The old method of hair transplantation
When hair transplantation first hit the market, men and women with thinning hair or bald scalps (who had been hiding under their hats and scarves for years) finally had hope. Those who could afford this “new” technology ran to the first doctor who said they could cure their baldness.
Unfortunately, technology that seemed progressive at the time could often lead to clogged, unnatural-looking hair. For many who have had these baby doll transplants, the results have been both cosmetic and psychologically disastrous.
The old methods of hair transplantation involved punching circles of the hair-carrying scalp, which was then brought to the bald areas. Practices such as scalp reduction (literally cutting off the bald spots on the scalp and lifting the two sides of the scalp that bear the hair in the middle) have often made long scars visible. For a while, there was also the method of planting synthetic hair directly into the scalp and then stitching it under the skin, a process now illegal in the United States. The latter was a short-lived experiment in which the hair was peeled and the scalp severely scarred.
Older surgery had many cosmetic problems, the most common of which were the large unnatural appearance of the clogged grafts. These hair transplant techniques also tended to leave circular scars across the donor area (the donor area is the area of the scalp from which hair is taken for transplant). Other issues included poor hair alignment, irregular hair growth, and a generally unnatural appearance of the hair restoration. In many cases, the results were so bad that the patients wished they were bald again.
From old to new
With the introduction of today’s advanced techniques, there are now opportunities not only to restore hair naturally, but also to repair and redesign the results of older techniques. Procedures such as follicular unit hair transplant (FUT) can solve the problem of hair transplantation without causing unsightly scarring.
Cancel the damage
Reversing the artificial appearance of older plugs and repairing scars obviously takes longer than using the right technique for the first time, but can be achieved with great results in most cases. Repairing existing scars requires finesse and careful assessment of the problem area as well as the remaining donor supply. Choosing the right restoration technique is important because the wrong strategy can make the situation worse.
Different techniques should be used to solve different problems. Large plugs can be removed, divided into individual follicular units under the microscope, and reinserted into the scalp in a much more natural way. Smaller grafts can be camouflaged. Scars that develop can often be helped with cortisone injections. These can help reduce the inflammation often present in an increased scar. Sometimes, excess scar tissue can also be cut and removed, especially if it is associated with poorly positioned hair transplants.
The right way to transplant hair
Since the introduction of hair transplantation, many improvements in scientific techniques, medical developments, and artistic design methods have been made. Today’s hair transplant techniques can mimic the way hair grows in nature. The most important advance is the identification of tiny natural bundles of hair called “funicular units”. This discovery was fundamental to the great advancements in literally all surgical hair restoration procedures used today.
These methods not only allow the doctor to achieve results that mimic nature, but also provide the hair restoration surgeon with the tools necessary to resolve the problems of old transplants and unsightly scars. The number of people who benefit from the techniques