Hair transplants have come a long way from the now-outdated hair plugs of the past, but there still seems to be a common misconception that having a hair transplant will look fake.
Up until the early 90s, hair plugs were the only long-term solution for those who wanted to hide their hair loss. The procedure involved taking patches of tissue from the back of the head – usually circular grafts with around 20 hairs per graft – and transplanting them into holes that had been removed at the front of the head. There are a few reasons why hair plugs are noted for their unnatural appearance: the first being that taking the grafts would tend to leave behind giveaway circular scars on the back of the head. However, the real problem was that hair plugs don’t tend to mimic the natural growth of the hair – the hair would tend to bunch up in individual groups, a lot like doll’s hair.
Nowadays, with a skilled surgeon, it’s almost impossible even for other professionals to distinguish between original and transplanted hair. A FUE hair transplant is a harvesting technique that involves excising and extracting individual grafts from a donor area at the back of the head using instruments that are less than a millimetre in diameter, which are then transplanted in the recipient area using a micro surgical needle. The result is realistic and replicates the natural hair growth pattern. Although there will still be some scarring, it is typically tiny dots scattered over a larger area, making them easy to conceal with even the shortest of hair cuts.
A strip FUT transplant is usually recommended to patients who require a larger amount of hair restoration through advanced hair loss and a relatively small donor area. A strip of tissue is taken from the donor area and micro-dissected into follicular units to be transplanted in balding areas of the scalp. The donor area site is closed using tiny stitches or staples and is completely hidden by the surrounding hair, making it hard to detect.
The hairline and frontal areas tend to be the greatest area of concern in terms of the hair transplant being obvious. An overly straight or unnaturally shaped hairline is usually the biggest giveaway of a poorly executed or designed procedure, but an experienced surgeon will ensure that it looks as natural as possible.
Deciding to have a hair transplant is a big decision, so if you’d like to know more about what we can do for you, book a consultation with our team.