Hair transplant is the surgical solution to hair loss that can be done as long as hair density is below a critical level to make it worth an operation and there is a donor area that has potential permanent hair follicles to be taken without significant weakening of that area. It is the only solution available to achieve a cosmetically satisfactory and natural hair restoration.
A hair transplant procedure consists of three steps
Graft harvesting, recipient site incisions and graft placement.
Step 1: Graft harvesting
The graft harvesting phase can be done using two techniques. These are follicular unit transplant (FUT, FUSS, strip method) and follicular unit excision (FUE, one by one graft extraction).
FUT and FUE are not hair transplant techniques, but are the two techniques for graft harvesting; the second and third steps of the operation are common. The online environment is full of misinformation about the two techniques. The success of a hair transplant is dependent on the skill of the surgical team rather than the technique.
Step 2: Recipient Site Incisions
The second phase of the operation is the recipient site incisions. It is done by using custom made pre-cut blades that are prepared to the characteristics of the patient's grafts. These incisions later heal without leaving visible scars as opposed to the circular punch holes which were used in old times.
Some surgeons prefer using an instrument called 'implanter pens'. These are pen-like instruments used to install grafts and then insert the grafts directly without the need of pre-made incisions. This method is not widely preferred. This part of the operation is important as it defines hair distribution, density, direction and angles.
Step 3: Graft Placement
The last phase is the graft placement. The grafts are inserted carefully into the incisions. An average hair transplant session of 4000-6000 hairs takes 7-9 hours.