How Hair Transplant Replacement Works

Hair transplantation – „hair transplant“ — is a surgical procedure that involves moving sections of scalp where hair still grows to a part of the scalp that is bald or where the hair is thinning.

History of hair transplantation

Hair restoration started in 1930, when Japanese doctors experimented to see if skin and hair could be transplanted from healthy parts of the body to parts that had been disfigured by injury.

In 1950, dermatologist Norman Orentreich wrote an article explaining how hair transplantation could be done. Although his studies were not embraced by the scientific community, he became even more determined to prove his theory „donor dominance,“ which states that even when hair is relocated to a bald area it will continue to grow as it did before. He is considered the father of hair transplants.

Hair transplantation is the most common elective surgery among men. The reason for its popularity among men is the fact that results gained from this procedure are much better compared to other similar hair replacement procedures. The hair transplantation of today is not really different from the hair transplantation Dr. Orentreich performed — however, today’s hair transplantation involves graft or plug size.

The older method of hair transplantation is easily identified by its patchy appearance. This used to be the norm, until transplant surgeons critically examined the possibilities of using a different graft size. It was determined that better results would be gleaned from using grafts that were smaller.

What happens during a hair transplant?

As mentioned earlier, hair transplantation involves moving small pieces of scalp where hair still grows to a part of the scalp that is bald or where the hair is thinning.

There are five types of grafts, varying in size and shape. These are: punch grafts, mini-grafts, micro-grafts, slit grafts and strip grafts. Since this new method of hair transplantation makes use of smaller sizes of grafts, many surgical procedures are needed to fully covered a bald area, taking as long as two years. The number of large plugs transplanted during the first sessions of surgery varies with each individual, but the average is usually about 50. With mini-graphs or micro-graphs there may be up tp 700 plugs transplanted per session.

For more information on hair transplantation, ask your surgeon.