Hair loss is a very frustration condition. This is why at Horizon Dermatology and Laser Institute, we specialize in hair restoration solutions for men and women, and offer both traditional “strip havesting” of donor hair, as well as the “follicular unit extraction” technique. There are numerous different reasons for hair loss; several are the result of different hair and scalp skin diseases, and they can be effectively treated with different topical and oral medications. However, genetic hair loss (pattern baldness) often requires a hair transplantation procedure for definative treatment.
Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that moves individual hair follicles from the back of the scalp to the bald or balding part of the scalp, usually the crown and frontal scalp. Since hair naturally grows in groupings of 1 to 4 hairs, we use techniques that harvest and transplant these naturally occurring hair “follicular units” in their natural groupings, to acheive the most natural appearance. There are two main types of hair traplantation techniques: strip harvesting and follicular unit extraction (FUE).
Strip harvesting is the most common technique for removing hair and follicles from a donor site. A strip of skin from the posterior scalp, in an area of good hair growth, is removed and dissected into individual follicular unit grafts, which are small, naturally formed groupings of hair follicles. A small blade is then used to create the sites for receiving the grafts and the individual grafts are placed into the area of balding scalp. Strip harvesting will leave a thin linear scar in the donor area which can typically be covered by a patient’s hair even at relatively short lengths.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is where individual follicular units containing 1 to 4 hairs are removed under local anesthesia; a small blade is then used to create the sites for receiving the grafts and the individual grafts are placed into the area of balding scalp. The FUE procedure is more time consuming than strip surgery. The advantage over strip harvesting is that FUE harvesting negates the need for large areas of scalp tissue to be harvested, so there is no linear incision on the back of the head and it doesn’t leave a linear scar. Because individual follicles are removed, only small, punctate scars remain which are less visible and any post-surgical pain and discomfort is minimized. Disadvantages include increased surgical times, higher cost, and a lower ratio of successfully transplanted follicles as compared to strip harvesting.