Every year, over 800,000 people seek treatment for hair loss — and not all of them are men. Receding hairlines aren’t even the only concern, with people seeking out newer processes like eyebrow restoration surgery as well.
There are some hair loss treatments that rely on simply mimicking the appearance of hair, such as scalp pigmentation (high-tech tattoos). Others are measures designed to stimulate the growth of existing hair, such as laser hair restoration. But once hair has been completely lost from a desired area, the only true hair replacement options are transplants. Transplants can take one of two major forms: follicular unit transplantation and follicular unit extraction.
- Follicular Unit Transplantation
In this method, also known as FUT, strips of skin containing thousands of follicles are harvested, typically from the back of the scalp. The surgeon then divides the strip into hundreds or thousands of grafts, each of which contains a few hairs. These grafts are then inserted into the desired implantation site. The hairs fall out soon after surgery, but the follicles then begin to grow new hair. The surgery generally takes four to eight hours, depending on how many grafts are needed to achieve the desired result.
The scalp will be tender for several days, and pain medication will probably be prescribed. Most people can start working again within a week. About 60% of results are visible six to nine months after the surgery.
- Follicular Unit Extraction
This strategy, called FUE, uses a similar graft implantation technique as FUT. However, FUE procedures differ in the harvesting method. To obtain the grafts for FUE hair transplants, the surgeon makes circular incisions around individual follicles and extracts them one at a time before implanting them.
This method leaves less noticeable scarring at the back of the scalp, and can therefore be preferred by men who want to be able to wear their hair short in the future. The recovery time is also shorter. However, the quality of the grafts may be inferior compared to those obtained using traditional strip harvesting.
What hair loss treatments would you be most likely to choose? Share your thoughts in the comments.