22 July, 2016
Hair transplants have been around in one form or another for about 60 years now. The earliest transplants were primitive and the results were never what the patient expected. This was from the normal guy on the street to Hollywood stars – a lot of guys were left disfigured from sloppy transplants. My older brother had an old punch style graft in the very late 1970s and the results were horrific. The grafts were huge and the donor area was torn apart. Not only that but the shock trauma in the transplanted area caused more hair to fall out. But I’m going off on a tangent – the point being that early hair transplants were pretty nasty and nobody was happy.
Then in the early 1990s the idea of micro grafting appeared. This meant that a strip of hair bearing donor skin was still removed from the scalp but the hair grafts were in much smaller units of 3 – 4 hairs instead of 20 – 30 hairs in the old punch graft style of hair transplant. This meant that transplants looked a lot more natural – the old “dolls hair” style of transplant was slowly fading away and only used by the worst types of transplant surgeons.
The next step was ultra micro hair grafting which meant that now, at last, a single hair could be transplanted at a time. On top of that the method of transplanting could use follicular unit extraction techniques which meant for the first time ever in the history of transplants the hair could be taken directly from the donor area and transplanted directly to the bald areas on a patients head. This meant that the normal “smiley face” type of scar hair transplants patients expected has become a thing of the past. There were still scars in the donor area but these scars are absolutely tiny compared to the old style of scar with a strip incision hair transplant.
The candidates for hair replacement need to have healthy hair growth on the sides and back of the head for purposes of serving as the donor areas. The donor areas on the head serve as the places from which flaps and grafts are taken. Other factors like texture, hair color and curliness or waviness affect the results of the surgical procedures. Different techniques can be used in replacing the hair surgically. Two or more methods can be used to attain the best results. Nevertheless, patients with little hair may not be advised to undertake hair replacement surgery.
Hair transplant is notably an individualized treatment. For purposes of ensuring that the surgical options are available for you, it is important to find doctors with a vast experience in undertaking different types of replacement and tissue expansion. Therefore, you can consider looking elsewhere in case a particular doctor informs you that they have perfected one technique.
During the first consultation, the surgeon evaluates the hair growth as well as the loss. The surgeon will also review the history of tour family in terms of hair loss and try to find out whether you have had earlier replacement procedures. The surgeon also inquires about your lifestyle and discusses your expectations and limits for surgery.