When it comes to health, there is no natural thing for everyone to want the best. In hair transplantation, the latest and the best researches, especially related to hair transplantation techniques, are always in progress. But for the questions like “What is the latest hair transplantation technique?” or “What is the best hair transplantation method?”, it would be wrong to look for a single correct answer. It would be more appropriate to choose hair transplantation methods and additional medical applications added to hair transplantation methods, according to the condition of the person’s hair.
It is the truest thing to choose the hair transplantation method according to the needs of the patient and the doctor’s preference. The most widely used technique in hair transplantation is the technique of FUE hair transplantation, but this technique, which was put forward in 2002, has been improved in the last 15 years and has been made more useful by combining it with some medical aesthetic applications with new medical devices.
In this article, I will explain all the applications mentioned as hair transplantation methods and explain the advantages and disadvantages of all hair transplant techniques.
The Hair Transplant Methods
Hair transplantation methods have been developed rapidly since the end of the 90s, and nowadays, hair transplantation operations have become much more comfortable, faster and more natural.
When we look at the progress of hair transplantation in history, it is possible to say that it has lived its golden age in the last 10 years. The advancing technology, the presence of new medical devices and combining hair transplantation operations with the new medical aesthetic applications have led to the subcategorization of hair transplantation methods. Thus, the hair transplantation techniques mentioned with many different names have emerged.
Before looking at hair transplantation methods, I’ll touch on some important points about hair transplantation techniques.
5 Essential Facts About Hair Transplant Methods
- Since its invention, there are two basic methods of hair transplantation which cause serious developments in the field namely FUT and FUE techniques. These hair transplantation methods differentiate according to the method of collecting hair follicles.
- The FUT method is an old method used in the early ’90s and has been replaced by the FUE method, a much more advanced method than FUT. The current use of the FUT method is eliminated due to its many disadvantages.
- Apart from these two methods, other techniques we have heard (DHI, Robotic FUE, micromotor, etc.) are shaped by using different medical devices or medical aesthetic applications together with these methods. In this article, I will talk about all these hair transplantation techniques.
- FUE technique, which is the last technique in medical literature, can be combined with many new applications and different successful hair transplantation operations can be performed. Terms such as DHI, percutaneous hair transplantation, robotic hair transplantation, hair transplantation with PRP, etc. have emerged from the development of FUE hair transplantation method by combining different medical devices.
- Any person who wants to have hair transplantation should read the following information about hair transplantation methods. In this way, the interview will be more efficient with the doctor and it will allow you to understand the doctor much more easily.
First Hair Transplant Methods and FUT Technique
FUT, which was one of the most frequently used methods of hair transplantation at the end of the 90s and early 2000s, was abandoned after the FUE method was found to have superior properties compared to it. The FUT method is about how grafts are collected.
In the FUT method, stitch marks are left in the nape area. The healing process is much longer. Although it can be applied a little faster due to the collective extraction of hair follicles, this method, which is considered to be obsolete, is not preferred today.
In the FUT method, the donor region (nape region) is first anesthetized by local anesthesia for hair follicle collection. This prevents the person from feeling pain during the operation.
A rectangular piece of skin about 15 cm x 2 cm is removed from the numbed nape area. The size of the area to be cut varies according to the number of hair follicles desired to be collected. For example, the area of the skin that will be removed by cutting with a small number of grafts will be smaller. In addition, if the person’s hair density is low, it may be necessary to remove a larger piece of skin for the same number of grafts.
The skin part taken from the nape area is extracted by the nurses for the separation of the hair follicles inside and preparation for careful transplantation. The grafts separated from the skin pieces are placed in containers called petri dishes.
While the collected grafts are prepared for the operation, the area opened in the patient’s nape is closed with an aesthetic suture and wrapped. After about 20 days to 1 month of healing, there will be a horizontal stitch mark (in the nape area between the two ears). One of the major disadvantages of this method is the stitch mark which is not fully healed after the operation.
After the grafts are collected, the planting process will be started. For this, in the area to be planted, channels equal to the number of grafts collected are opened after anesthetizing the area with local anesthesia. In hair transplantation, these channels are the holes in the size of the needle head where the hair follicles will be placed. After the channeling process, hair follicles are placed in the opening channels and hair transplantation operation is completed.
In this method, the cut hair follicles leave stitch marks in the nape area, while the FUE method does not cause any deformation of the grafts in the nape region. However, the FUT method can be done much faster, while the collection of hair follicles in the FUE method is slower. Thanks to the micromotor introduced in the FUE method, this process has been shortened as much as possible.
Fut hair transplantation method is a technology that allows hair transplantation to become widespread all over the world at the beginning of the 90s and become practiced by everyone. It has some advantages in itself. It should not be forgotten that this method which has been replaced by the FUE method of hair transplantation, despite its existing advantages, has many more important advantages.
In this method, the grafts are not collected individually and the operation is much faster. It also allows people with insufficient donor area to have hair transplantation. It allows more grafts to be collected in a shorter time. Hair transplantation can also be done without shortening the hair (without shaving).
This method can be applied to anyone suitable for hair transplantation providing that you are older than 22 years old, have a hair loss which has reached a certain level, have permanent hair loss, and have an adequate donor region. Everyone with good general health can have this procedure.
The same conditions will be taken into consideration in the application of the Follicular Unit Transplantation method, but nowadays, the decrease in the use of FUT causes the choice of this method in special cases for different reasons. Some of these are as follows:
- If you go to a doctor who only applies this method, your hair transplantation will be done by the FUT method.
- If your hair density in the donor area is very low, this method can be recommended by the doctor to collect more grafts.
- This method can be used if very few grafts are to be collected due to reasons such as retouching.
- This method can be used to prevent damage to the surrounding hair follicles in cases where the hair in the donor area is extremely dense.
- FUT hair transplantation method, which is an old method, can be preferred by the patient because it is cheaper.
Most Preferred Method: FUE Hair Transplant
FUE Hair Transplantation (Follicular Unit Extraction) is a hair transplantation method based on the principle of collecting the hair follicles in the nape region without forming a linear incision. In the graft collection process using small tips, small incisions are formed around the follicular unit and the hair follicles are collected one by one and then planted in the area of balding.
After the introduction of FUE hair transplantation, there was a significant increase in hair transplantation operations. The FUE method, which is much more comfortable than the previous methods, does not require any suture in the donor area due to the fact that there is no permanent scarring. Also, FUE hair transplantation has allowed different regions of the body to be used as donor area in hair transplantation.
There have been significant developments in the field of hair transplantation in the last 25 years, the most important of which is the FUE hair transplantation, which enables hair transplantation to become widespread all over the world and cause hair transplantation to be more preferred. FUE (Follicular Unıt Extraction), which came into the literature in 2002, provided a very important advantage by allowing continuous, stitchless and traceless hair transplantation. Thus, this natural and traceless hair transplantation method has become a preferred solution for hair loss all over the world.
FUE Hair Transplantation is the abbreviation of follicular unit extraction. In 1990, the concept of follicular units in which hair follicles grow and nourish has been discovered. This meant that the hair follicles could be transported and transferred together with their nests. And soon after the invention of the follicular unit transplantation (FUT), the hair follicles started to be transported quickly and comfortably. However, this method brought a very important disadvantage as it causes permanent stitching of 15-20 cm wide in the nape area.
The FUE method has significant advantages over FUT hair transplantation. In both methods, the collection part of hair follicles is different from each other. In the FUT method, a two-finger-wide incision is made to the nape area, where the skin is sutured with the hair follicles as a band. Then the hair follicles extracted from the skin are ready for the hair transplantation.
First, hair follicles are collected from the nape area. In this process, the hair roots are loosened individually with a special medical device. The individual loosened hair follicles are then collected into grafts. Each graft may contain between 3 and 8 hair strands. The density of grafts is a factor that increases the quality and success of hair transplantation. This process varies according to the number of grafts but lasts from 2 to 4 hours. Local anesthesia is performed to ensure a comfortable operation. After the hair follicles are collected, they are removed by the nurses and properly placed in a pad.
When the grafting process is finished, the area where the hair follicles are collected is bandaged against the possibility of infection. After this procedure, the patient is laid on his back. In order to open channels, the area to be planted is anesthetized by local anesthesia. Then the channeling process is started. The opening of the channels is done with the help of a sharp tool called the micro-pen. These channels are smaller than the tip of the pin and the hair roots are placed in these channels. It is very important that the directions, depth, and width of the channels are in harmony with the hair follicles.
The last stage of the Fue Hair Transplantation operation is the transplantation of the hair follicles into the opening canals. The hair follicles are placed in special boxes are collected and placed into the opening channels. The process of planting hair follicles can last for 2 to 4 hours depending on the number of grafts to be planted. After completion of the procedure, the hair transplantation area is not covered or wrapped. It is left open for air intake. The area where hair transplantation is done should be protected from any pressure and impact.
FUE Hair Transplantation is the most widely used hair transplantation method in the world. In this technique, healthy and strong hair follicles in the nape area are selected individually. In the case of planting with FUE method, the donor area heals much faster. There is no trace left after the operation. Thanks to the FUE method, the hair follicles in different parts of the body can also be used for the operation. FUE hair transplantation allows the collection of hair follicles one at a time. It does not cause damage to the surrounding hair follicles. FUE technique can be applied together with the DHI technique, which is known as the pen technique we hear quite often in recent years.
Manual Punch Hair Transplant
FUE method of hair transplantation is done by means of a medical device called the manual punch. With the discovery of FUE hair transplantation method, there was a need for a device to remove the hair follicles with their roots without damaging them.
The manual punch is a medical device with sharp tiny tips on the tip that helps create small holes around the hair follicles. It is used during hair transplantation by FUE method while collecting grafts.
Manual punch is a medical graft pickup device. It is used with different sizes of ends according to the structure of hair strands. Manual punch is not electrically operated. After the discovery of the micromotors, the use of a manual punch has been severely reduced.
This method, known as manual punch FUE hair transplantation, has left its place to the micromotor, which makes it the same process much faster nowadays, even if it is used quite often during the initial periods.
Micromotor Hair Transplant
This hair transplantation technique, also known as the fue method with micromotor, was developed with the improvement of manual punch. Micromotor is a medical device that allows the grafts to be collected individually and without damage. It is an automatic device with different cycles.
Micromotor FUE allows graft collection is performed with a micromotor device in hair transplantation operations. Today, the vast majority of physicians abandon the manual punch method and prefer the micromotor method for graft collection. After removal of the grafts with micromotor and making them ready for planting, the hair follicles are placed in the opening channels. Micromotor can be used with different size ends according to the structure of hair strands. It is an electrical device that operates automatically.
In the microfluid, it is approximately 2 to 4 hours to remove the hair follicles by loosening. Micromotor Fue can be used with different graft techniques such as DHI. A hair transplant doctor may use micromotor when collecting grafts and may perform DHI transplantation, using DHI pens as the operation continues.
Nowadays, almost all FUE hair transplantations are carried out by micromotors. The use of the manual punch, which is another graft collection method used with Fue, is decreasing with each passing day. In Micro Fue Hair Transplantation, before the hair follicles that will be collected from the donor area will be removed, this area (donor area) is shaved to 1 mm. Because, for the use of the micromotor device, the hair follicles must be shortened to fit into the tips.
Then the doctor who analyzes the hair structure of a person decides the size of the punch tips according to the density, thickness, and structure of the hair. The area to be treated is anesthetized by local anesthesia in order to prevent any pain before the graft collection process is started.
With a needle called punch on the end of the device, the hair follicle is centered and the very small rotating nipper tips open the micro-holes around the hair follicles to release them. The growing structure of the hair is calculated according to the structure of the hair follicle. Afterward, the microfue device is inserted into the skin to remove the follicles in accordance with the growing angles. This process allows the hair follicles to be collected safely.
After the use of the micromotor device, the loosened hair follicles are collected with the help of a medical device called micro pen-set and placed in glass petri dishes where they are prepared for the transplant.
Direct Hair Transplant
Direct Hair TransplantDirect Hair Transplant (DHI) is a method of hair transplantation which has become very popular and preferred in recent years. The DHI method is about planting the grafts. For this purpose, it can be applied together with techniques such as FUE and micromotor.
Let’s take a look at the stages of hair transplantation in order to fully understand how the DHI hair transplantation technique is applied. Hair transplantation consists of 3 basic stages. These are respectively; the collection of grafts, opening of canals and planting the hair follicles.
Thanks to the medical pen used for direct hair transplantation, after grafts are collected, the doctor can open both the canal with the help of these pens for a few seconds and place the hair follicle at the same time.
This procedure can be done in two separate steps in normal methods. Yet, it can be done in one time with this special pen-like medical device. So in the DHI Hair Transplant Method, normal hair transplantation stages are observed except for canalization.
The hair follicles in the donor area where the local anesthetic is applied are loosened with a special device and the loosened follicles are collected from the individual donor area. Collected grafts include a piece of tissue and hair follicle. So, they undergo a small separation process to be made ready for planting individually.
Since there is no channel opening process in DHI, the prepared hair follicles are placed in individual pen-like medical devices called implanters. The implanter has a very fine but pointed end into which hair follicles can be inserted due to its special structure. The thin tipped medical pen, which is dipped by the doctor at an appropriate angle to the scalp, places the hair follicle inside the scalp.
On the one hand, planting continues, and on the other hand, the separated hair follicles are inserted into the pencils, so the waiting time of the operation is minimized. Thanks to the DHI pen, the scalp enters a rapid healing process after the operation.
The most important advantage of hair transplantation with DHI pen is that it can be done more frequently and more intensively. This is of course also relevant to the patient’s characteristics. To give an example to better explain this issue, the use of DHI method to a person who does not have too many hair follicles to be planted in the donor area will not be of great benefit to that person. On the other hand, the DHI technique can give very good results especially in hair suturing.
For hair transplantation with DHI, it is preferred that hair follicles of the donor area (the nape area between the two ears) should be firm and frequent. Hair transplantation can only be done from a person’s own hair follicles. In such cases, secondary donor areas may be needed, which is a situation that negatively affects the natural image.
The most commonly used donor area in hair transplantation is the nape region. Secondary donor sites may be used in people with insufficient hair follicles in the nape area with the advice of the physician.
After hair follicles are collected in hair transplant operations, they are kept for 3-4 hours during the opening of the canals. Although they are sometimes kept in special solutions and in special coolers, every minute they are kept outside their natural conditions causes the hair follicles to be damaged or lose their health. The biggest advantage of the operations performed with DHI is that the hair follicles are not kept separately after collection. The waiting period of 3-4 hours is eliminated and the follicles are planted immediately after collection.
Robotic Hair Transplant
Robotic hair transplantation is another hair transplantation method which we have recently started to hear its name. Robotic hair transplantation is the process of collecting hair follicles by means of a computer-aided robot. In robotic hair transplantation which is frequently discussed among hair transplantation methods, a device controlled by a doctor with sensitive arms and a computer interface separates the hair follicles one at a time.
Robotic hair transplantation has the same principles as the technique used in FUE hair transplantation, but the main difference is that the same procedure is done with the help of a robot. In robotic hair transplantation, as in the FUE method, the hair follicles are collected without the need for cuts or sutures. During this process, the doctor controls both the robot and the process. Thanks to the laser beams in robotic hair transplantation, the hair follicles can be collected by means of a computer that separates the hair follicles one by one.
In robotic hair transplantation, since other procedures are performed manually except for the collection of hair follicles, this process is almost the same process as the normal FUE hair transplantation. The hair follicles collected through the robot are made ready for transplant by the nurses and placed in the channels that the hair transplant doctor opens individually. Robotic hair transplantation is considered to be a fast and safe method, but it does not create any difference in the quality of the hair transplantation procedure.
Hyperbaric Hair Transplant
Hyperbaric hair transplantation is a hair transplantation method where the healing power of the oxygen is used. Pure oxygen respiration increases the amount of dissolved oxygen in the blood. This can increase the rate of wound healing more than twice in our body.
The hyperbaric method, which involves special oxygen chambers made for pure oxygen therapy, is used frequently for various conditions. The application of hyperbaric treatment after hair transplantation is called hyperbaric hair transplantation. Thus, during the collection of the hair follicles, the wounds are healed much faster, the hair follicles become stronger by feeding more oxygen thanks to the oxygen treatment, and the newly planted hair roots begin to grow more rapidly as they adapt to their new location.
The process of hair growth after hair transplantation is between 8 months and 1 year. This process is closely linked to the healing rate of the body, the structure of the hair follicles and the rate of strengthening. In such cases, the oxygen support provides better feeding and strengthening of the hair follicles, leading to shorter waiting times. Hyperbaric hair transplantation also increases the rate of dissolved oxygen in the blood and accelerates the healing process.
It would be wrong to introduce hyperbaric hair transplantation as a different method in itself. “Hyperbaric hair transplantation” can be applied in the same way as the FUE method, which can lead to positive results such as cell renewal and rapid recovery in our body and hair, but after the hair transplantation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is carried out in a special chamber and the oxygen level in the blood is drawn to the upper level. Oxygen therapy repeated at intervals determined by the doctor supports the faster healing of the hair follicles.
Other Hair Transplant Methods
Today, one in every 3 people in the world experiencing the problem of balancing or hair loss, and hair transplantation practices and research in this regard is carried out intensively. While new techniques or applications are coming up with each passing day, different hair transplantation methods are continuing to be studied. Keep in mind that the correct research can be done by looking suspicious of the so-called new and miraculous methods of hair transplantation, which are presented in different names with different advertisements every day.
I have mentioned the basic hair transplantation methods above and some hair transplantation applications that we hear very often. Apart from these, it is known that some applications known today are presented with new names for advertising purposes.
There are some points to be considered when researching hair transplantation methods. The most important ones are:
- To do careful research on hair transplantation methods and similar applications,
- To distinguish between commercial advertisements and informative texts containing neutral information,
- Not expecting a miracle from hair transplantation methods and applications,
- To solve all hair transplantation procedures with a trusted hair transplantation doctor,
- And not to confuse the new hair transplantation methods with hair enhancement practices.