Undetectable Hair Transplantation
Transplanting of follicular unit micrografts is the most commonly chosen hair restoration procedure. When performed by a Foundation for Hair Restoration™ doctor, this technique results in hairlines that both look and function naturally, with minimal interference in lifestyle. Hair grafting has been performed for more than 30 years, but it is only in the past five years that technological advancements, as well as a greater appreciation of hairline aesthetics, have truly made the results of this procedure virtually undetectable.
Since 1993, the surgeons have been using only the most modern techniques, which includes the removal of only a single strip of donor hairs from the back of the head with each session, plastic surgery closure of the donor area resulting in a single fine line from where the hairs were removed, proper hairline placement, and the use of exclusively micrografts and, in select patients, mini grafts. Since 1999, Dr. Epstein has been a leader in the most modern technique of microscopic follicular unit grafting. By taking hairs from the back of the head from areas that are not susceptible to ever going bald, and transplanting those hairs into bald or thinning areas on the top and front of the head, a permanent and natural-appearing full head of hair can be attained using the individual’s own hairs.
Dr. Epstein and the surgeons at the Foundation for Hair Restoration are capable of transplanting several hundred grafts to as many as 4,000 grafts in a single, virtually painless procedure lasting only several hours. The procedure is performed in the office, in a sterile, safe, yet comfortable environment.
Dr. Epstein has one of the only, fully accredited AAAHC operating rooms used exclusively for hair restoration, assuring patients of the safest and fully sterile procedure. The majority of individuals choose to have the procedure performed under local anesthesia with a mild short-acting sedative. For the small number of more anxious patients, heavier sedation is available. To achieve anesthesia painlessly, the Wand, a computer-controlled device, is used. Whatever the type of anesthesia, patients report the procedure to be comfortable and enjoyable, and whatever discomfort is felt, it is much less than going to the dentist and is a small price to pay to have a lifetime of growing hair.
Each follicular unit micrograft contains one to three, occasionally four hairs. Usually a combination of these different sized grafts is used in the hair restoration, with the one-hair grafts going up front in an irregular pattern along the hairline, and the two- and three- hair grafts placed further behind to create more density. To attain the most natural result each graft contains a single follicular unit, the collection of usually two to three hairs all within a tiny bunch, which is the way that hair grows in most individuals. By transplanting using follicular units, the way hair grows naturally; the results of the hair transplantation are virtually undetectable. Precise planting of the transplants in a random pattern results in a hairline that does not look like a line. Follicular unit grafting is the most advanced procedure, requiring a team of trained assistants to cut each graft under the microscope.
Patients leave the FHR bandage-free. Antibiotics and medicine to reduce the chance of swelling are taken the first three days after the procedure. Mild pain pills are taken, if at all, the first night or two to make sleeping more comfortable; any discomfort is from the donor site where the stitches are located. The day after the procedure patients return to the office to have their hair shampooed and combed, and can return to work and most regular activities. Weight-lifting, heavy exercise and swimming can be resumed after one week.
The transplanted hair begins to grow in three to four months. To help accelerate the growth of the transplants, our doctors place most patients on Minoxidil 5%, to be applied nightly until the hairs begin to grow. In a small number of patients, many of the hairs begin to grow immediately after transplantation, providing even more rapid results. In many patients, a second, and occasionally a third, procedure is performed as soon as four to six months later to further increase the density of the hair. In some patients, subsequent procedures are only performed after there has been more hair loss in the future, after a period of several years. Except in the minority of cases, hair loss is progressive for the rest of an individual’s lifetime. Any hair restoration process performed by the Foundation’s team will include planning for this future hair loss, making the results of the hair transplant look good today, as well as in the years to come.