What is Male Pattern Baldness (MPB)?
Androgenic alopecia or Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) The male hormone testosterone and an enzyme 5Alpha Reductase form DHT, the DHT triggers off the progressive weakening of the hair follicle until no hair is grown back. MPB affects the top of the scalp (recipient area) but leaves a band of hair around the sides and the back (donor area). The area of hair loss is measured by the Norwood scale, from hair line loss being NW2 to progressive loss to the crown being NW7
How does a Hair Transplant work?
A Hair Transplant moves hair from the donor area to the recipient, it is impossible to replace like for like so a hair transplant relies on the skills of the doctor to place the hair in such a way light is blocked from reflecting off the scalp thus giving the illusion of fullness
What is a Follicular unit (FU)?
A follicular unit is a natural group of hairs growing from the scalp, each contain from 1 to 4 hairs per FU. FU´s are also known as “grafts” but it is important to determine what a clinic defines as a graft
What Techniques are available?
There are two recognised techniques being used today, FUT and FUE; one is not better than the other and both have pros and cons so it is important to understand why one maybe better used in your case, especially for long term planning. The techniques differ mainly in the extraction of the hair from the donor area
FUE & FUT Technique:
How are the follicular units removed? FUE relies on a cylindrical punch surrounding an individual FU (blind extraction) in the donor area and then it is removed; FUT relies on the FU´s being removed in a single strip from the donor area and then individually separated under microscopes
FUE reduces the density of hair in the donor area as the surface area does not change
FUT; the size is dependent on the skin laxity (elasticity), even though the hair has been removed the donor hair density reduction is negligible
FUT leaves a single linear scar in the donor area hidden by the surrounding hair
FUE leaves multiple small cylindrical scars around the donor area
Both easy to camouflage with minimal hair length
Due to the extraction process with FUE there is a danger of over harvesting the donor area, especially with an average donor hair density when treating high Norwood scale hair loss sufferers because the safe donor surface area is also reduced
FUT, relies on skin laxity in the donor area, the tighter the laxity will reduce the number of grafts that can be harvested. With average to good laxity 5000 plus grafts can be achieved in a one day procedure
The harvesting method is not a matter of taste but a matter of necessity. Each patient will have different characteristics and these should be taken into account when deciding on the best technique that should be employed*