DONOR AREA FAQs
The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research in Atlanta, GA provides answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about the donor area / scarring below. Contact us today for more information.
The follicular unit extraction technique will allow the donor grafts to be removed without having a linear scar along the back of the scalp. The patient will be left with hundreds, possibly thousands, of tiny circular scars along the donor area. Some physicians feel this is a more cosmetically acceptable type of donor scar. Although the scar is not a linear scar, it is scarring nonetheless. It is not possible to break the skin without creating some type of scar. Therefore, it is not possible to have a truly “scar-less” hair transplant.
Yes. There is a limit to how much hair can safely be taken during each hair transplant session. The donor area must be able to be closed without much tension on the area. If too much tissue is removed, the donor area cannot be closed easily and may result in more discomfort to the patient, as it feels “restricting and tight.” It is much safer to take a longer thin strip of tissue along the sides and posterior aspect of the scalp than a short, wide elliptical strip that may be difficult to close. Too much tension in the donor area can result in a scar that stretches and becomes thickened and wide. Dr. Griffin takes a thin strip of tissue that closes with ease, and results in a thin linear scar that is only 1-2 mm in width.
Androgenetic alopecia, or male/female pattern hair loss, involves loss on the front, top, and vertex of the scalp. It does not involve the sides and back of the scalp. The donor hair for the transplant is harvested from key areas on the sides and posterior aspect of the scalp, where hair is genetically programmed to stay. Because of this, it will not suffer and fall out from androgenetic alopecia. Even though the hair is transplanted to an area of hair loss, it will not change the genetic makeup of the donor hair. If all of the existing hair is lost from androgenetic alopecia, your transplanted hairs will remain. The only time all of the hair on the scalp will fall out is if the patient undergoes chemotherapy/radiation treatment, or there is a systemic illness that causes the loss.
This hair comes from “donor sites” located above the ears and at the back of the head. Hair follicles in these areas are genetically programmed to stay and not fall out from androgenetic alopecia. Hair that is removed from these areas will grow when transplanted into areas of hair loss.