From plugs to natural follicular units

01_hair_transplant_history_001Hair transplantation has evolved a long, long way since it began in the early 1950’s. The “corn row” or “doll’s” hair look that was associated with hair transplantation has evolved into today’s “follicular unit” procedure that, when done right, is undetectable even by a hair stylist.

The Concept of Hair Transplantation is Born

During the past several decades, superstition, old wives tales, and guess work has gradually been replaced by science.

In 1939, a Japanese dermatologist, Dr. Okuda, published a revolutionary method in a Japanese medical journal of using small grafts that was similar to the way hair transplantation is performed today.

This method involved using hair transplant grafts to correct lost hair from various areas, including the scalp, eyebrow, and moustache areas. However, this study didn’t make an impact in the Western Hemisphere due to the interruption of World War II.

Hair Restoration Comes of Age

01_hair_transplant_history_002In the late 50’s one physician in particular, Dr. Norman Orentreich, began to experiment with the idea of relocating or transplanting the hair on the back and sides of the head to the balding areas.

Dr. Orentreich’s experiments showed that when bald resistant hairs from the back and sides of the head were relocated, they maintained their bald resistant genetic characteristic regardless of where they were transplanted.

This principle, known as “Donor Dominance”, established that hair could be transplanted from the bald resistant donor areas to the balding areas and continue to grow for a life time. This laid the foundation for modern hair transplantation.


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