Finally, hair restoration technology is catching up, and men no longer need to question whether or not they’ll lose their precious pelt. Between pills and serums and plasma treatments, there are so many ways you can fight hair loss and promote stronger growth. But alongside those advancements, hair transplant technology has come a long way in the past decade, meaning you can restore (or even improve upon) your high school hairline, without any roving eyes questioning the matter.
Sure, your colleagues and loved ones will all notice the remarkable change, but that’s another great thing about modern technology: More people trust it, so more people do it, and people are less ashamed to admit doing it. Hence, alongside your new, natural-looking head of hair, you’ll also proudly advertise the doctor who performed the treatment; why wouldn’t you be proud of your own proactivity? Turn that insecurity into a victory!
And the big reason more people are trusting hair transplants is because of the advancements of the procedure of late. Doctors are able to individually transplant follicles at natural angles, and without leaving a scar in the rear of the head. So, between that scar and the vertical, laughable plugs of decades past, you can finally get a transplant without having to bear some other aesthetic burden.
Read on for the reasons why hair transplant technology is so successful of late.
1. Uniform Extraction
With prior hair transplant methods, follicles were extracted by taking skin grafts from the front to the back of the scalp, and then extracting the long hairs that graft to later implant atop the head. This left the notorious horizontal scar, which all but ensured that recipients would never buzz or taper the rear of their head.
Now, doctors can uniformly remove follicles, so that upon healing, there is no noticeable place from where the follicles were pulled—leaving more than enough hairs in place so that it appears as if no extraction ever occurred.
Typically, you can receive 2,500-4,000 grafts in one session, which is to say that 2.5-4% of your hair follicles are getting rearranged. That’s a fairly low amount in terms of preserving the fullness of the donor/extraction area. (In severe cases, patients won’t have enough hairs to achieve this, but the doctor will inform them of this well in advance of the procedure).
2. Careful Counting
Hair transplant professionals will quickly analyze each of the hair grafts they pull from your dome, assessing how many hairs each follicle is sprouting. They can grow anywhere from 1-4 hairs, and they’ll arrange them in a manner that ensures you get an evenly spaced and distributed range of hairs.
That way, you don’t get a bunch of 3s and 4s on the left side of your head, and a bunch of 1s and 2s on the right.
3. Implant Angles and Density
With the latest implanting devices and methods, the doctors and technicians can cut tiny, individual channels for each of the transplanted grafts, and at an angle that the hair naturally grows.
Previous methods required group clustering of implants, and thus they had to be placed vertically instead of at the natural 40-degree angle of normal hair. (These were the “plugs” of the past.)
This also allows the professionals to navigate the contours of your head better—perhaps they’ll fill in some hairs along the sides of the temples, or forward over the brow, knowing full well that the hairs will look natural no matter where they are placed.
4. Implant Incisions
The blades of the latest implant devices can now create small, diamond-like incisions that perfectly nest the new follicles and promise faster feeling and less scabbing. They ensure a higher success rate of transplanted follicles, too, while allowing the hairs to be transplanted closer together while maintaining individual integrity (in terms of angling). In short, they promise natural looking results with minimal agony.
5. Shorter Transitions
The latest technology also combines two steps: the incisions and the implanting. This incising/implanting pen saves significant time on a half-day procedure, and spares more hair follicles by cutting down the amount of time the precious tissue spends outside of the body.
Imagine the doctors having to make individual incisions, then turn around, load the hair follicle into a separate device, and implant it, multiplied by the 2,500-4,000 grafts in play. (Yeah, they work in streamlined teams to make it a seamless process, but even the act of sparing this small transition benefits the time spent and the follicle health).
Now, the pen makes the incision and quickly places the hair graft into its new home.
Photo via Britta Pedersen/AFP/Getty Images