Hair transplantation surgery for the treatment of hair loss is more popular than ever. A biennial survey published by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) found that nearly 400,000 hair transplantation procedures were performed in 2014, an estimated increase of 28% over the previous survey, published in 2012. While many know that advanced follicular unit transplantation procedures are vast improvements over the mini and micro-graft procedures of the 1970’s and 1980’s, most are unaware that hair transplantation surgery can also be used for other, more reconstructive purposes, specifically to improve the appearance of scars on the head and scalp.
Scars form when the dermis (the thick layer of skin lying underneath the epidermis) has been damaged and the body produces fibers of collagen, a protein that occurs naturally in the body, to close the wound. Unfortunately, scar tissue formed during the healing process is not identical to the original tissue, and generally lacks the complicated organizational structure of tissue that has grown slowly over the years. Frequently, scars are flat and pale pink when compared to the surrounding skin. However, in cases when the body produces too much collagen, scars can be raised and dark, and when the underlying fat or muscle tissue has been lost, scars can take on a sunken or pitted appearance. If the initial damage was deep enough, the hair follicles underneath the skin may also be damaged, making it impossible for new hair to grow over the site. Obviously, this can be extremely problematic when dealing with wounds on the head, scalp, or face and this is where hair transplantation surgery can help.
During hair transplantation procedures, microscopic clusters of hair follicles, called follicular units, are removed from areas with thick hair coverage, such as the back or sides of the head, and are carefully grafted into the areas that need them. Ordinarily this is done with large numbers of follicles in order to cover regions that suffer the effects of genetic pattern hair loss, but the same procedure can also be used to place healthy, growing hair follicles into or around a scar, allowing new hair to grow over the scar and conceal its appearance. Because only a comparatively small number of grafts are needed, we often harvest them using the NeoGraft® hair transplantation device, which uses controlled air pressure to gently slide the grafts out smoothly, without pulling or twisting which can damage them prior to transplantation. At The Griffin Center, we have been performing hair transplantation surgery for nearly forty years, and have become extremely adept at placing and angling the individual follicular unit grafts so that they follow the natural growth pattern of the surrounding hair, allowing us to achieve results that look natural and seamless. Similar procedures can even be used during beard transplants in order to help men conceal scars on the face or neck.
The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research is respected worldwide as one of the leading centers devoted to the treatment of hair loss. If you have questions about any of the procedures and treatments that may be able to help your hair loss, or would like to schedule an appointment with hair loss experts Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.