Hair transplant surgeries are helping people get their hair back all over the world. They have become much easier in the last couple of decades with the arrival of more reliable and easier procedures. Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are the two most commonly practised methods in the world for this purpose. Any discussion about the hair transplant procedures cannot be complete without the mention of grafts. It is a term that is used all the time but what exactly does it mean and how does it affect the whole process?
What are grafts?
The follicular units that are inserted in the recipient sites of a hair transplant patient for the purpose of hair restoration as known as the grafts. The number of grafts in any transplant depends on a number of factors including the intended density of new hair, the type of procedure that is being used and the capacity of the donor area.
How are they extracted?
Grafts are extracted in different ways. In FUE, these are extracted with the help of a pneumatic punch which is able to take out one follicular unit at a time. In case of FUT, also known as the strip method, a strip of scalp is cut from the donor area. This strip is then dissected into individual grafts to be placed in the recipient sites for the purpose of hair transplantation. It is a long process and needs to be done with utmost care to ensure that minimum damage is done to the follicles during the dissection.
Preparing the Recipient Sites
Preparing the site where the grafts will be placed is crucial. The surgeon makes small incision with special needles for this purpose. Getting the angles right in this part of the hair transplant is imperative for getting the hair growing in the right direction.
Insertion of Grafts
Once the sites are prepared, the grafts are inserted into these sites. It is a slow and time consuming process. The front areas receive single hair grafts while the central forelock areas get 3-4 hair group to bring fullness. The patient undergoing the procedure has to stay still to ensure that the process goes smoothly. There is no issue with taking breaks.
Once the process is completed, the surgeon ensure that the transplant went according to plan. The new hair then go through shedding in a couple of months’ time and regrow. The hair take a completely natural look in about a year’s time.