Hair Restoration Surgery

Surgical hair restoration is increasing in worldwide popularity. Partially due to enhanced techniques and new technology, hair transplants are undetectable in the hands of a talented surgeon. More people are choosing hair transplant surgeons over other hair restoration options like toupees, topical solutions and medications because the results are more natural and require less maintenance.

The most common type of hair restoration procedure is called a strip surgery. A small strip of scalp is removed from the back of the patient’s head, where in males, the hair is resistant to the hormone that causes balding known as DHT. The area where the strip is taken is stitched together carefully, closing the wound to heal. The strip is then divided follicle by follicle under a microscope. These follicles are then placed into areas of the scalp where the patient is balding. These transplanted hairs will be resistant to the DHT, causing them to stay permanently in their new locations, preventing further balding.

Using microscopic sized blades to trim the harvested strip of scalp helps the surgeons yield more hair follicles for transplantation, resulting in a thicker head of hair that will be undetectable. The older transplants used larger grafts of hair, with more than one follicle attached, giving the final outcome a very “plugged” look similar to the hair on a doll’s head. With a good surgeon and the latest advances in the field, a bad result is often the consequence of a patient that doesn’t follow through with the proper research.

Aside from the tiny blades used to trim down the strip of scalp into individually transplantable follicles, doctors learned the importance of correct angling and direction of the transplanted hairs. The accuracy of the angles created by the surgeon through tiny incisions on the scalp directly affects not only the survival of the hair grafts, but also the aesthetic outcome of the procedure.

Aside from a strip procedure, another technique for hair restoration surgery is follicular unit extraction, or FUE. This procedure utilizes individual follicles punched out with a special surgical instrument and then transplanted into the balding area. Rather than taking an entire strip of scalp, this procedure focuses on a smaller amount of transplanted hair and takes the follicles directly from another site. FUE is much more time consuming and therefore, expensive, but very applicable in some cases where scarring is an issue.

With all the hair restoration options available surgically, paired with the advancing technology and techniques, it’s becoming a very popular plastic surgery for men and women wanting to restore natural thickness to their hair.