All of life’s great inventions and creations had to begin somewhere. Each product, procedure, and service has an exciting and intriguing journey that it’s embarked on to get where it is today. And hair transplantation is no exception. This surgery has been helping people combat hair loss for over 70 years now. However, the treatment is very different now from what it was when it first came on the scene many years ago. Below we’ll discuss the history of hair transplant.
Hair transplants today
Today, hair transplant surgery is commonly known as follicular unit transplantation (FUE).
Today, the public often uses the terms hair transplant surgery, and follicular unit transplant interchangeably. However, that is not right. Numerous operations fall under the category for hair transplant. Therefore, FUE is a surgical procedure out one of many that fall under hair transplant.
Today, hair transplant surgery is commonly known as follicular unit transplantation (FUE). This procedure is famous for permanently and successfully reversing hair loss. Hair loss usually occurs because the follicular units in the are of hair loss are weaker than the rest. They are usually more sensitive to male hormones and hence prone to shrink and stop growing hairs. As stated earlier, the strength and resistance of follicular hair units are not even throughout the scalp.
This technique takes advantage of this fact, and transplants the hairs from whole regions to regions of hair loss. Since the newly relocated units are guaranteed to be hairloss resistant, the results are long term.
1939: When hair transplant surgery first came on the scene
However, FUE is entirely different from the very first hair transplant surgery. In 1939 a Japanese doctor, Dr. Okuda published his groundbreaking invention: Hair Transplantation. He initially dedicated his work to hair loss due to traumatic incidents such as scarring or burns. However, since then they have come applicable to a wide range of hair loss causes.
The first hair transplantation follicular unit transplantation (FUT) was comparatively more invasive than the modern FUE technique. Dr. Okuda’s pioneering method included the excision of strips of skin with high densities of hair and transferring them to areas of hair loss. This method left behind noticeable scarring, but as the wounds healed hair regrowth began.
Dr. Okuda’s invention might not have been perfect, but it paved the way to the current array of minimally invasive state-of-the-art techniques. The first enhancement that hair transplantation witnessed was by Dr. Tamura. Dr. Tamura focused his work on restoring body hair in women such as the pubic hair. To achieve his research aim, he needed to invent a way of extracting hairs that did not require the excision of skin strips. It was the result of his research that brought the initial FUE into existence.
For Dr. Tamura to restore body hair, he needed to individually extract donor’s hairs and relocate them to areas of hair loss.
FUE has since been the first choice of doctors and patients alike. It yields successful results with minimal microscopic scarring and rapid recovery periods.
Coming to America…
It was not until 11 years after the initial creation that America picked up on hair transplantation. The first ever hair transplant surgery happened in the early 1950s. However, it did not go very well, and Dr. Orentreich received negative feedback from the public because the result of hair transplant looked unnatural. Nevertheless, it was not all doom and gloom for Orentreich, as he unearthed a vital piece of information. He discovered that the back and sides of men’s hair are not susceptible to balding. This information is what shaped the hair transplants we know today.
The ultimate breakthrough came in the 1990s when follicular unit hair extraction (FUE) came onto the scene. FUE involves transplanting follicular units, which tend to contain between one and four hairs. It works by removing follicular units via a microsurgical extraction instrument and relocating them to bald areas. Even though FUE is minimally invasive surgery, it requires local anesthesia. The results are permanent and highly effective, which is why this is our chosen solution for hair transplants at Vera Clinic.