Having thick lustrous hair on the head has for a long time been considered a sign of good looks. Unfortunately, in some people, especially men, hair loss often occurs on the top and frontal areas of the scalp.
Known as pattern hair loss, this is the most common type of balding in men. Some try to hide it under wigs or use medications to remedy this problem, but with only partial success. A permanent and hassle-free solution is getting a hair transplant.
Overview of a Hair Transplant Treatment
Hair grows out of small groups of cells on the skin called hair follicles. Hair grows out from the base of the follicle until it grows old and falls out as part of the natural hair growth cycle. Under normal circumstances, a new hair strand grows from the follicle soon after and this cycle continues. In some cases, however, hair strands stop growing from the follicle. Though the reasons are not completely clear, it is a hereditary condition.
Hair transplants caught on as a solution for balding during the 1950s. It involves surgically extracting healthy hair follicles from an area where it is abundant (donor site) and grafting it on the area where there is significant hair loss (recipient site).
Hair located at the back and sides of the head is generally not affected by balding. For this reason, this is the area that is generally selected as the donor site.
Initially, a hair transplant was done by taking patches of skin with hair and grafting them to the bald scalp, but this made the scalp look like a “doll’s head” and had to be discarded in favor of a new method using follicular units.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
In the follicular unit transplantation technique, hair is grafted in units rather than in patches, where each unit consists of only one to four hair strands. In this way, uniform hair growth and a natural looking scalp are guaranteed.
The necessary tissues are first harvested from the donor site under anesthesia. Your surgeon carefully makes uniformly spaced minute incisions on the bald areas for housing each of the follicles. In addition, the punctures are made at such an angle that future hair growth looks natural. The follicular units are then painstakingly placed into the openings.
There are two ways to extract hair follicles. The first is strip harvesting, which a strip of skin is cut out from the donor site. As the wound is sutured, the strip is dissected into individual follicular units for grafting.
The second method is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) in which a tiny punch is used to extract hair follicles one by one from the donor site. The individual units are placed in a tissue holding solution until it is ready to be grafted. It is a time consuming and laborious process, but as only small punches are made for follicle extraction, this technique offers the following advantages:
• The absence of any perceptible scars on the donor site
• Comfortable and efficient
• Fast recovery
• Less discomfort after the procedure
Contact Our Office
You deserve to have beautiful hair that makes you feel confident. However, if your hair does not exhibit the lustrous look you desire, it may be time to consider undergoing a hair transplant. Contact us to schedule a consultation with skilled plastic surgeon, Dr. Raymond Lee to learn more.