A hair transplant is a surgical procedure where hair is removed from the back of your head and transplanted to the front, top or crown. If you look at a bald man, they generally keep the hair on the sides and back of their head. That hair is “formulated” differently from the hair in front or on top, and therefore when transplanted, generally stays and recurring hair regrowth is almost automatic. That hair does not really recognize that it in a different spot on your head and continues to grow normally. If hair loss occurs in the transplanted areas, it could be a result of scalp trauma or the original non-transplanted hair reacting to DHT in the scalp.
There are three methods of transplantation: mini-graft, FUE and the plug method. The plug method is an obsolete method not used often today. A physician literally removes a plug of hair from the back of the head which may have 15 or more hairs in it and that entire plug is transplanted to the front. The hair roots and generally over time it will grow normally. Over time, often these patients appear to have a “baby doll” unnatural hair line. This method was more commonplace thirty years ago and is seldom used.
The mini or micro graft method is a procedure whereby a physician removes a strip of hair from the back of the patients head and that graft is cut into mini and micro grafts. The mini grafts may have three or four or five hairs and are good for the center of the head. The micro grafts have one or two hairs and are used primarily for the front hairline. Skilled technicians separate the hairs in specific sections of mini and micro grafts so the physician knows what graft to place in what section of the patients scalp. This procedure is commonplace today.
FUE or follicular unit extraction is where the transplant may be assisted by a computed and the hair removal and placement is done with one or two hairs at a time from extraction to placement. The benefit of this method is there is little or no scarring and the area of hair “harvestation” is much larger. This is, however, the most expensive method of hair transplant surgery and requires a skilled technician for extraction and placement. The hair grows normally and the patient may return for a second surgery to increase the density of the transplanted hair.
Transplants are not for everyone. Some people are simply too bald all over to be a good candidate. Patients with alopecia are not candidates. Often there simply isn’t enough hair to move around the head to show adequate density and maintain good density in the harvested area. Think carefully about your finished hairstyle, density, length, donor area density, and age when considering this surgery. It can work but sometimes you may be better off with a non-surgical solution.