How Hair Restoration Treatments Have Evolved over the Years

Reducing Hairline

Hair Restoration Treatment

Noticing a receding hairline can be devastating for many people. The change in appearance can negatively impact their self-confidence or their relationships. Due to such a high number of men and women experiencing hair loss or thinning, the medical and cosmetic industry is extremely motivated to offer ever-evolving solutions. Up to 40% of women and almost 85% of men report seeing thinning hair or balding by the age of 50. Due to hormonal and genetic influences, some men see hair loss as early as their 20s.

In recent decades, hair restoration technologies have undergone a great deal of innovation and development. With time, these techniques continue to improve to provide better results with fewer side effects. The traditional methods of hair transplantation involve harvesting long strips of hair-bearing tissue from the back of the head, separating and preparing individual transplant plugs, and then transplanting them into small circular holes made on the scalp. To hold the tissue in place, those holes were purposely made to be smaller than the pieces of tissue. While it was successful in removing hair from one location and placing it in another, this method often produced an unnatural appearance said to resemble rows of corn. As a result, most plastic surgeons have been motivated to use ever-smaller grafts in recent years.

How Hair Restoration Treatments Have Evolved over the Years

Follicular Unit Transplantation

For A Better Solution

In the 1990s, physicians developed FUT (follicular unit transplantation). This method requires the surgeon to collect a cluster of hair follicles, referred to as follicular units, for the procedure. The donor tissue is extracted while using a specialized microscope to avoid damage to the hair follicle, thus increasing the success of the graft. The use of a microscope for extraction had been suggested earlier, but this was the first procedure for hair transplantation to use it at a commercial level.

As FUT grew in popularity over time, another technique called FUE (follicular unit extraction) was being developed and started to gain popularity among surgeons. This technique involves using small, circular punches around the hair follicles and gentle suction to produce healthy, individual follicular units that can be transplanted into a recipient site. The advantage of this method is that, unlike FUT, there are no linear scars at the donor site. Both of these procedures are capable of restoring the normal hairline to the patient’s scalp. FUE is used more frequently for facial hair restoration as well.

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Direct Hair Implantation

There is nothing technically smaller than a follicular unit to use for transplant, but continued improvements in prevention of donor tissue trauma and hair follicle handling are leading to higher graft survival rates and greatly minimized recovery times. A subcategory of FUE called DHI (Direct Hair Implantation) uses a specialized tool to place each hair in a specific direction and at a specific angle and depth. It also seems to cause less trauma at the donor site when extracting hairs.

Along with these new techniques, there has been a gradual evolution in anaesthesia as well as in the techniques for placing, storing, and handling grafts. Recent advancements in pharmaceutical drugs have allowed for an improvement in the survival of grafts and better recovery.

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