The Development of hair transplant procedures has evolved considerably since their conception. From the 1950s onwards, the only hair transplant technique available was standard punch grafting, which was problematic for a number of different reasons – the main one being that the result was much less than natural. By the late 1980s, a new technique had become the standard – mini-micro grafting. Again, the results weren’t very natural looking and patients were left feeling discouraged. Fast forward to the mid-1990s, and today’s FUT technique hits the market.
Standard punch grafting-
Hair transplant procedures in the 1950s onwards were vastly different from their modern replacements. Standard punch grafting involved taking large grafts the size of a pencil eraser containing around 25 hairs. These were then implanted in the area of hair loss – unfortunately, this technique left the donor area scarred in a checkerboard pattern, which was traumatic for patients. Also, due to the gaps left between the grafts, multiple procedures were required to try and fill them. Many patients were so dejected by the initial results that they decided not to complete the treatment, and thus still live with the unfinished results today. Even if patients did go the full course, they were left with unnatural-looking results, as hair loss progressed and moved away from the grafted areas.
Thankfully, hair transplant procedures were developed to include mini-micro grafting. This technique used smaller graft sizes of around 2-4 hairs, and only small slit incisions were made on the recipient area. This meant less trauma and scarring, and a larger number of grafts were able to be placed in one session. Strip harvesting was also created, which reduced scarring in the donor area and got rid of that awful checkerboard pattern.
Follicular unit transplantation-
Mini-micro grafting eventually made way to the hair transplant procedures we know and love – FUT. Grafts became even smaller, now known as follicular unit grafts with groups of 1-4 hairs. This meant that the grafts were able to be placed right next to each other in the recipient area, allowing for a natural and believable look. This is reflected today, as hair transplants now look so natural that nobody can tell when a friend, family member or popular celebrity has had one! This technique allowed physicians to treat new areas, such as the eyebrows and beards, which they weren’t able to do before. The possibilities for hair transplants are now endless!