FUE Hair Transplant VS Hair Plugs – Actually no dilemma at all!
Do you suffer from hair thinning but do you hesitate to go ahead with hair transplantation because of the failed result you see on your father’s head? Are you afraid that while trying to restore your hair density and only wish to take dietary supplements for hair loss?
It is true that hair transplants carried out until the 1980s produced poor results. The hair was growing in tufts like in dolls and the result was so unnatural. Of course, even this “doll’s hair” effect was considered a satisfying result at that time. In the last 30 years, however, hair restoration techniques have developed to a great extent and offer a natural result that goes unnoticed.
What are hair plugs?
The hair plugs technique first developed in the 1950s and was applied for at least 30-40 years as the “gold standard” of hair transplantation. Surgeons were extracting circular grafts from the back of the head, which contained about 20 or more hairs, and after creating small holes in the balding areas, they were implanting them as they were, without separating them. The tools they used were 3-4 mm in diameter, and the holes that remained in the occipital zone either healed on their own or were stitched up.
Usually several sessions were needed to achieve a satisfactory coverage of the balding regions. However, the large number of hairs per graft was the main reason for the unnatural result at the end. The large dimension and circular shape of the grafts left gaps between them, leading to an interrupted hairline.
Another major drawback of the hair plugs technique was the need for intensive scalp care after hair transplantation, as there was an increased risk of bleeding due to the size of the scars, and patients had to abstain for a long time from sports and other activities. The recovery period was long and painful, and so patients had to resort to painkillers or other non-medicated counter-pain methods. Even after healing, patients had hair styling limitations, since they had to avoid short haircuts so that the scars would not be visible.
What is FUE Hair Transplant?
In the 1990s, FUE Hair Transplant method succeeded the hair plugs technique. Surgeons stopped extracting large grafts from the donor zone and started extracting individual hair follicles, containing 1-4 hairs. The hair follicles are now carefully selected and placed in such a depth and direction that they provide a natural result both in the design of the frontal line and in their even distribution in the balding areas. Besides, as it is known, hairs do not grow in tufts, but one by one.
It is worth noting that in a survey conducted by ISHRS in 2010, 65% of the male respondents failed to identify the patient who had an FUE hair transplant between a group of participants.
Nowadays, the tools have a diameter of less than one millimeter (0.6 millimeters) and do not leave any scars on the donor area, allowing patients to choose a short haircut if they wish. FUE Hair Transplant is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require sutures and allows patients to return very quickly to their daily activities without limitations. Moreover, since hair follicles are taken one by one from the donor area, patients with a restricted donor area can also benefit from the FUE method.
In order to ensure a perfect result, nowadays there is the trichoscopy, a specialized examination which analyzes the characteristics of the scalp and contributes to the detailed planning of the whole procedure. In addition, modern therapies such as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) have been developed to enhance the survival of grafts and ensure the regrowth of transplanted hair follicles in the balding areas.
Which method should I choose?
The hair plugs technique is an antiquated method that no longer has any benefit for patients. The FUE technique excels at all points, offering a 100% natural effect, without pain, without scars, without stitches. In several cases, hair regrowth can be achieved in a single session. FUE does not pose a risk to patients either during the hair transplant or during the recovery period. It allows them to return very quickly to their activities without requiring any special care for new hair.
In fact, there is no dilemma about which method a patient should prefer today!