How Hair Transplants have evolved

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Modern medical science has transformed hair transplants from an old-wives tale to a treatment that is so refined that most hairstylists can’t even tell.Here’s how hair transplants have evolved from a myth, to a concept, to a treatment that has positively impacted the many lives:

In the Beginning…

Late 1800s: Cowboys and Outlaws

At the turn of the 19th century there were dozens of remedies, tonics and potions sold by “doctors” that claimed to restore hair.These salesmen were fast thinking and brave; selling their product to cowboys and outlaws at railway construction sites, circuses and exhibitions.Some even risked their life to con their customers into believing that their product worked, by rubbing grease into the hair of their assistant, to make it appear darker and fuller.

The 1930s: a Concept is Born

In the late 1930s a Japanese dermatologist named Dr. Okuda published sketches in a medical journal of small grafts that are strikingly similar to the hair transplant methods that are used today.The publication did not receive much attention in North America due to the start of World War II.

In the 1950s: An Industry Changing Experiment

Dr. Norman Orentreich began experimenting with the idea of relocating the hair on the back and sides of the head to the balding areas. His experiments showed that when bald resistant hairs from the back and sides of the head were relocated, they maintained their bald resistant genetic characteristic, regardless of where they were transplanted. This principle called, “Donor Dominance” paved the way for modern hair transplants. It proved his theory; hair could be transplanted from the bald resistant donor areas to the balding areas and this hair would continue to grow.

In the 60s and 70s: The Crude First Attempts

Although hair transplants were being performed, the result was not very natural looking.Large 4 mm “plugs” containing 12 -30 hairs were removed from the donor area.Donor hair could be depleted rapidly and the round, obvious scars left behind were difficult to hide.The recipient sites were made using a punch which would remove a cylinder of skin and the “plugs” were then inserted into these holes.Since this procedure involved large grafts, the patient was left with an obvious “pluggy” look that was difficult to conceal.Even after 4 surgeries, patients were limited to how they could style their hair.

The 1980s: An Industry Leap

Hair transplants significantly improved in the 80s.The leap was due to the use of small grafts instead of the larger graft method.These refined Mini and Micrograft procedures no longer used a punch to extract the donor grafts.Instead, a strip of bald resistant hair was surgically removed from the back of the head, and then trimmed into Minigrafts which usually contained 3 — 8 hairs and Micrografts which were often by products from Minigraft preparation or sometimes were intentionally prepared contained 1-4 hairs.The recipient sites were significantly smaller and made with a scalpel or needle.Minigrafts and Microgrfts were prepared with simple magnification or with the naked eye.The transplanted hair looked much less “pluggy” when compared to punch grafting.Oftentimes, two to four surgeries were required.

The 1990s: Refining Toward Modern Standards

The 90s introduced follicular unit hair transplantation or FUT.This procedure involves high powered magnification to view the follicular units in the donor tissue. A strip of bald resistant hair is surgically removed from the back of the head and follicular unit grafts are dissected in their naturally occurring follicular unit groupings under a microscope.The number of grafts transplanted increased enabling an area to be treated in one session rather than multiple sessions.Most agree that the results of Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation, FUT are significantly natural looking than it’s predecessors.

Modern Hair Transplants

The “FUT” procedure method has become so refined that many experts in the field believe that it has achieved the highest degree of potential.Most hair transplant centers or hair loss treatment centers in Toronto, have adopted this technique.Refined donor closures have considerably reduced visible scarring leaving patients with the option of wearing their hair short or long.The research and science that has gone into hair transplants have made this procedure safe — creating a treatment that has the patient in and out of the clinic in one day.Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation, FUT, produces a result that looks completely natural and results that are virtually undetectable.

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