FUT – Follicular Unit Transfer
Old-School Hair Transplantation Versus Newer Micro-Surgical Techniques
Unfortunately, we cannot as yet re-engineer the genetics affecting each hair follicle, but we can take advantage of our hair’s genetic programming in another way. Hair follicles within the balding pattern have a different genetic program than hair follicles outside the balding pattern (for details, go to Hair Loss Explained), allowing us to use our genetically superior hair to restore balding areas.
In the late 50’s, this was first attempted by punching out plugs of bald skin and replacing them with plugs of hairy skin. Unfortunately, these early unrefined hair transplantation techniques frequently produced obtrusive and unnatural results. In the mid 90’s, advances in microsurgical technique allowed for the transfer of a single naturally occurring hair follicle grouping, or follicular unit. By transferring this tiny grouping, or follicular unit, we can now restore areas of significant hair loss and routinely achieve natural results.
Our hair naturally grows in tiny groupings of 1, 2, and 3 hair follicles. During follicular unit transfer, the naturally occurring groupings of follicles, or follicular units, are microscopically dissected into tiny grafts. The resulting grass seed size grafts, each containing a single follicular unit, can then be transplanted into closely spaced needle size openings, within the areas of hair loss. There are several obvious advantages to this type of procedure over older methods. The process is less invasive, the grafts can be placed closer together, and since these grafts are fashioned from naturally occurring follicle groupings, the results are superior aesthetically.