We have explained the difference between bespoke recipient site and graft placement compared to low-cost hair transplants. Part 1 of this article does low-cost hair transplants mean low quality. Especially compared to a bespoke hair transplant. We discussed how an important aspect of the low-cost hair transplant is speed. Being able to perform many hair transplants in a day. Opposed to a bespoke hair transplant which takes much longer due to intense protocols. In this article, we will discuss the difference in donor hair management. Does low-cost hair transplants mean low quality or can you have the best of both worlds?
Bespoke Hair Transplant Protocols
Compared to other cosmetic procedure and hair transplant take s a great deal of time to perform. The Doctor´s time is taken up during the hair transplant procedure. Performing vital aspects for both the FUT and FUE techniques. When not physically being active in the hair transplant they will be checking and monitoring the technical team. Ensuring the graft quality is maintained. The graft placement is correct. It´s the details that make for the best hair transplant results. That and a good candidate with good hair characteristics. But, the detail in the execution of the hair transplant procedure. Maintaining strict protocols that are adhered to. Will ensure the best hair growth and donor hair management.
A major evolution in improving surgical hair restoration has been good donor management. Being able to harvest natural growing groups of hairs known as Follicular Units (FU´s). Containing one to four hairs. Whilst causing minimum change to the donor characteristics. Be it after one or multiple hair transplant procedures.
Devil is in the detail – Donor Hair Management
Each hair transplant technique can be performed multiple times. As a result, can treat progressive hair loss. Or, simply cover a larger area of hair loss. Donor management allows the sensible and ethical distribution of hair to gain the maximum result for the patient.
FUE relies on the candidate having a good donor hair density. Especially when treating advanced hair loss patterns. The FUE donor surface area is wide. From one side of the head to the other. Rising from the nape areas up. How far up depends on the hair loss pattern. Maybe around the sideburn area are very strong with no signs of receding. Or showing very obvious signs that this area is weak. If weak the area has to be discounted for harvesting any grafts. One, because it will thin and secondly that the FU may not be DHT immune.
Planning the safe zone
By dividing the safe zone into areas helps to calculate the safe zones. As well as the safe number of hair follicles to remove within the area. The sides have a lower hair density. Compared to the back. Can be up to 20% lower. As well as a greater concentration of single and two hair units around the sides. With a greater concentration of three and four hair units at the back. This calculation is vital. Calculating the safe distribution of extraction. To maintain a natural looking hair density. As if no hair has been removed.
FUE relies on a wide donor surface area. Future hair loss needs to be predicted. Otherwise, hair follicles will be taken from an unsafe zone. As a result, will fall out later. Damaging the FUE hair transplant result.
Shaving the donor area allows for the best donor hair management. The hair density can be correctly measured. Any weak hair can be isolated easily. The demarcation line can be easier to identify.
The first hair transplant will set the tone for the remaining quality of the donor area. Too much removed. No attention to a harvesting pattern. Will result in poor donor management. As a result, less available hair and more damage in the future. So, low-cost hair transplants mean low quality?
How much hair is there to use?
Although minor hair loss is easy to treat. Long term hair restoration has to be the priority. If the donor hair characteristics are only good for one or even two hair transplant. Then the donor area does not have good hair characteristics.
Once the surface has been measured and the density/hair average taken. It´s possible to have an accurate calculation of how many FU cover the safe zone. This is not the number that can be taken. But the total number in the area.
How much of the total amount can be taken?
Can it be removed in 1 hair transplant?
Is it better divided over multiple hair transplants?
Any percentage can be removed obviously. When will it become obvious? Cause patchy looking hair growth. Or, obvious scarring or hairless areas. Hair thinning is obvious after a 40% reduction in hair density over the top of your head. The same principle applies to the donor area. Depending on the hair characteristics around 30% is a safe number to be removed. Even this percentage is over multiple procedures. To give an idea of average hair characteristics the % numbers can vary between:
What does 30, 40% equate to in hair numbers? Your Doctor takes their initial calculation. The total number of hair follicles in the safe zone. Then a simple percentage of that figure can be generated.
18,000 Follicular Units @ 30% = 5400 grafts
15,000 Follicular Units @ 40% = 6000 grafts
12,000 Follicular Units @ 30% = 3600 grafts
Is Your Doctor Using An Educated Harvesting Pattern?
A harvesting pattern is the form of the extraction within the donor area. How wide the extractions are spread around the donor area. The distance between each extraction. The entire safe zone should be sued. Within reason regardless of the graft numbers required. The wider the pattern the less change to the donor hair density and hair characteristics. This is vital for good donor management. Leaving an even balanced hair density.
So, why a Bespoke Hair Transplant Protocols
Often the donor is forgotten about with a hair transplant. it´s all about the hair growth. But when hair loss progresses the donor is a vital characteristic. Or if left with visible scarring or patchy hair growth. All of a sudden the hair growth result loses the quality.
Plans for future hair loss
Multiple FUE sessions can treat advanced hair loss
Little to no different look to your hair around the back and sides
Greater flexibility with hairstyles, short or even shaved maybe possible
No need to use concealers to make your hair look normal
More natural hair styling possible
Better hair coverage with fewer hair grafts/follicular units
So, What advantages are there to faster hair placement methods?
With less understanding of anatomy, graft extraction is simply nothing more than creating a cut to the skin. No skill. No understanding of depth control, orientation or angle of the extraction.
The microcirculation is just beneath the hair follicle. If the incision is too deep this can be damaged. It is essential to minimise trauma to the skin tissue. Excessive trauma can create excessive scarring. Often cause long term numbness. Occasionally also permanent shock loss.
Speed orientated hair extraction can remove 1000´s of hair units in a few hours. With no protocols for the pattern of extraction. No educated harvesting protocol is much faster. There is no need to monitor the hair density or the average hair numbers in any specific area. The focus is simply on the hair extraction. Reaching the required numbers for that procedure.
The Doctor is not making the punch extractions. There is little to no understanding of angle and orientation. For example how the hair exits the scalp is not the same as the position under the skin.
Expectations of perfection or speed, but not both
Enough importance cannot be given to having an educated donor management plan. So, low-cost hair transplants mean low quality? It´s a time-consuming aspect of the FUE hair transplant. Painfully slow. But the patience and care will show in the result. Improved cosmetic results that are permanent. Less risk or damage to the hair and skin. A superior result, in general, can be achieved from custom design donor management.
For more information on donor hair management. Including a bespoke hair transplant versus low-cost examples request more information today.