Hair transplants: How they Work

Sometimes because of age or genetics, we begin to see changes in hair growth. This happens to both men and women and is a completely natural experience. However, hair loss can be abnormal due to genetics, nutrition, stress, and various other factors as well. Thankfully, due to extensive research, modern science, and technological advances, it is possible to fight genetics and age-related hair loss. Many people experience hair loss in the crown/vertex, temples, and throughout the hairline, resulting in an aged aesthetic. Read on to learn about how hair transplant surgery can help give you back the hairline you want and the two primary methods used for a hair transplant. 

Hair Transplant Surgery

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A hair transplant is a simple procedure that moves hair you already have growing from one area of your body to another area of your body that is thinly populated with follicles. Typically, hair is taken from one area of the scalp and transplanted to another, where it is expected to thrive, regrow, and help fill in areas of balding or thinning hair. 

This procedure is done in an out-patient facility under local anesthesia. There are two types of procedural methods currently in use for hair transplantation. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation, sometimes referred to as the strip method or FUT. 

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

Follicular unit extraction, or FUE, is a hair transplant procedure that uses a series of small circular incisions to remove hair follicles from the donor site, which stems from the temporal midline above the ear, through the back of the scalp, to the opposing midline ear. Each hair follicle is individually examined to determine if it is a viable candidate to use for transplantation into the treatment site. The FUE technique has become the preferred one for many doctors as it causes barely-visible scarring and has a shorter recovery time. It can be performed using a manual punch or advanced FUE device, such as the WAW, Ellis System, Cole FUE System, ATERA System, or Robotic Hair Restoration. 

The chance of noticeable scars decreases with this method because the incisions are so small that the scarring presents as a hypopigmentation effect which is masked by the remaining donor hair. The grafts are extracted one at a time, using a millimeter-sized rotating punch device. Scars are still technically present, but because the size is so small, it is invisible to the naked eye. The results make this method ideal for individuals who like to wear their hair short. This is also a very comfortable procedure as it is far less invasive than an FUT.

Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)

FUT is the process where the surgeon removes a strip of tissue from the donor site that contains the hair follicles. It is also known as the strip method, due to the donor being removed all at once as a strip. The scalp at the donor site is then adhered using sutures, leaving behind a paper thin linear scar. The stitches remain on the scalp for about 10 days to allow the tissue to heal properly and then they are removed during the next office visit. Meanwhile, the donor strip is dissected to isolate each individual hair follicle to use as a graft. Each graft section contains one to four hair follicles, depending on the donor hair’s density. 

Surgeons and their assistants then make incision sites for implantation and the technicians proceed to place the follicles in the clinicians recipient sites. Due to the large volume capable of being removed during a strip, it can sometimes be the better procedure for some individuals who need broader coverage.

With any transplantation method, hair will typically fall and begin to grow within 3 months. Now it’s time for the patience game, as it will grow in slowly over the next 18 months. However, most of your results will be fully recognized around the 12 month mark.

Collagen Induction Therapy

Firstly, let’s define collagen. Collagen is the primary structural protein found in skin and connective tissue. This is important as the outer layers of veins and arteries are primarily composed of connective tissue and collagen is a key component in neoangiogenesis, or the development of new blood vessels from the old. Blood flow is imperative to all organs, hair included, and plays a major role in hair loss.

Collagen induction therapy consists of small punctures using a roller-like needle device with 0.25- to 2.5-millimeter needles or a motorized pen that moves at very controlled depths. Due to the precision and depth testing, as well as the angle of puncturing, micropens are the superior device. The needles roll through the scalp causing uneven, angular microtrauma, whereas pens puncture straight with less trauma at a controlled depth.

The trauma caused to the tissues triggers your body’s natural healing response, migrating and growth factors to the tissue for repair. By doing so, your body opens blood vessels to send the materials for repair and the collagen produced aids in better vascularity, oxygenation, and tissue strength.

Due to the increased sensitivity of the scalp to pain, a ring block is typically used, which is a small amount of local anesthesia creating a numbing ring around the treatment area. The remaining procedure would depend on what type of procedure you are having done.

While alone can improve hair growth by a meaningful amount, it is much more effective when paired with other treatments. For example, the penetration also creates an opening in the stratum corneum allowing for increased absorption of topical compounds such as minoxidil or various topical nutrients. Additionally, this could be done with various regenerative medications that improve healing and growth factor migration, significantly amplifying the results of one another.

Collagen production has several anti-aging benefits, including a more youthful appearance and a healthy glow for the skin, but the growth factors used to repair the skin and the increased blood flow are hugely beneficial to the hair follicle itself.

When you’re looking for qualified and dependable doctors to do a procedure so important to your self-confidence, you only want the best. Here at MAXIM Hair Restoration we have specialists all over the world who are ready to help you achieve the look you desire. Simply fill out our contact form to let us know a little more about you and your goals. Include any questions or concerns you have in the Questions/Comments content box so we can provide you with a comprehensive response to your concerns. 

Meanwhile, browse our gallery to see the effects hair restorative treatments have had on others and what our team of trusted doctors can do for you. The results speak for themselves. If you’re in the Sarasota area When you’re ready, set up a free consultation for your hair transplant viability assessment.