All About Hair Grafts
Surgical hair transplant has long relied on the use of hair grafts to restore areas of balding scalp with natural waves of full, real hair. The history of hair grafts can be traced back to as early as 1930s, Japan. There, scientists experimented with the first primitive hair grafts and hair restoration techniques. It was not until the middle of the century— nearly two decades later— that the practice of hair grafting would first appear in the Western world.
The very first hair graft tools and procedures were introduced to Americans in the late 1950s by a New York dermatologist, Dr. Norman Orentreich. Medical researchers say this marked the onset of the modern era of hair transplant, a movement that ultimately culminates with the invention of advanced “hair transplant robots” that assist in today’s procedures.
Generally speaking, hair grafts are used during most hair transplant procedures. These procedures might be performed in a variety of different ways. To illustrate, let’s examine the 3 most popular types of hair grafting procedures in Miami: Strip donor transplant, follicular unit transplant, and new robotic FUE transplant.
1. Strip donor transplant
The strip donor transplant requires the extraction of a long, narrow strip of scalp from the donor area. Sometimes referred to as a linear graft, this section of scalp is very small and nearly painless to remove after the application of a local anesthetic.
The linear graft produced during a strip donor hair transplant may vary in size according to individual patient needs. Typically, the strip of donor hair contains 30-40 hair grafts. Following extraction, surgeons carefully separate the strip into individual micrografts (clusters of about 3-4 hairs each). These hair grafts are then transplanted by hand to complete the surgical hair restoration procedure. They can be used to create a natural looking hairline, fill in areas around the temples, or reconstruct the crown.
2. Follicular unit transplantation
Like the strip donor procedure outlined above, the follicular unit transplantation procedure requires the extraction of hair grafts from a donor area. Unlike strip donor procedures, however, FUT procedures do not extract a linear strip of donor hair. Instead, a small punch-like instrument is used to extract individual micrografts directly from the scalp. These micrografts contain clusters of 3-4 donor hairs each, which are similarly transplanted by the surgeon to recreate a patient’s hairline, temporal regions, and/or crown.
FUT offers a few key benefits over traditional strip donor procedures, the most notable of which is the ability to leave the donor area nearly scar-free. While strip donor procedures leave a small linear scar that is sometimes visible when hair is cut very short, FUT procedures leave only reddish colored dots at the site of each micrograft extraction. These marks are nearly invisible to the naked eye, allowing the patient to wear his or her hair very short after the procedure is performed.
3. Robotic FUE
The newest trend in hair transplant technology, robotic FUE systems are making headlines for bringing higher speeds and greater precision to the art of hair transplant.
With the assistance of advanced digital imaging and robotics technology, surgeons are now able to identify and extract specific hair micrografts in a more comfortable and minimally invasive way. This reduces trauma to the scalp, speeds the procedure, and ultimately improves patient experience. What’s more, these new hair transplant robots survey the entire donor area to ensure hair grafts are selected in a random fashion that helps to maintain the thickness, density, and scalp health.
Learn more about robotic FUE technology by visiting our ARTAS® Miami page.
Learn More About Hair Grafting
Millions of men and women suffer with the personal and social angst of hair loss every day. If you suffer with thinning, balding, or shedding hair, rest assured you are not alone. Learn more about hair grafting and surgical hair restoration at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami by calling our clinic directly at 305-925-0222.