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The history of Hair Transplant surgery

The History of Hair Transplant surgery

03 Feb, 2023

Hair Transplant in the 1930s

You may be surprised to know that hair transplant surgery originated in Japan in the 1930s as dermatologists worked to find a way to restore hair for burn victims and people with scalp injuries. One doctor, Dr. Shoji Okuda, was able to take grafts of hair-bearing skin from hair-bearing areas and implant them in hairless areas to cover up hair loss on the scalp, eyebrows and upper lip. While his work was designed to treat patients with traumatic alopecia, the techniques were eventually adapted to treat androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern balding). Unfortunately, due to World War II, this research remained unavailable to western physicians until much later.

Hair Transplant in the 1950s

The first successful hair transplant was conducted in New York City in 1952 by Dr. Norman Orentreich. His landmark findings were so astounding that the medical community was in disbelief and actually refused to accept his paper until 7 years later when his study was finally published in 1959.

Hair Transplant in the 1960s and 1970s

During these years, the standard of hair transplant procedures involved the use of larger grafts (commonly known as hair plugs) that were removed by round punches and often contained many hairs. Unfortunately, these plugs had an unnatural appearance, causing many people to form a negative opinion of hair restoration surgery in general.

Hair Transplant in the 1980s

The 1980s and 1990s brought significant improvements in hair restoration technology. The technique of using “micrografts” to implement smaller numbers of grafts allowed surgeons to soften the frontal hairline, making them look more natural. This micrograft technique eventually evolved into the foundation of today’s modern hair transplantation.

The Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT technique is a highly surgical process where a strip of skin is cut from the back of head resulting in a long scar. This technique, although archaic, is very popular as it minimizes surgery time for a surgeon given most part is outsourced to Assistants/ Technicians. Implantation is done by first creating slits in treatment area and placing the grafts into them with forceps, allowing little control over angle, direction and depth.

Hair Transplant in the 1990’s and 2000s

With advancements in technology, there also came a renewed focus on the importance of artistry in creating a natural-looking hairline and removing the shortcomings associated with FUT.

FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction technique is primarily an extraction technique where a punch is used to make small, circular incisions in the skin around grafts, using a motorized extractor, removing them one-by-one from the scalp. The holes heal throughout the donor area and are undetectable. There is no linear scar in this procedure. Implantation process is same as one in FUT.

DHI or Direct Hair Implantation is a refinement of FUE. Its Extraction process is similar to FUE except that DHI uses manual punches (old technique leading to low harvesting and graft survivability). Grafts are implanted using a Choi implanter, for greater control on depth, direction and angle of placement.

Hair Transplant today

Fast forward now, the modern hair transplant surgery is a safe, effective and relatively painless way to achieve a permanent, natural-looking hairline, it took years of research and scientific breakthroughs to become the established hair loss solution it is today.

Evolved Hair has adopted the Direct Follicle Insertion or DFI technique. It is the most advanced technique taking the best of FUE and DHI, perfected by evolutionary protocols. Extraction method is based on FUE technique (the most advanced motorized tool), the preservation method is inspired from best practices used in organ transplants and the implantation method leverages the DHI technique.

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