The History of Surgical Hair Restoration

The History of Surgical Hair Restoration, Hair transplantation surgery has only been popular in the last 20-25 years. The reason for this uprising popularity is the methods developed during this period. But, the history of hair transplantation goes beyond the mid-’90s.

The History of Surgical Hair Restoration

The roots of hair transplantation surgeries go back to 1939. A dermatology specialist named Dr Okuda In Japan described a hair restoration method for patients with burns. This is the first known account of hair transplantation. Though, these findings did not surface until much later, due to Japan’s situation during World War II. 

Dr Okuda’s method included cutting circular flaps of hair-bearing skin. He implanted these grafts into slightly smaller holes in the targeted burnt skin. He demonstrated that the implanted skin kept growing hair long after this procedure.

Techniques After the 40s’

In 1943, another dermatologist in Japan named Dr Takura developed this method further. He took elliptical grafts out of the patient’s donor skin and dissected them into groups of one to three. This way he avoided unnatural looking “plugs”. What is interesting is this highly resembles the modern FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) procedure.

In 1952, a doctor named Dr Norman Orentreich made the first known hair transplantation in the US. This was the operation that drew attention to the possibility of hair transplantation. A few years later, Dr Norman published his findings. In his publishing, he claimed that the hair from the back of the scalp was the most sturdy kind of hair. Also, hair from this part was the most resistant to hormones that lead to male pattern baldness.

In the ’60s hair transplantation has got a place in reconstructive surgery. Though the method utilised at this time resembled Dr Okuda’s primitive “punch grafting”. This method yielded a “pluggy” appearance though, which was not very aesthetically pleasing. This led to some controversy around the procedure. Because sometimes results turned out to be a real eyesore.

Modern Methods After the ’90s

Modern hair transplantation methods that came during the ’90s got rid of his controversy though. The modern methods are able to produce natural-looking hair. Often, it is almost impossible to tell if someone got hair transplantation. These two methods are called FUT and FUE. Let’s have a look at them and what they did differently.

The main difference between these two hair transplantation techniques is the insertion style. The old method transferred many follicles at once, while the new method does this one by one. The FUT method is highly similar to Dr Tamura’s approach. The doctor takes a strip of skin and dissects it into individual follicles before plantation In FUT. 

In the more recent method, FUE, things work a bit differently. This time doctors do not cut away a strip of skin, which leaves a big scar. Instead, grafts are extracted from the scalp one follicle at a time. This minimises the scarring and leaves a more aesthetically appealing scalp.

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