American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

Hair Transplantation and Restoration

Surgical Hair Replacement

Hair transplant surgery involves removing small pieces of hair-bearing scalp grafts from a donor site and relocating them to a bald or thinning area.

What is hair transplant surgery?

Hair transplant surgery is performed to restore hair to areas of the scalp that are bald or that have thinning hair. There are multiple types of hair replacement surgery. Most commonly, these involve hair transplantation, but flap surgery, tissue expansion of the scalp and scalp reduction surgery, are also methods used for hair replacement. Each of these types of surgeries can be used alone, or in combination, to provide the patient with the best possible outcome for hair replacement.

Hair transplantation involves removing small pieces of hair-bearing scalp from a donor site and using them as grafts to be relocated to a bald or thinning area of the scalp.

Types of hair restoration

There are two main types of hair restoration procedures. In the follicular unit transplant method, a strip of skin with hair follicles is removed from the back of the scalp. The hair follicles are then removed from the strip of skin and placed into the recipient site.

With the follicular unit extraction method, individual hair follicles are removed from the back of the scalp without removing a strip of skin. Similar to the other method, the hair follicles are then inserted into the recipient site.

Other surgical options

Tissue expansion allows the hair bearing scalp to be expanded to help cover areas of the scalp that have no hair.

Scalp reduction surgery involves surgically removing bald areas of the scalp and advancing, or bringing together, the hair bearing areas of the scalp.

The truth about hair loss

Baldness is often blamed on poor circulation to the scalp, vitamin deficiencies, dandruff and even excessive hat wearing. All of these theories have been disproved. It's also untrue that hair loss can be determined by looking at your maternal grandfather, or that 40-year-old men who haven't lost their hair will never lose it.

Hair loss is primarily caused by a combination of:

  • Aging
  • A change in hormones
  • A family history of baldness

As a rule, the earlier hair loss begins, the more severe the baldness will become.



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