix their balding problem once and for all.

Types of Hair Transplants

Strip Harvesting: The most common hair transplant procedure today takes a strip of hair follicles and transplants them to the balding area. The strips of hair are taken from the side or back of the scalp and leave tiny vertical scars in their place. Once the strip is removed, it is cut up into numerous smaller follicular units that are then implanted into the bald scalp in a way that looks as natural as possible.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): While not every patient is eligible for FUE, it is generally the most sought after procedure. Instead of removing a strip of hair follicles, this method removes one hair follicle at a time, leaving minimal scarring; causes almost no pain, and the recovery time is so short that you can be back in action in less than a day.