The history of hair transplant technology is fairly recent. Even though what we recognize as contemporary hair transplant procedures have only been around for less than a century, the technology has come a long way since its early days. Learn how far hair transplant methods have come below.
Surgical correction of baldness dates back to the 19th century, but modern transplant techniques didn’t develop until the 1930s, when Japanese dermatologists Okuda and Tamura used small grafts to treat sparse brows and lashes (but not alopecia). Sadly, these findings were lost after the destruction wrought by WWII, setting back the development of transplant technology by a few decades.
Hair transplant technology made strides again in the 1950s. Norman Orentreich’s successful investigations into transplanting donor units of hair illustrated the important concept of donor dominance, which dictates that it is not the site where the hair grows that determines baldness but the health of the donor units. Later, the concept of the “Safe Donor Zone,” the parameter of permanent hair follicles that can be successfully transplanted to an area that is balding, was developed.
The Awkward Stage
Hair transplant technology stalled aesthetically during the 60s and 70s. While surgical techniques continued to be technically successful, the technology was not yet refined enough to transplant individual grafts of hair. The smallest grafts available were 2—4mm “plugs” that created a “doll’s hair” effect in recipients, leading to the much-maligned reputation of outdated hair transplant methods.
Micrografts and FUT
The 1980s don’t have a great reputation for hairstyles but they were excellent for hair transplant technology. During this decade, micrograft technology was developed, allowing doctors to use smaller grafts that led to more natural-looking results. The technology continued to improve through the 90s and 2000s, yielding the follicular unit transplantation, or “strip,” method of transplantation.
NeoGraft and Follicular Unit Extraction
Hair restoration is a continually evolving technology, with exciting developments still lying in wait in the future. Currently, the most advanced method available is follicular unit extraction, which involves extracting individual units of naturally growing hair and individually grafting them into the most natural-appearing patterns possible. When performed by a doctor who is particularly attentive to aesthetics, the NeoGraft method yields beautiful, lasting results that restore the patient’s original, youthful appearance. If you are seeking a hair transplant in Philadelphia, choose a doctor with NeoGraft technology at their disposal.