Hair Plugs vs. Hair Transplant: Hair Transplants Actually Look Good Now

The first hair transplant that took place in the United States was performed by Dr. Norman Orentreich, a BYU Dermatologist. During this hair transplant procedure, he used the “hair plug” technique, which has evolved since then. Today hair transplant surgery is much more natural looking, which is why it has grown in popularity over the years. At UFP Hair Restoration, we would never push anyone to get a hair transplant. There are many men who embrace and rock the bald head look. But we are here to help those who are not wanting to thin or bald. There is a misconception about hair transplants, that they will look unnatural or leave you looking like a chia pet. Hair transplants techniques have advanced, and they actually look great these days.

What Are Hair Plugs?

The hair plug technique which started in the 50’s and lasted into the late century, involved taking large punch grafts, contained anywhere from 8-20 strands of hair. These grafts were taken from the back of the individual’s own scalp, much like today. Hair plugs looked very unnatural because the “plugs” contained so many hair follicles and were very spaced far apart. Hair plugs were popular mostly amongst men during this time despite it looking unnatural. Many didn’t realize it looked unnatural because there was nothing else to compare it to at the time. Transplanted hair is not affected by hair loss once it is moved, but those who continued to lose hair noticed the hair plugs as they began to show through the surrounding thinning hair.

Modern Hair Transplant

In the early 1990’s, Dr. Bobby Limmer successfully performed hair transplantation utilizing the “strip method” (follicular unit transplant/FUT). With a FUT hair transplant surgery a strip from the back of the individual’s scalp is carefully removed and set aside and the scalp is closed resulting in minimum scarring. Next, hair follicles were carefully removed from the strip of scalp. They were then examined under a microscope to ensure they were not broken or damaged. Broken or damaged hair follicles can result in poor results. Once the grafts were dissected and prepared, they were placed one by one in their new recipient sites. UFP Hair Restoration specialists use this technique to arrange and position these follicular unit grafts in a natural fashion. Once the grafts are placed, sutures are not needed because the body’s clotting factors hold the newly transplanted grafts in place.

The Newest, Most Advanced Hair Restoration Surgery

The strip-method is still extremely popular and is considered tried-and-true, however there is another way to achieve hair transplant surgery with even less downtime. NeoGraft (follicular unit extraction/FUE) is the newest, most advanced form of hair transplant surgery. With FUE, the grafts have the capability to extract individual follicle units directly from the donor area, with no linear incision.

FUE is a sub-type of FUT and with either surgery follicular units are extracted and transplanted to thinning or balding areas of the scalp. The real difference between FUE and FUT is the way the grafts are obtained. As mentioned above, FUT follicular units are obtained from the strip of hair while FUE follicular units are extracted one by one utilizing NeoGraft.

NeoGraft is an FDA-approved follicular unit harvesting and implantation system. It is the most advanced FUE automation system in the hair transplant industry. When FUE with NeoGraft is performed, the drive gently extracts follicular units with a vacuum-like suction from a dense area on the back of the individual’s scalp. The surgeon arranges and positions the grafts in an aesthetically pleasing way, to make them appear the most natural. There are no incisions or sutures needed with FUE, resulting in less downtime than the strip method and no linear scar.

Hair transplant surgery has dramatically evolved over the last several years and when performed by a surgeon with hair restoration knowledge and experience, can look extremely natural.

Transplanted Hair Won’t Fall Out

When individuals start to suffer from male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness, it is in a general area of the scalp, usually the sides and the back of the scalp are saved. The hairs on the top of the head are prone to thinning and hair loss as we age. This is why we transplant those unaffected hairs to the needed areas, making them resistant to hair loss. This is why you need to be proactive about treating the existing hair with other methods of prevention.

At UFP Hair Restoration we combine Hydrafacial Keravive treatment before surgery to prepare the scalp, along with hair injection therapy during treatment to enhance the survival rate and health of the hair. We also educate patients on the importance of oral or topical medications following surgery to maintain your hair for years to come.

For more information about modern hair transplant surgery, please contact our Draper or Layton, Utah office at (801)776-2220.

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