Hair transplantation has certainly evolved over the years. The rate of improvement has increased significantly since the early 90s with the introduction of the FUE and FUT techniques. The hair transplant surgeries performed today are a totally different process than they were just 50 years ago. Thanks to the work of the many pioneers in the field, new technologies and techniques continue to emerge to help advance hair transplant surgery even more.
The First Modern Hair Transplant Surgery
The world's first modern hair transplant surgery was conducted in 1952 on a patient suffering from male pattern baldness. It was performed using the process of "hair plugging.” This type of hair transplant was performed by punching out a round plug of tissue containing donor follicles which were then implanted into the balding areas. Because the grafts were so large they left visible scars in the donor area and created the doll-like hair plug look that so many still mistakenly associate with hair transplants today. Not only did this procedure produce substandard results, but it was also time-consuming. The average patient would need approximately four surgeries spaced four weeks apart. This meant that it would take many weeks to fully heal from the surgery and even longer for the transplanted hair to grow in. The large grafts caused a lot of pain in the long process resulting in mental fatigue. Thankfully there were improved techniques on the horizon.
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation)
In 1988 a new procedure was introduced that involved implanting individual grafts into the balding areas. This provided more control over the placement of the follicles and the appearance of the hairline. A strip of follicles would be harvested from the donor area and then divided to be inserted individually into the treatment area. This new FUT surgery produced natural-looking results and by the end of the 90s had quickly replaced hair plugs around the world.
Recovery is much faster with the FUT technique. 10 days after FUT transplant surgery the scalp should be healed and scab-free. The transplanted hairs begin to fall out in 2–3 weeks with new growth appearing a few weeks later and continuing to thicken over the next year.
FUE ( Follicular Unit Extraction)
Follicular Unit Extraction came onto the scene in 1989 but wasn't accepted as quickly as FUT surgery was. FUE transplants didn't take off until 2002 when an article explaining this new technique was widely published. FUE surgery differs from FUT in the fact that individual hair follicles are extracted from the donor area resulting in undetectable scarring. The implantation stage is exactly the same as FUT. Because of the precision of FUE and the fact that it didn't leave linear scars on the back of the head FUE began to replace FUT in many clinics, and soon two out of three hair restoration surgeries were performed using the FUE technique
The recovery is similar to FUT surgery with the scalp being healed and scab free within 10 days. The transplanted hairs fall out in 2-3 weeks with new growth appearing in as little as a month. The newly transplanted hairs will continue growing and thickening within the next 6-9 months.
Newest Advances In Hair Transplant Surgery
Over the last nearly 30 years since FUT and FUE were first introduced to the world, there have been even further advancements in technology and techniques that continue to improve medical hair restoration. Sapphire FUE, Direct Hair Implantation (DHI), robotic hair transplants, bio-enhancement supplements, and the Neograft technique are among the most prominent innovations in medical hair restoration in recent years. All have further refined the hair transplant process and resulted in less trauma to the scalp, faster recovery times, and more successful and natural-looking results.
Thanks to the advancements in modern hair transplants the days of artificial-looking hair plugs are gone. Today's hair transplant surgeries are undetectable and produce completely natural-looking hair growth. If you would like to discuss your medical hair restoration options in a discreet and private appointment contact the caring hair loss professionals here at the Hair Restoration Institute. We will assess your overall health, your degree of hair loss, your concerns about hair replacement, and your hair replacement goals. Then we will create a customized hair replacement plan to meet your unique needs. You can find us at 1201 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas, or call 817-854-HAIR (4247) for a discreet and complimentary consultation.