Whether you’re a man or a woman, no one likes to see more and more hair on their brush in the morning. While men usually have areas that become fully bald, women tend to suffer from universal thinning hair that starts along the part line.
This has long been an area of some questionable infomercial remedies — spray-on hair anyone? But Dr. Gaines is a specialist in the field of hair restoration, including the most advanced option for regrowing your own natural hair, follicular unit transplantation. This method transplants healthy, functioning hair follicles into the thinning or balding areas. Follicular unit transplantation regrows hair in thinning areas without pills, creams, or anything but your own hair follicles. Dr. Gaines has had great success helping patients overcome their balding with these procedures.
Hair transplantation was never very good
Hair transplantation has been performed since the 1950s, but techniques have come a long way. Formerly, an entire patch of “bald resistant” hair from the back of the head was removed and transplanted in its entirety on the balding area. This created two problems. First, when the skin on the back of the scalp was stretched back together and stitched, it created an unsightly scar where hair would not regrow. This scar could be seen when the person was swimming and in other situations. Second, the transplanted hair patches looked unnatural.
Relocating a patch of hair never was a good solution. Single-unit transplantation has grown in popularity recently, but Dr. Gaines feels follicular unit transplantation (FUT) has a number of advantages. By harvesting units of hair follicles, rather than individual hairs, Dr. Gaines is able to place a greater number of implants in a shorter amount of time. He can also place these units with more detail in smaller sections. The result is natural looking and effective.
How is FUT done?
In follicular unit transplantation, the back of your head is first shaved and then numbed. This is the area where your hair is still growing normally and isn’t prone to balding. Dr. Gaines then manually removes a thin strip of hair with the necessary follicular units. He brings the edges of this excised area together with staples or sutures, and this line will be well hidden under the surrounding hair.
Next, the strip is divided into follicular units with from one to four hairs in each. Now these units are ready to be relocated to the areas of balding or thinning hair.
Next, the areas where you need hair replaced are cleaned and then numbed. Each recipient site is created with a special tool to the exact specifications of the graft. Dr. Gaines then inserts the hair grafts into the created holes to the precisely measured depth. As you would assume, this is a time-consuming process, taking anywhere from four to eight hours.
When will the hair start to grow?
After about two to three weeks, your transplanted hair will fall out, and this can freak out a patient. But this is simply the follicles’ reaction to the trauma, and it is perfectly normal. Of your transplanted follicles, around 60 percent will successfully take hold and start growing new hair within six to nine months.