What is a hair transplant and how it is done

What is a hair transplant and how it is done

Last Reviewed : 12/22/2020
What is a hair transplant and how it is done

As medical sciences continue to advance, it is amazing how the human body can be transformed. Consequently, people who have severe medical conditions can now be treated with advanced medical procedures. One of such procedures for dealing with defects in human body is hair transplant. In this piece, we will discuss what hair transplant is, the processes involved in it, and everything in-between.

Hair transplant:

Hair transplant is a technique that moves the hair follicles from the donor site to the recipient site. Donor site will be some other part of same person’s body from which hair follicles are taken and are used for transplantation on the recipient site.


Hair transplantation is used to treat:

  • Male pattern baldness
  • Restore eyelashes
  • Restore eyebrows
  • Restore beard hair
  • Restore chest hair
  • To fill in the scars caused due to accidents.


There are a number ofprocedures used to achieve hair transplant. Well, let’s break them down.

Preoperative advice:

  • Pre-operative minoxidil and vitamin supplementations
  • Stop medications, stop alcohol and smoking
  • Pre-operative antibiotics to prevent infections.


They are done mostly as an outpatient procedure under mild sedation or local anesthesia. Before the procedure, hair is washed with shampoo and an anti-bacterial agent is applied to treat the scalp prior to the procedure. The hair follicles that are to be transplanted are to be harvested from the donor site by two methods. They are:

  • Strip excision
  • Follicular unit extraction.

Strip extraction

This is a relatively easy procedure that requires less expertise. In this procedure, a strip of skin that contains hair follicles is excised from the hairy part - preferably from the posterior scalp where the density of hair is thick. All the follicles on the strip are intact. After obtaining the strip, dissect the individual grafts. Under the binocular stereo microscopic vision, remove the excess fibrous and fatty tissue from the individual grafts. These individual grafts are sutured or stitched or stapled over the recipient area. After two weeks, these sutures or stitches can be removed. The donor area is eventually covered by linear scar and hair grows over a period of time.

Follicular unit extraction

This is a relatively tough procedure that requires skilled expertise. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia. Micro-blades are used to dissect the areas which contain 1-4 hair follicles, and they are transplanted over the recipient site.


  • Larger areas need not be harvested.
  • No linear scar formation.
  • Only small punctuate scars remain that are not visible.
  • No suture removal.
  • Recovery within sevendays.


  • Multiple sessions are required.
  • Cost of the procedure is high.
  • Need skilled expertise.
  • A lowrate of success.

Follicular unit extraction is performed by robots under the guidance of the skilled hair transplant surgeon. But this further increases the cost of the procedure.

Postoperative advice:

Daily semi-permeable dressing should be donedaily. Protect the transplanted area from the sun and cover the head while out on work. Shampoo can be usedafter 3days. Also,note that shampoo application will remove all the scabs that are attached to the transplanted hair. Scabs, if present, can lead to loss of transplanted hair.

Side effects

  • Thinning of transplanted hair or loss of relocated hair.
  • Bald patches can be formed.

Please leave your comments:

Related Articles