The market for hair loss aides is huge. From topical medications to holistic remedies – anyone who suffers from hair loss is sure to have tried at least one. But the only real way to replace lost hair- especially if you’re already in an advanced stage of hair loss, is with hair transplant surgery.
While hair transplants have been around for many years, advancements in technique and procedures continue to improve the final product. Hair transplants today are producing far more natural results and are being done quicker, with less pain and less scarring than was possible even a decade ago.
There are several methods used in hair transplantation basically falling into two categories…Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). In FUE, the follicular grafts are removed using a mechanized punch and it is done across the back of the scalp in a shaven area. This method typically takes longer and is more expensive in most clinics.
In FUT the follicular grafts are removed in a thin strip of tissue from the back of the scalp. Shaving of the donor area is not required. Technicians, using microscopic magnification, dissect the strip into follicular units containing from one to several hair follicles. Both procedures produce satisfactory results if carried out by an experienced transplant team. In FUE, there will be a series of small dot-like scars over the back of the scalp. In FUT, there will be a fine linear scar on the back of the scalp. In both cases, with an experienced surgeon, they will be undetectable.
There are other unusual hair transplant methods being used in certain circumstances. Dr. Parsa Mohebi, who is also well known for the invention of other methods used in modern hair restoration surgery, recently made headlines regarding the development of another new technique called “Face to Scalp Hair Transplant” (FSHT).
This method is targeted specifically for patients who are already in advanced stages of hair loss and have used up or have no usable donor hair. Facial hair follicles are harvested and then transplanted to the balding parts of the scalp.
While grafts taken from a beard may have less hair follicles per graft, the hair itself is much thicker – allowing it to add volume to other hair on the scalp.
Mohebi commented, “One of the few gloomy instances in my practice has always been informing a patient that I could not have helped them because they didn’t have adequate donor hair follicles to create a full coverage of hair. I’ve practiced on patients who have given up hope of finding the right hair restoration options. Today, with the face to scalp hair transplant, we can help these individuals receive comparable results to the patients with generous scalp donor hair.”
Obviously, FSHT is not for the average hair loss patient. It will be useful in special patients that have exhausted all other options for donor hair.