Methods of Hair Transplantation
The hair on our head grows in groups made up of one to four hairs in a single follicle. Having this in mind, follicular unit transplantation method mimics the natural growth patterns, transplanting the whole group of hairs in a single follicle by using micrografts. Once a person's scalp accepts these grafts, the hair from follicular units grows naturally and normally.
Alternatively, some surgeons use existing donor grafts through the follicular extraction method. These grafts are made of scalp tissue with miniscule blood vessels and the hair follicle, containing just a millimeter of hair growing from it.
Once these grafts are adequately prepared, a surgeon has to make very small cuts in the scalp of the patient, inserting the grafts into the skin. A single incision can be made, leading to a single insertion afterwards. However, some surgeons use special devices which create numerous incisions at once, making the whole process more productive. Also, since everyone's hair grows in a specific manner, the surgeon needs to mimic this natural hairline combining different sizes of grafts on different parts of the scalp.
Other Hair Transplantation Methods
Apart from the previously mentioned methods of hair transplantation, one may opt for mini-micrografting. This method involves separating follicular unit hair grafts into smaller grafts, consisting of a single hair or two hairs. This method is very useful for frontal hair transplantation procedures, allowing surgeons to clearly define one's hairline.
In the past, during the 1980s, punch grafts were used for these purposes. The surgery involved taking a group of circular grafts from a donor area, transplanting it directly to the bald part of the scalp. These grafts were quite visible. However, once the hair transplants merged with the scalp and new hair grew out, the difference disappeared.
Sometimes, it might be appropriate to insert a larger number of hairs in a single graft. This procedure is called slit graft. Here, the surgeon makes a larger incision and places a four to ten hair implant into it. Moreover, strip grafts, made of 30 or even 40 hairs can be used in certain situations.