AUG 01, 2017 3:46 PM PDT

How Does Hair Transplant Work?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Given that hair is such a big part of our identity, it's no wonder that people all over the world are reluctant to lose their locks. In 2014, the worldwide number of people who received a hair restoration procedure totaled to more than 1 million. This marked a 64 percent jump from 2006. And, it's not just men who are unwilling to lose their hair without a fight - since 2006, the number of female patients for these procedures has increased by 11 percent.

There are two main surgical methods for hair restoration. In the first option, known as follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS), the surgeon removes a 6- to 10-inch strip of skin containing hair from the scalp, from which they will make 500 to 2,000 tiny grafts each with at least one hair. The second method is known as follicular unit extraction (FUE), and requires the surgeon to remove hair follicles one by one from a hair-dense area and transplanting those follicles to a bald spot.

While the procedures can help people regain their identity and confidence, it doesn't come cheap. A session may take 4 to 8 hours and cost between $4,000 and 15,000. Furthermore, after being jabbed hundreds of times, the scalp will be very tender and prone to infection. And to top it off, the results are not likely to be permanent. Watch the video to find out more, and weigh your options carefully!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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