- On November 9, 2017
If you have a hair transplant you expect it to take away your baldness completely, the large balding areas as well as the receding hairline. That makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, that’s what you came for in the first place. To regain the hair, you once had when you were younger.
In fact, hair transplantation is a process, a process of hair redistribution. There is no new hair involved, there is no cloning of hair (at least not yet), it is moving hair from one place of the head to another: redistribution! The surgeon will extract hair follicles, one by one, from the donor area and place them in the recipient part of the scalp, the balding areas.
The donor area is that part between the ears at the lower back of the head. In this part, the hair is resistant to the (male) hormone that causes hair loss, DHT – Dihydrotestosterone (testosterone is changed into DHT by certain enzymes in the blood). More than 50% of all men are likely to be confronted by this kind of male pattern baldness. And because the hair at the back of the head is resistant to DHT it is ideal as a donor, to the collect hair follicles from and to put them on the balding parts on the top of the head. To cover the baldness or to increase the density of the hair in the receding parts.
Approximately one third of the scalp can be used as donor area. However, it wouldn’t do any good to use all of it of course, because that would only solve a problem to create another: the top of your head newly covered with hair, but the back now completely bald. So you can only use a certain amount of the hair follicles that are available in the donor area for covering the balding areas on the top of the head. The maximum being 1/3 of the total amount of hair follicles available.
Per square centimeter, the average density of hair in the donor area is 90-120, say 100 follicular units or grafts as we call them, each unit containing 1-5 hair strands. In total, there will be 100 to 250 hairs per square centimeter. Heads differ from person to person. Some have a big head, others a smaller one, but on average a scalp is about 200 square centimeters. That means that if we would use all the grafts of the donor area we would have 200 x 100 = 20,000 grafts available for transplantation. But since we can only use 1/3 of that amount in order not to create new bald spots in the donor area, we can only use 20.000 : 3 = 6.600 grafts to cover the balding areas on the top of the head.
So the maximum number of grafts possible to be implanted is limited to 6,600. That makes it easy to understand that a completely bald head – a stage of hair loss known as Norwood 7 – can not be covered with a 100% density. There is simply not enough grafts to do it. So how can a hair transplant surgeon provide his or her patient with a Norwood 7 head with a satisfying result?
This can only be done when the surgeon accurately designs a strategy, containing a plan in which is determined how many sessions will be needed for FUE Hair Transplantation, the amount of follicular units that can be extracted at each of the sessions and at which exact spots of the scalp the grafts should be implanted.
For a natural result, it all starts with drawing a natural hairline, an art of its own. A natural hairline is based on age, type of hair loss and the probability of hair loss in the future. The implanting of the grafts collected from the donor area will start along the drawn hairline and from there to the receding and balding parts of the head. The grafts will be distributed in such a way that it will show an optimum result, with a nice appearance.
It is important to understand that not all 6,600 grafts can be extracted in one session. In Turkey, some of the top destinations for hair transplantation promise a maximum number of grafts in one session. But realize that they do not mean that it will be 6,600. It would simply be too much. Such an amount would ruin the donor area, showing empty spots and scars all over. Moreover, the follicles would probably not root in the recipient area, because it took too much time and they have been ‘outside’ the body for too long. So maximum means the maximum achievable in one session.
MCAN Health Turkey emphasizes that it is crucial to have a good planning. Surgeon and patient together should determine the strategy that will be the most successful in the given situation. Of course, MCAN Health surgeons will transplant the maximum amount of grafts possible in one session. But the amount itself is not the most important thing for them. Key to them is making the right choices. About the number of grafts that will stay alive and grow, about the hair follicles that will root. Success to MCAN Health is the final result, a head full of hair. Because in the end, that is what it is all about.