Types of Hair Transplant, There are three main types of hair transplantation today. They are named as follows:
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
- Direct Hair Implantation (DHI)
We mentioned FUT; however, doctors generally do not do this type of procedure anymore since it is a bit outdated. The main reason being that FUT operations leave a sizable scar at the back of the scalp, around the donor area. The scar extends from above one ear to the other ear.
The Extraction Process
The two modern hair transplantation methods, DHI and FUE, have pretty much the same extraction process.
- First, we shave the donor area very short (in DHI, we can spare the rest of the hair as extra).
- Then we anaesthetise the donor area.
- With the help of a device called micromotor, we create tiny holes around follicles that we will graft. Then we extract the follicles with a tool similar to a tweezer.
- We put extracted follicles into a serum solution to preserve their vitality until the implantation
The main difference between these two types of hair transplant operation comes at play in implantation. Let’s have a look at what they do differently.
What Is Follicular Unit Extraction
In the follicular unit extraction method, the surgeon comes after the extraction to open the patient’s canals. Canals are tiny holes where the extracted follicles go inside. Throughout the process, the surgeon opens canals with a slight incline so as to mimic the natural patterns of hair growth in humans. The angles of the canals differ according to the patient’s natural hair formation.
After the canals are open, the medical team takes over, and the implantation can now begin. Usually, multiple operators work simultaneously during this phase. The operators pick and sort canals according to their quality and implant them by hand one by one. This is usually the longest phase in an FUE operation as follicles are delicate things that need special care when handling.
What Is Direct Hair Implantation
In direct hair implantation, we do not need to open any canals. We have to thank the technological advancement of this. The invention that eliminates the canal opening phase is called a Choi pen. With Choi pens, we directly implant the hair follicles into the recipient area while opening the necessary canal at the same time.
During the operation, we use eight to sixteen pens simultaneously. While the surgeon is implanting follicles one by one, multiple operators load pens with single follicles into pens. That’s why DHI requires a bigger medical team.
The DHI method suits more those patients who have regional hair loss rather than total hair loss. This is because DHI pens enable us to implant follicles more densely. Since we have to utilise more people during operation and keep up for the cost of pens, the DHI procedure is slightly more expensive than the FUE procedure. Also, sometimes patients choose to get both FUE and DHI at the same time for better results.