We have told you how hair transplant is a surefire way of getting back voluminous hair and to cover up your bald patches. Today we tell you about the most popular and effective hair transplant mechanism which is called the follicular hair transplant. The procedure is tedious when compared to the other transplant methods but it is one that guarantees optimal results. We give you all the details here.
What is a hair follicle?
A hair follicle is an organ on the skin surface from where the hair originates. The follicle is what houses the root of the hair. Whether your scalp has luxurious hair growth or not depends on the state of your hair follicle.
The parts of your scalp that are bald are the ones with dead hair follicles while the healthier follicles have hair growth in them. In follicular hair transplant, the hair follicle from a healthy part of the scalp called the donor site is grafted and punched into the bald site. The follicle takes root in the new location and starts inducing growth of hair with time.
There are two ways in which grafts are removed in follicular transplants – Follicular Unit Extraction and Follicular Unit Transplantation. A follicular unit is a group of 3-4 hair strands.
Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE
In this procedure, the follicular units are harvested from the healthy part of the scalp, one by one. Normally, hair is extracted from the back of the head that has normal growth. Multiple numbing injections are given since the method covers a large area and involves multiple extractions. If the area of the bald patch is large, then the number of punches that are made into the scalp are also large.
This method is beneficial since the recovery time is not very high. This is because the incisions made to harvest and to plant the hair follicles are small. It also does not leave behind any scar since the area of harvest is tiny. However, if you are covering a large bald patch, then the time taken for harvesting is more and you may need more than a couple of sittings to cover it entirely.
Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT
In this method, the follicles are not harvested one by one but are removed as a strip from the back of the head. Once they are removed from the scalp they are dissected to form individual grafts. From here, the procedure is similar to FUE.
The advantage of this method is that a large area can be covered easily since the time taken to harvest the grafts is not much. However, since a large strip of the scalp is harvested, it leaves behind a linear scar on the back of the head which will be evident until your hair grows back. Also, the healing time for this type of surgery is more due to the size of the incision made.
Which one to go in for?
Depending on the area of the bald patch you need to cover and the health of the donor site, your surgeon will suggest one of these two methods. Both have their own pros and cons. If you have a lesser area to cover and are looking at faster recovery, then FUE is the method for you. If you have a larger bald patch and do not mind a longer recovery time, then FUT suits you the best.
Read more about eyebrow transplants here