One method of hair transplantation surgery used by the providers of The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research is follicular unit extraction (FUE), a process that consists of one follicular unit extracted at a time. Follicular unit extraction is a minimally-invasive procedure that removes naturally occurring groups of hairs, called follicular units, usually between one and four hairs, from the back and sides of the scalp and transplants them into areas of hair loss. While the procedure is highly common, there are some misconceptions regarding the factors that accompany it. Below, we set the record straight.
FICTION: Follicular unit extraction leaves no scars.
FACT: While follicular unit extraction (FUE) leaves no linear scars in the donor area, there will be small round scars which are barely noticeable unless the hair is cut short. With repeated sessions the entire donor area may be thinner according to its original density. The denser it initially was, the lesser likelihood for a thinned look after the session(s). However, when numerous sessions are needed, the donor site can be quickly depleted using the FUE technique. For those who wish to cut their hair the shortest, this technique may be preferred, but for those who plan to keep the hair at a normal length this technique would not offer an advantage. For the person who is known to scar easily, this newer technique should always be considered. Another ideal person for the FUE technique would be one who has a very small area to be covered. For those who may need several sessions or who need large numbers of grafts this new technique may be less preferable.
FICTION: Follicular unit extraction with NeoGraft™ is more dangerous than other methods of FUE because of its “one step” technology.
FACT: Exactly the opposite! One of the main benefits of NeoGraft™ is that it has the potential to decrease mechanical injury to the grafts because it doesn’t require forceps during extraction like other forms of FUE. A patented suction for removing each unit as it is cut is utilized for the extraction. There is no harsh pulling or compression of the delicate follicles. NeoGraft™ also uses a saline solution to temporarily store the grafts preventing them from drying out.
FICTION: Post surgery the FUE technique is less visible
FACT: Because the donor area covers a larger area (especially if a large number of grafts are necessary), the donor area for the FUE procedure is shaved. This can be quite obvious for at least 2 weeks while the hair re-grows. For the commonly used linear incision donor technique, the excised area is then completely closed with either sutures or staples leaving no shaven area at the donor site. Due to sufficient coverage, the remaining hair of the donor site looks normal without signs of surgery.
FICTION: It doesn’t matter who performs my hair transplant. All results will be the same.
FACT: Achieving a natural look with hair restoration requires artistic talents as well as meticulous, advanced surgical skills. Hair restoration surgeons Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis have a combined four decades of advanced training and hair restoration experience. The key to finding a surgeon who meets your needs is taking the time to research his/her experience and the experience of the surgeon’s technicians. Once a FUE graft has been obtained, the final grafts do not have the same protective covering as does those produced from the strips: there is also not as much fat protecting the bulb of the graft. This results in the need for different placement techniques and handling of the grafts. Mastering this component of the FUE to produce the best final results and the best “take” does take a special touch and technique which is uniquely used here at our center.
Interested in trying follicular unit extraction for hair restoration? Contact our office today for a consultation. Be sure to follow The Griffin Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest hair restoration news and information.
As leaders in the hair restoration industry, The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration & Research views researching and improving hair loss techniques as our responsibility. When patients have hair loss severe enough that it leaves no hair left on the head to harvest for traditional surgical hair transplant procedures, some ask if hair transplants from other parts of the body, such as the legs, is possible.
Hair along the hairline is usually finer than hair toward the middle of the head, which is often thicker and denser. When male pattern baldness occurs, also known as androgenetic alopecia, it most commonly begins above the temples, creating a receding hairline. Because leg hair is fine on most people, transplanting the hair from this area may provide a natural-looking hairline for patients, but may not have enough density to accomplish the task. Additionally, it may provide hair transplant patients with an alternative solution; however, there several problems that arise. Firstly, it is much harder to harvest, even when using the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique of surgical hair replacement. Secondly, normally the hair density on the legs and other parts of the body is very sparse. Lastly, the growth rate once transplanted is not as successful as from other areas of the body. Another area of hair growth which could be reasonably harvested is the underarms, and again, similar problems exist.
For body hair transplants, the most success is often seen with the hair from the beard (under the jawline), which provides a coarse, sturdy form of hair that grows long like scalp hair. Recently, Dr. Griffin exclusively used beard hair for a male patient to help improve the scars from the back of the scalp and to in general place the hair over the scalp wherever needed. This beard hair was coarse and served as excellent filler for the areas of loss. It was also greying very much like the rest of the scalp and fit into place in the scars and over the head. Another male patient was treated that same week with multiple FUE’s from the middle of the back of the scalp which was then placed in the scars which were caused by an automobile wreck. The first patient was white and the second was black: both produced excellent follicles which were taken by the FUE technique with placement in scars and bald areas. This technique worked well for the very curly hair of the black patient and the number of follicles per graft from both patients was about the same: mainly 2 hairs/follicular bundle with 3 per bundle in many.
For eyebrow replacement, underarm or nape of the neck hair tends to be shorter and more delicate than mid-scalp hair. If one eyebrow remains bushy, the follicles can be extracted from that side and placed on the one that is lacking. Arm hairs have been tried but do not seem to grow well. The hairs placed in the eyebrow continue to grow in the same pattern and length as the donor site. Therefore, most patients must cut the transplanted hairs which grow longer than the naturally shorter eyebrow hairs.
Hair specialists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Ashley Curtis work with each patient to devise the most effective plan for their unique hair restoration needs, whether through the surgical or non-surgical hair restoration route. It is important to note that body hair will never replace all the hair needed on the scalp unless that need is small as with the above cases. As each hair loss case is unique, the decision for using donor hair from other parts of the body for hair transplantation on the head must be discussed thoroughly during the consultation. Outcomes vary by each patient, however, the goal for natural-looking results remain a constant goal for all patients.
If you are interested in learning more about hair loss procedures and preventives please call to set up a consultation. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ for the latest hair restoration techniques.
At the Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis understand the desire to have a healthy-looking head of hair. Many people put in extensive effort to get frizz-free, voluminous hair, stocking their cabinets with products and contributing to the tens of billions of dollars spent by Americans each year on beauty products. However, how can one know if the products purchased will fulfill their jobs of plumping hair strands, promoting growth, and reversing damage? What happens when products do just the opposite?
In the last year, reports of smoothing keratin products causing chemically induced hair melting and hair damage have been circulating news outlets. The products, marketed to prevent frizz and straighten hair, contained formaldehyde when labeled formaldehyde-free. Instead of following through on their promised performance, the products left dozens of women with thinned and broken hair. We believe Keratin treatments are not only dangerous for your hair, but may not be safe in general for healthy hair.
With millions using numerous products, the chances of a product causing you a problem is relatively small, however, if you do have a reaction to a product it will likely be very destructive. It’s important to understand the risks of a positive or negative change when using any new product. When testing new products, we advise using one new product at a time to properly discern if there is a problem or not before adding a second new product. We recommended a trial period of at least 2 weeks before adding another product. Products rarely cause hair loss by themselves, but subsequent loss from damage is common when products are improperly used or abused. With so many products available on the market, how can you avoid the damaging ones?
Pay attention to directions and ingredients. Though Keratin treatment users were warned of the aforementioned products possibility of negative counteraction with certain hair types, wishes for smooth, effortless hair overrode proper discernment. It’s important to not be oversold on the promises of hair care products. For example, overusing products with “thickening agents” to give the illusion of thicker hair causes the hair shaft to swell, leaving it susceptible to breakage. Avoid applying heavy products to the roots and work from the bottom up. Use caution when selecting new hair care products and ask a hair specialist for advice on what products can aid in reaching your individual hair goals.
Steer clear of too many ingredients. Ingredients such as alcohol and sulfates dry the hair, making it more prone to breakage. Additionally, sulfates not only cause drying, but damage the hair shaft directly. Over-styling with hair sprays, styling gels, and holding creams can weigh down hair when used in your daily hair styling routine, drying and weakening the hair. Weak hair is more likely to split and thin out. Over brushing or using harsh destructive combs leads to more breakage than drying products do. To protect the hair cuticle and provide desired shine, seek products containing dimethicone.
Give it a rest. Make an effort to wear hair naturally for at least one to two days per week. If you must heat style, use a protectant spray or cream to ward off breakage.
Say goodbye to dye. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that hair dye is known to sometimes cause temporary hair loss as well as irritated skin. Hair dye is laden with harmful chemicals that cause extensive hair breakage and decrease in hair quality. Unlike pattern baldness, hair will regrow once usage slows or is stopped altogether. Fortunately, most damaging hair dyes have been removed from the market. We recommend adding an additional week between what your stylist recommends for hair processing sessions to lessen the overall exposure through the year to hair products and chemicals.
Embrace your natural style. Permanent treatment such as perms for curly hair can cause damage when an untrained person leaves the perming solution on the hair for too long or is too strong. Avoid damage by opting for your natural style or choosing a more experienced stylist.
At the Griffin Center of Hair Research and Restoration, Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis perform hair restoration surgery for patients experiencing hair loss for various causes, from pattern baldness to hormonal issues. Our doctors use the latest techniques for hair restoration, including microscopic follicular unit grafting and follicular unit extraction (FUE) with NeoGraft. Below, you’ll find effective tips for minimizing the risk of complications from your hair restoration surgery with healthy recovery.
Do not wash your hair immediately. Following the day of your hair restoration surgery, you will return to our office for your first post-operative appointment. At this visit, your hair will be shampooed and blow dried before Dr. Griffin examines your scalp. Your after-care instructions will also be reviewed with you for the next week, covering the approaches of modified hair care to be done for the next 4-6 days. After one week, the patient can typically shampoo and blow dry normally without restriction. Following your surgery, you will have additional post-operative appointments periodically.
Do not undergo chemical hair processing. After your procedure, it is essential to wait a full month at minimum to color, perm, or chemically treat the hair in any way. Drs. Griffin and Curtis recommend patients who undergo these chemical processing treatments to schedule them for the week prior to the procedure.
Limit strenuous activity. The recovery time is minimal for hair transplantation, but Drs. Griffin and Curtis insist that patients refrain from strenuous activities for one week following surgery. Usually patients return to work within two to four days following surgery. Use this time as an opportunity to properly rest and recover.
Follow customized post-op instructions. During consultation you will be given an overview of post-operative instructions. During your pre-operative appointment, we will review in detail everything you need to know postoperatively as well as give you written instructions. In addition, following the procedure, Drs. Griffin and Curtis and our hair transplant team will review the post-operative care plan with your designated driver, which should be arranged prior to surgery. You will also receive a “goodie bag” containing aftercare products. Immediately after surgery, a patient’s scalp will typically be pink with small scabs surrounding around the micro incisions. Any subsisting hair may be combed over the grafted area to make it less noticeable to camouflage your transplant surgery. Most patients feel comfortable being in public without wearing a hat within 5 to 7 days following surgery.
Be patient with hair growth and have realistic expectations. The first new grafts will start growing within two to four months following the procedure. However, it is important to note that hair grows in cycles, so new grafts do not all start growing at once. By the eighth month after the surgery, an estimated 90% of the grafts are growing. Once the transplanted hair grows out, the results should look completely natural even under careful examination.
On Friday, January 24th, 2014 join the providers of The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research for a special Lunch and Learn event. From 12:00pm to 2:00pm, guests to the event will receive lunch and an education on the latest hair loss and restoration technologies offered by The Griffin Center.
Board certified dermatologists Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis will be focusing on presenting the newest ways of hair restoration to attendees, including enlightening future patients on NeoGraft™, an automated hair transplant device used to assist Drs. Griffin and Curtis with the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique. Follicular unit extraction harvests hair to be transplanted into thinning or balding areas of the scalp in a minimally-invasive way.
They will also discuss other hair transplantation methods including Microscope-Assisted Follicular Grafting, and natural hair replacement surgery with follicular unit grafting. Additionally, non-surgical options such as over the counter oral and topical medications will be touched upon for those not yet ready for surgical hair transplantation.