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Hair Transplantation

Hair Transplantation is simply transfer of living hair from one area of the body to the other. There are three basic plastic surgery principles behind hair transplantation. The first principle is autografting, the second is DHT resistance and the third is donor dominance.

The principle of auto grafting means that the donor and the recipient of tissue must come from the same person. This common principle is widely used in plastic surgery, while skin grafting the burn patients. In fact, it was in a burn scar patient that hair transplant was first attempted and found successful. In hair transplantation practice, this means that only you can donate a hair follicle to yourself. No one else, not even the closest relative, with the exception of identical twin, can donate hair roots to you. If someone else's hairs are implanted in your body they will not survive as your body will consider it a 'foreign' tissue and 'reject' it.

The second principle is that the donor hair must be permanent, or in technical words, DHT resistant. That means hairs from the back and side of scalp, facial and body hairs can be used for hair transplantation. These hairs do not get destroyed by hormones as compared to the hairs on the front and top of scalp and keep growing throughout life. The DHT resistance is a genetic trait and that is why some people may have a wider donor zone than others. However a "Universal Safe Donor Zone" is present in all individuals that always contain DHT resistant hairs and can be utilised in every hair transplant.

The third principle of hair transplantation is donor dominance. It says that even after transfer to another area, the donor follicles behave in the same manner as they would have behaved, if they were not transferred. In simpler words, donor hairs maintain their characteristics and are not affected even after their transfer to bald recipient area. This means, that colour, calibre, growth potential and DHT resistance are all maintained like donor hairs in these newly transplanted hairs. That is why hair transplantation results are permanent. Some surface characteristics like hair wave may come after few years of transplant.

It is important to understand that the process of hair transplantation is an amalgamation of artistic eye and surgical dexterity. The surgeon must create a beautiful yet natural hair line that complements the patient's face, while keeping his restoration wishes and donor supply in mind. It would be foolish to assume that further hair loss is not possible and therefore follicular currency should be spent wisely the first time. Well-designed but poorly executed transplant will only result in poor growth & hair wastage and therefore, surgical experience of the team is also very important. Fragile hair roots can be easily crushed, dessicated and destroyed by a casual hair transplant surgeon, and would ultimately result in follicular wastage.

In the following sections, we have given you an overview of various hair transplantation techniques, candidate selection, post-operative course and cost of getting a good hair transplant.

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