Hair Transplant Surgery

At the moment there is no other hair loss treatment of hair restoration technique that can beat hair transplant surgery on the quality and practicality of achieved results. Hair systems may provide you fuller hair but they are uncomfortable to wear whereas hair loss treatments cannot reverse the past losses as much as hair surgery. The main weaknesses of hair surgery are its relatively high cost and the fact that it is a surgical operation involving most of the risks typically associated with any other surgery. Hair transplant surgery consists in moving healthy hair follicles from areas that are usually not being affected by hair loss to the balding areas. Hair transplant techniques have come a long way. Today's methods use micro technology, enabling them to harvest and implant individual hair follicles thus creating very authentic looking results indistinguishable from original hair.

The two main methods of hair transplantation used today are follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). Although FUE is the latest technology, FUT is still in use and it has its role to play. The chief difference between these two techniques lies in harvesting of hair follicles. The FUT method uses a strip of skin extracted from the back of the scalp that is then dissected into individual hair follicles which are going to be implanted into the balding area. The FUE technique uses micro technology to extract individual hair follicles from the back of the scalp and implant them directly into the thinning area. Patients love this method because it leaves practically no scars behind and thus enables them to cut their hair really short unlike FUT which produces a long scar at the back of the patient's head that is difficult to mask if hair is cut too short. However, the FUT method has its benefits too. It is much less expensive than FUE, it can be used in patients whose hair loss is more advanced and larger amount of hair needs to be transplanted while the whole transplant can be done quickly in one session and it is more efficient when its comes to yields (yield is defined as a percentage of hair follicles that will continue growing hairs after transplantation to all transplanted hair follicles). Although micro technology is continuously improving and yields of the FUE method are increasing as well as a number of hair follicles that can be transplanted during one session its price remains to be significantly above that of the FUT.

Hair transplant surgery also has its weaknesses and current limitations. It cannot be used in many female patients suffering from female pattern baldness. Female hair loss is usually diffuse and it is not restricted to the areas on top of the scalp. Women lose their hair around their entire scalp. Thus it is practically impossible to identify hair follicles that will remain resistant to the DHT attacks and subsequent miniaturization after their transplantation to the new area. Another weakness of the hair transplant surgery is the necessity to continue using some powerful hair loss treatment post surgery. This is necessary in order to prevent situations when additional hair transplant sessions were needed to cover newly developed bald areas in areas adjacent to areas already covered with hair implants but not enough donor hair was left at the back of the scalp. Hair restoration surgeons usually prescribe Propecia to their male patients who underwent hair surgery and it must be taken for the rest of their lives in order to prevent further advancements in the balding process.

Thus the main limitation of hair surgery is the availability of donor hair. At the moment it is not possible to transplant more than 15 thousand hair follicles without creating a large scar at the back of the head that is impossible to cover. But there are patients who either do not have those 15 thousand spare hair follicles at the back of their head that could be transplanted or need yet larger amounts to cover their extensive bald areas. Therefore, the shortage of donor hair is the biggest limiting factor of hair surgery. The new techniques currently being developed known as hair regeneration (also called hair multiplication or hair cloning) should solve this problem. Their aim is to secure unlimited supply of donor hair by multiplying the germinative cells of extracted hair follicles in vitro so that they could be then injected into the bald areas where they would spur new hair growth. Nevertheless, it can take another 10 years or so to see them become commercially available to the average patient. Till then hair surgery remains to be the ultimate method of treating genetically determined form of hair loss.