Follicular Unit Transplantation

Gold Standard for Hair Restoration

The state of the art techniques used by Dr. Barr are internationally considered the “gold standard” in surgical hair restoration. The Follicular Unit Transplant requires more time, care, precision and artistry on the part of the surgeon and staff, but offers many benefits to the patient. The high densities of transplanted hair achievable using this technique will typically produce the appearance of fullness even after only one restoration session. Due to the extremely small recipient sites, patients also experience rapid healing with no visible skin changes or scarring.

Extracting Donor Grafts 

Dr. Barr uses two methods to harvest follicular units from the donor areas on your scalp: the strip excision method and the follicular unit extraction method.

The Strip Excision Method

With the strip excision method, a narrow strip of hair is obtained from the back of the head.  Due to the position of the strip and precision of the closure technique, the donor site is “invisible” immediately after it is taken.  Dr. Barr uses his own modification of the trichophytic closure to close the incision. The edges of one side of the wound are trimmed and sutured so that the hair from that side grows through the scar. This suturing technique leaves the patient with a barely noticeable scar in the donor area.

The tissue that was removed is then precisely dissected into thousands of follicular units containing between 1-4 hairs. This is performed with extreme care under high resolution microscopes to avoid disturbing the components of the follicle that provide strength and vitality.

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Follicular Unit Extraction

Where appropriate, Dr. Barr also uses follicular unit extraction (FUE) to harvest the follicular units for hair restoration surgery. The follicular unit extraction method is one of the most recent advancements in surgical hair restoration, and involves the use of a small micro punch tool to extract single follicular units from the scalp.  This avoids the linear incision caused by the single strip harvesting method. The small wounds caused during the extraction process do not require suturing and heal within one week. The transplantation of the individual follicular units is no different than the transplantation that follows the single strip harvesting method. FUE leaves a virtually invisible mark in the donor area and physical activities can be resumed immediately after the procedure.

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Not all clients are candidates for the FUE method of harvesting. It is recommended for certain patients and under certain conditions which can be determined only during the consultation process.

Strip Excision vs. Follicular Unit Extraction copySome situations where FUE may be recommended:

  • Patients present with only limited hair loss
  • Patient requires only a small area treated
  • Patients who like to wear their hair very short
  • Patients with very low donor supply, a scarred donor area or very tight scalps
  • Patients who tend to heal with wide scars

The type of donor harvesting method that you will require will be based on Dr. Barr’s assessment of your hair loss, as well as your skin and scalp characteristics and will be discussed with you during consultation.

Graft Placement

The follicular units that have been extracted using either the strip excision or follicular unit extraction method are then re-implanted into area of the head with thinning hair. A precision instrument is used to make thousands of recipient sites and the hair grafts are meticulously placed into these incisions. Dr. Barr’s experience at recreating a natural hair line and hair density combined with the precise placement of each individual follicular unit, results in a hair restoration procedure that successfully creates a completely natural look.

As natural hair growth is nonlinear and irregular, the intact follicular units are placed closely together on the scalp in an irregular pattern to simulate a natural hair growth pattern. The actual placement of the follicular units will be customized to accommodate the patient’s personal goals and unique needs. They can be precisely inserted into areas of hair loss in such a manner that the outcome is incredibly natural looking. This highly specialized process ensures the maximal survival and growth of the transplanted hair. Dr. Barr also varies the angle and direction of the tiny recipient sites so that the transplanted hairs grow out at natural angles and directions.

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