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Hair Transplant

Many men who suffer from male pattern baldness normally decide to opt for hair transplants, as this procedure is effective. The process typically involves taking hair from other parts of the body which are not prone to baldness and transplanting them onto the scalp.

In recent years, with the technological advancements, hair transplant has evolved and taken the form of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), where entire hair follicular units are transplanted using micro surgical methods under local anesthesia, thereby requiring a shorter recovery period.

The History Behind Hair Transplants

A hair transplant is different when compared to skin grafting though the techniques involved may be similar. During a hair transplant, many layers of skin including the dermis and epidermis need to be transplanted, whereas during skin grafting, only the top layer of the skin has to be transplanted.

Hair transplants were first pioneered in Japan but they did not receive worldwide recognition due to the World Wars. Traditionally there was once a notion that hair would not thrive in the recipient site, but research has established today that transplanted hair would thrive post the procedure for many years. This has led to a veritable boom in the hair transplant industry and led to many innovations.

Hair Transplant Technique - Strip Harvesting

This technique is named so because of the linear scar left by this kind of transplant where thin strips of hair are removed and the wounds are sutured. The sutures need to be removed later, and they will leave a linear scar behind.

The removed strip of skin will be cut into smaller strips called grafts and these are then transplanted into the hair loss region. The procedure is rather painful and is done under the effect of local anesthesia. Recovery can take up to two weeks, as the sutures have to be removed and the wounds healed properly.

Hair Transplant Technique - FUE

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is the preferred method because it facilitates transplanting hair as an entire unit – human hair grows about 3-4 in one follicular unit. This retains the vitality and strength of the hair and also gives the transplanted hair denser appearance and a better chance to thrive in the recipient site.

Innovations in Hair Transplants

In the 1980s, micro-surgical methods entered the hair transplant industry and more research went into the angle and orientation of the transplanted grafts to obtain an optimal natural look. In the last decade, the lateral slit method became more popular than the sagital incisions as this gives a denser appearance.

However detractors of this method argue that this leads to bisecting or transecting existing hairs while the sagital method is parallel to existing hairs.

The Hair Transplant Procedure

The surgeon will inform you about what the procedure entails and how many sessions may be required and he will then explain the realistic expectations of the scalp’s appearance after the procedure.

You’ll be advised to avoid any medication for a few days prior to the procedure, to prevent any reactions during the surgery. There have been many surgical improvements like Trichophytic Closure which brings about much finer scars at the donor area. Post operative care involves the prescription of antibiotics to prevent infections.

Although a hair transplant procedure might seem appealing, it is quite expensive, so you’ll need to weigh all your options and choose the best one that makes sense from your perspective.