The Latest in Modern Hair Transplant Technology
Modern Hair Transplants have come a long way from the era of your father’s hair transplant. Ever since a technology called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) was introduced in the 1990s, the hair transplant industry has been revolutionized. Using an FUE system such as NeoGraft®, it is now possible to transplant hair in a way that’s practically undetectable to the common eye, in a procedure that gives little discomfort and has a fast recovery.
To understand how Follicular Unit Extraction works, let’s first define the key terms of hair transplant terminology.
The Follicular Unit
A hair follicle is an element of your skin that produces hair. Hair follicles can age and eventually die off. This is thought to be caused by the hormone DHT and a person’s susceptibility to it. In men, the follicles at the back of the head are typically DHT resistant, unlike those on top of the head. This weakness in the hair follicles on top of the head is also referred to as male pattern baldness.
A follicular unit is the naturally occurring grouping of hair follicles. Any number of follicles from 1-4 typically form a follicular unit.
Follicular Unit Extraction: Harvesting the Hair
There are two primary methods of harvesting follicular units for hair transplantation. One is Follicular Unit Extraction, and the other is the so-called strip harvesting method. During FUE harvesting, a machine using pneumatic pressure is used to individually extract and then store follicular units from the donor area of the scalp. This leaves a series of small red marks on the scalp where the follicular units are extracted. During strip harvesting, a strip of scalp containing countless hair follicles is surgically removed from the donor area in one piece. This strip is then dissected into follicular units later to be used for transplantation. Strip harvesting leaves a linear scar on the scalp.
Follicular Unit Transplantation: Implanting the Hair
Transplantation is the term used for inserting or implanting the follicular units in the recipient area of the scalp. A series of minuscule holes are essentially punched into the scalp, and the follicular units, i.e. hairs, are inserted into these holes. The process of inserting or transplanting these hair grafts is also referred to as Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT.