Let’s talk about hair transplants

We apparently spend two years over our lifetime, just washing, brushing, styling and generally grooming our hair. We humans are covered with hair and form a vital part of our appearance. Our bodies have the amazing ability to grow hair anywhere and everywhere, with the exception of our lips, hands, and the soles of our feet.

Humans have different hair for different parts of our bodies however, the way it grows is pretty more or less the same. Our hair grows just below our skin, sharing its space with our nerves and sweat glands. From this tight space our hair follicles grow over time as more cells are added to the base every day.

Our hair also has a natural cycle which it adheres to. Our hairs can, as part of that natural cycle, stop growing and fall out of the follicles, and then be replaced with new ones. For example, if we pluck an eye lash (which can be very painful and not recommended) or when someone plucks their eyebrows, this removal of the hair is only a short-term as the follicle will simply grow a new hair.

The problem or balding comes when, the hairs stops its natural cycle process and the hair is not replaced. This is occurs usually by two ways;
1, by trauma to the skin which leaves scarring and no follicles to grow hair;
2; by a hormone called di-hydro-testosterone which interferes and switches off the ability to grow hair.

Although both men and women can suffer from these types of hair loss, it’s mostly men more than women. In most case, male balding occurs at the top of the head, and right back to the crown, as receptors for that particular area tuned off and stop producing hair. Once the old hairs fall out, you’re left with what’s known as male-pattern hair loss.

Hair transplant surgery offers a solution by transplanting not just the hair, but also healthy follicles, into areas that need them. Hair transplants started around 70 years ago when doctors first realised that a hair follicle from one part of the body could be moved and successfully installed it into another part to create hair growth.

It is worth bearing in mind that, there is a safe zone of permanent hair growth around the back and sides of the head when dealing with standard male baldness, from which healthy follicles can taken to transplant in the bald area to the top and front of the head. These are called plugs. These ‘plugs’ - can be inserted into small holes in the hairless area. For excellent results, follicles are moved just one or two at a time, in ‘follicular units’ to help create a natural look.

The procedure is laborious because of how densely packed our human hairs are – there can be 100 follicles in every square centimetre. One technique which we can use is the strip method also known as the Follicular Unit transplantation. This involves removing strip of hairy skin from the safe zone at the back of the head, then, dividing it up into individual follicles ready for implanting via small slits in the bald area. This method allows surgeons access to a large number of follicles in one go providing the surgeon is good at this trade and has a steady hand.

A different technique is the Follicular Unit extraction which uses a punch tool to cut around individual follicular units which leaves the rest of the skin intact. However, there are a whole load of tiny circular holes that heal well enough to become unnoticeable. This method can thin the hair in the safe zone however, it too is hardly noticeable.

The follicular units from this extraction method are implanted into holes in the balding area just the same as with the strip method. The skill level of the surgeon will make sure the new hairs blend seamlessly into the existing hair – hence why in this industry you get what you pay for.

Komao Medical is a London based Hair transplant specialist clinic. We offer great value to customers and and even better aftercare. If you are interested in regaining hair then please get in touch for a free consultation and advice. Our details are; komao.org.uk and 020 8749 4640. We shall look forward to hearing from you.