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Hair Restoration: A Brief History

May 20, 2018

Hair transplants started prior to World War II,  with a Japanese doctor, Dr. Okuda, performing hair transplant on the eyebrows of trauma patients.

In 1952, Dr. Norman Orentreich conducted the first modern hair transplant at his practice in New York. By 1961, he had performed the procedure on 200 patients.

While at New York University Skin and Cancer Hospital, Dr. Norman studied skin grafts and hair follicles. He came to the conclusion it was surgically possible to take hair from donor sites and transplant them to the recipient site where it would grow healthily and last.

Dr. Norman’s introduced the principle of “Donor Dominance” illustrating bald resistant hairs from the back of the head maintained its characteristics irrespective to where the hair was implanted. Meaning, as long as the hair follicle from the donor site was healthy, it will continue its intrinsic qualities wherever it is implanted.

In the 90s, strip grafting became the popular technique for hair transplant surgery. This involved the removal of a strip of skin from the back of the scalp; the hair follicles were removed from the strip and implanted onto the desired site. The downfall of the strip grafting method was that it often left linear scarring on the back of the scalp. Many patients did not prefer this method and were hesitant to proceed with hair transplant.

FUE became the preferred choice of hair transplantation in the mid 2000’s. It is still the most desirable choice of procedure for patients. New robotic and computerized systems such as the ARTAS and NeoGraft help evolve the art of hair transplantation, by reducing the sight of scars and reducing the margin of error.

There are two primary techniques for hair transplantation currently in use. The FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) methods. They differ primarily in the way hair follicles are extracted from the donor area.

The FUT process involves removing a small strip of tissue from the back of the head, from which the donor hair follicles will be extracted. The hair follicles are harvested from the strip by a skilled clinical team before being individually transplanted to the recipient areas. FUT typically allows for the greatest number of grafts to be transplanted in a single session.

FUE is a non-linear scarring hair harvest technique where the individual hair bulb and the shaft that shares the root are harvested using high tech methods that do not leave a linear strip graft scar. This is one of the biggest improvements in modern day hair transplants.

 

Take advantage of our ongoing promotion! $500 off your first men’s FUE transplant, with financing available at no added interest for 6 months. To make it happen, simply book your appointment on an evening or a Saturday.

Dr. Stephen Mulholland, MD
Posted by Dr. Stephen Mulholland, MD
has been practicing plastic surgery for over 20 years. He is one of Canada’s most renowned and best plastic surgeons in Toronto with his wealth of experience, artistry, and humbleness towards his patients.

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