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The basic concept of hair transplantation is straightforward and easily understood. The hair growing on the sides and lower part of the back of the head is permanent in most people. It persists even in advanced degrees of male pattern baldness because follicles in these locations are not subject to the deleterious affects of the hormone DHT, a byproduct of testosterone. The characteristics of the individual follicles move with them when they are transplanted. Therefore, permanent hair will remain permanent regardless of where it is transplanted, a phenomena termed "donor dominance." This is the basis of hair transplantation.

In the process of hair restoration surgery, permanent hair is redistributed to cover the areas of the head where the hair has thinned or has been lost. No new hair is actually created; existing hair is just moved around. Therefore, there is never a "net" increase in total hair volume. In spite of this, a skillfully performed hair transplant procedure can make a person "look" as though he or she has more hair, often considerably more.

The process of hair restoration is an aesthetic exercise as well as a technical feat. Re-distributing hair on a person's head is like painting a portrait. The physician should attempt to create a natural looking result that is consistent with the hair supply, the specific hair characteristics of the patient, and most important, the patient's goals.

As with other forms of cosmetic surgery, the art is at least as important as the surgical technique. The hair transplant surgeon must have a thorough understanding of human facial anatomy; good basic surgical skills and a thorough knowledge of different hair transplant techniques. The physician must know the physiology of hair in depth, and understand basic medical conditions that affect the scalp. He must be aware of, and be able to critically evaluate, new developments in the field. Finally, the specialist must study each patient carefully and tailor each procedure to the patient's unique attributes and needs.

To learn more about follicular unit hair transplantation and see animations and videos of this procedure, visit our multimedia Hair Transplant Center.

Donor hair is harvested by excising a narrow strip of scalp from the back of the head in the permanent hair zone. This method is extremely efficient and several thousand grafts can be obtained from one donor strip. The resulting incision is closed giving a virtually undetectable scar.

Below is a series of images that depict the process. Click on the images for an enlarged view.

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1. Donor area to be excised for dissection under a microscope.
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2. Medical Technicians disecting the donor section.
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3. Slivers of scalp tissue with hair follicle groups.
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4. Grouped Follicular Unit grafts of one, and two follicles.
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5. High precision Incision Instrument.
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6. Incisions in the scalp to receive the follicular unit grafts.
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7. Jewelers forceps, used to handle the grafts.
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8. Recipient area with grafts inserted.
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9. Three days after surgery.
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10. Ten days after surgery.
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11. Ten days after surgery.

12. Four months post op.
13. Eight months post op.

Hair Loss information on this site has been contributed by hair loss specialists and surgeons who have years of experience in the field of hair loss.

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