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The Basics of Hair Transplantation
Hair transplantation has been around for over seventy years, with the early form of it being performed in 1939. Today, we have come a very long way from the technique used then and in the 70s and 80s. In recent years, as the science of transplantation has evolved, hair transplantation procedures have become even mainstream, hair transplantation results are so natural looking, they are nearly impossible to detect.
The popularity of hair transplantation in the past decade can be attributed in large part to the advances in medical research and the innovation of hair restoration technology and techniques. Dr. L.Lee Bosley, a pioneer in the art and science of hair restoration, has always instilled the significance of artistry and skill in hair transplantation, so much so that these have become a hallmark of Bosley. This hallmark of artistry includes the ability to study facial structure and hairline patterns to produce the most natural looking hairline and results for our patients.
Let’s have a look at the basics of a Bosley hair transplantation procedure.
Initial Consultation: All hair transplant procedures must be preceded by an in-depth analysis of the patient’s hair loss condition including classification. In fact, no procedure at Bosley can be recommended or scheduled without the patient having had a consultation. Hair transplant physicians at Bosley heavily emphasize the significance of the consultation as a critical component of the procedure as it allows the surgeon to identify factors contributing to a patient’s hair loss, determine the hair loss classification for the patient and craft a hair restoration treatment plan and cost estimate specific to each patient. These measures ensure that the patient is presented with the most effective treatment options to meet their goals. During the hair transplant consultation, the patient also learns the specifics about the procedure and aftercare period and is presented financing options if desired.
Hair Loss Classification: The pattern and severity of hair loss make up the hair loss classification, a standard scale used to determine the size and type of hair transplantation procedure recommended to give the patients their desired results. The size of the procedure translates to the number of grafts (hair follicles) to be harvested and transplanted for the procedure. Patients will also be presented the two available techniques for a hair transplantation procedure including, the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) procedures and a recommendation between the two based on the patients goals will be offered Women’s hair loss patterns are measured on the Ludwig Scale, while men’s hair loss patterns are classified using the Norwood Scale.
Donor Area: Hair loss occurs in a variety of patterns in men and women, and for hair transplantation, the rear and sides of the head (where there is usually plenty of DHT-resistant, healthy hair) serves as the donor area. Using the FUT or FUE techniques, individual hair follicles from the donor area are used to fill in the thin areas of the scalp to produce natural looking results for the patient. Once the transplant technique has been determined during the consultation, the size of the thinning area, the density of the hair and the hair texture will be taken into consideration to determine the number of hair follicles needed to produce the desired results.
Hair Quality: A large part of the cosmetic success of a hair transplant is the quality of the donor hair being transplanted. Hair quality encompasses many factors including density, volume, the thickness of the hair follicles, and the growth pattern (straight, wavy, curly, etc.). In our experience, usually the higher the density of the available donor hair, the better the outcome to be expected. This is the main reason a consultation is necessary for a hair and scalp micro-analysis and price cannot be quoted on the phone. Not everyone will be a candidate for surgical hair restoration and patients have varying number of grafts needed to achieve the coveted hair restoration results.
The Procedure: During the hair transplant procedure hair follicles from the donor area of the head are transferred to the recipient area using a micrograft procedure performed Bosley’s skilled physicians by either FUT or FUE technique. The donor hair is identified and selected for extraction from the DHT resistant areas (DHT is the hormone which causes hair loss in most individuals and is responsible for male and female pattern hair loss). Since the donor hairs are DHT-resistant, once transplanted, they will grow and thrive in the recipient areas naturally. This concept called Donor Dominance is the basis of hair transplantation and why it works.
It’s important to work with your hair transplant physician and counselor to set realistic expectations for the procedure and get a good understanding of what to expect during the aftercare period. Have an open discussion with your surgeon to make an informed decision about the causes of your hair loss and the surgical and non-surgical treatment options that are best for you. Contact Bosley to schedule a free consultation and discover the benefits of a permanent natural hair loss solution.