HAIR TRANSPLANT – GENERAL INFORMATION
The basic principle behind hair transplantation is quite simple.
The hair that grows in the lateral and occipital area of the scalp is permanent in most people.
This hair is not subject to fall even in people with a high degree of androgenetic baldness, since the follicles that are located in those areas are not attacked by the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
In Hair Transplant resistance or individual sensitivity of the hair follicles to DHT is a genetic characteristic of the same and remains when the follicle is transferred, through transplant, from one part of the scalp (or body) to another.
This phenomenon is called “dominance of the donor” because the hair retains its characteristic insensitivity to DHT it had in its constitution when in the zone from which it was taken (called donor area).
In Hair transplantation it is interesting to note that not all hair characteristics are controlled by the genetic information in the hair follicle. The fact that a hair is smooth or curly for example is determined by the surrounding scalp rather than the hair follicle itself. This explains why straight hair transplanted from the back of the scalp in the frontal area will become curly after a hair transplant, if the native ones were originally curly in the front of the scalp. The rate of hair regrowth and their final length are determined both by the properties of the follicle than those of the skin surrounding the transplanted hair.
HAIR TRANSPLANT – The number of follicular units
It is important to understand that in a hair transplant, the permanent hairs are simply redistributed to cover the bald or thinning areas of the scalp. Hair transplant surgery does not create new hair, it only changes the position of pre-existing hair. Despite this a well performed hair transplant surgery can significantly improve the appearance of a person suffering from baldness. If performed by expert hands, an hair transplantation is totally natural and the transplanted hair will continue to grow throughout the life of the patient.
In hair transplantation, the number of permanent hairs present in the donor area is one of the key factors in determining whether a person is a good candidate for surgery.
This element affects every single aspect of the surgical planning and determines the potential achievable density. A thorough evaluation of the available donor is therefore extremely important. The most accurate way to assess the donor area is through a densitometer or a video microscope, instruments that allow the surgeon to examine the follicles through appropriate magnification of the same.
Theoretically, when it be possible to clone hair, the limits imposed by the availability of hair in the donor area will disappear. In this case all people with hair loss will not only be candidates for a hair transplant, but they may reach the desired density and coverage. To date, however, this is not possible and the conscientious surgeon must always take into account the limited nature of the donor available.
HAIR TRANSPLANT – The skills of the surgeon
The hair transplant surgery requires from the surgeon who performs it both artistic and technical skills.
The physician should create a natural result that is in accordance with the availability of hair in the donor area, the characteristics of the hair of each person and the patient’s expectations.
The surgeon must choose an appropriate design not only in the short term but also for the future, when the patient will age.
In hair transplantation only artistic ability, however, is not able to ensure a successful intervention. The transfer of thousands of small follicular units requires high technical skills, which explains why the surgeon must be supported by a staff with great experience and preparation can lead to a complex and long-term intervention such as an hair transplant.
The surgeon must have a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the hair and scalp and fully understand all the diseases that can affect the scalp.
The hair restoration surgeon must also have knowledge of facial anatomy, have excellent surgical skills and have a comprehensive knowledge of the different techniques of intervention and the necessary actions to remedy poorly executed (so called cases repair).
The surgeon must undertake to keep updated on news in surgery and medical therapy or even better cooperate to progress. It is preferable that the surgeon devotes most of its business in the operating room to the execution of the hair transplant. It is virtually impossible for a surgeon who devotes a very small part of his time to hair transplant and who performs a few interventions per month, to offer results with excellent quality standards.
For more information about the surgeons please read: http://www.ishrs.org/