[Posted on July 24th, 2013 by Dr. Carlos Puig]
As long as male pattern baldness has existed, men have been seeking remedies for hair loss. Through the centuries, various spells, potions and procedures were unsuccessfully used to encourage hair growth. Men who could afford the expense were generally forced to settle for a well-made wig or hairpiece, while men who were less prosperous made do with a hat. However, thanks to procedures developed over the past 70 years, real solutions to hair loss are available that actually replace lost hair instead of just covering up the problem. The replacement of lost hair can be accomplished by a hair transplant in Austin.
The Development of Hair Transplantation
The discovery that hair loss generally affects certain hair follicles rather than occurring in specific areas of the scalp was a major step toward modern hair transplantation. This breakthrough was made when it was found that hairs moved from one area of the head to another kept growing at the same rate as if they had never been moved and led to the first hair transplants by a Japanese scientist in the late 1930s. The process employed was similar to a modern hair transplant in Austin and was used primarily to replace missing facial hair, although scalp hair transplantation was also attempted.
Early Hair Transplants
The processes used to transplant scalp hair were revolutionized in the 1950s. Early hair transplants implanted clusters of hair removed from one part of an individual’s scalp, usually the back of the head, to the balding area. These early transplants could be effective if the hair in the donor area was not depleted before the entire transplant area was filled in. The major downside to this type of hair transplantation is that the hair was placed in small clumps that can resemble the hair on a doll instead of being evenly distributed across the entire scalp like natural human hair. Although these early procedures did not always achieve a natural-looking result, the practice was effective for some people and led to the further developments that came about later.
Newer Transplant Methods
The next transplantation process to gain prominence was the development of mini-grafting and micro-grafting in the 1970s. These two procedures are similar in that hair is removed from the donor area in strips and trimmed into smaller pieces that are then grafted in place. The difference between the two occurs with the number of individual hair follicles contained in each graft. These processes resulted in better orientation of growth and a more uniform appearance, but the transplanted hair could still appear to be clustered together.
Modern Hair Transplantation
Modern hair transplants take mini- and micro-grafting one step further. The process of follicular transplantation moves individual hair follicles for a truly natural-looking result. Like grafting, hair is removed in a strip. However, instead of cutting the graft into smaller pieces, each hair follicle, which contains between one and four individual hairs, is separated and transplanted individually. Because of the miniscule size of hair follicles, the separation of each follicle generally involves the use of a microscope. Although this process is extremely labor-intensive, it allows for the most natural distribution and orientation of the transplanted hair.
Today’s hair transplant technologies produce the most natural-looking results yet achieved. Although hair loss is generally considered to be primarily limited to men, more and more women are also benefitting from modern hair transplant procedures. If you suffer from hair loss, find out today how modern follicular implants can help you look younger and regain lost confidence.