FUE Hair Surgery May Be Right For You
The Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant surgery is a process where a hair surgeon will extract each hair follicle individually to transplant it to another area of the scalp affected by hair loss. For some time now, FUE hair surgery proved superior to the Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) method. However, the FUT technique is still widely practiced. In fact, we perform FUT surgeries here at Best Hair Transplant in Redondo Beach. That’s because in some cases, it’s a better option for patients than the FUE method.
As we slide into the middle of 2022, the wheels of science continue to churn, and researchers and hair transplant experts are constantly inventing new hair transplant techniques and technologies. While we haven’t quite achieved the flying car and robotic maid status portrayed by the Jetsons, science has come a long way in the last 30 years, and the hair transplant industry has advanced right along with it.
So has the great and effective FUE hair surgery been left in the dust of all the new inventions and research? Or is the FUE technique still the trusted go-to for the majority of hair transplant clinics? We know that hair clinics all around the world claim to be FUE clinics. How, ut does that mean they are still using the traditional methods?
Taking a Look at Hair Restoration Procedures
Today we will look at how the traditional FUE procedure is performed, and then we will be looking into all of the newest hair transplant technologies and techniques. That way we can try to determine if you would be better off dipping your toes into the future, or if tired and true FUE hair surgery is still the greatest technique around.
The Follicular Unit Extraction Process
With the FUT technique, the surgeon will remove a whole “strip” of hair-bearing tissue along the base of the donor area, then suture the scalp back together. Then the strip of tissue is dissected into individual hair follicles for implantation. The FUT procedure tends to leave a large scar along the donor area and patients experience more post-procedure discomfort with FUT than with FUE.
During an FUE hair surgery, the surgeon extracts hair follicles with great care. This allows the doctor to reduce the scarring that occurs and be much more precise with the extraction of hair so that they can control the appearance of hair along the donor area. The implantation process is very similar between the FUE and FUT techniques, with the doctor making small incisions in the scalp and implanting the extracted follicles into them.
Differences Between FUT & FUE Hair Restoration Surgery
The major difference between the two procedures is the extraction process. In an FUE procedure, the hair follicles are extracted using special 0.8 and 1mm micropunch tools, normally under 5x magnification. Each and every extraction must be done with great care and skill, so as to avoid damage to the root, or bulb of the hair follicle. This process makes the FUE procedure take a great deal more time than the FUT method but allows the surgeon to make sure that the extracted hair is even and will blend in with the rest of the hair on the scalp.
There are reasons why the FUE hair transplant will not be a good solution for a patient. For those with advanced stages of baldness, an FUE procedure would take a tremendous amount of time to complete due to the prolonged extraction process. Also, the patient would need a great amount of healthy donor hair to cover the balding area. In situations like this, a FUT hair transplant may be your best option.
The ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant
While the ARTAS hair transplant system doesn’t fly, it is a robot. The ARTAS system is a completely automated robotic arm that uses specialized technology to both extract and implant hair follicles. It claims to use digital imaging and artificial intelligence to plan and execute hair transplants. The ARTAS proponents claim that the robot can extract hair follicles with greater precision than a surgeon can have and will cause less damage to the follicle as well.
ARTIS claims to be minimally invasive and that patients can return to work and normal activities with seven days of the procedure, although they should still refrain from heavy exercise and alcohol for one week longer.
While all of the proponents of the ARTAS system claim that it is a fantastic new breakthrough in the hair restoration industry, it is far from a replacement for a skilled and experienced hair transplant specialist performing FUE surgery. ARTAS claims to have artificial intelligence that can predict how a hair follicle’s root will lie under the skin, however, no robot or AI can replace a decade of experience doing FUE procedures, regardless of how advanced it is.
So, is the ARTAS robotic hair transplant advanced enough to replace the hand of a skilled surgeon? Perhaps, but that day will likely be right around when you will feel comfortable getting into your automated, computer-driven car, and taking a quick nap while it drives you to work during rush hour.
Hair Cloning and Stem Cell Hair Restoration
We have all heard about the hype around stem cells and their ability to heal the human body. Stem cell research has progressed at a snail’s pace over the last 20 years due to strict federal restrictions. on how stem cells can be obtained for research. However, there has been some exciting research into stem cells and how they will influence the hair restoration industry.
All of us are born with all of the hair follicles we will ever need already nestled in our scalps. These follicles consist of thousands of stem cells called dermal papillae. These stem cells reside just under the hair follicle at the root or bulb. These stem cells can eventually die due to a variety of different reasons such as aging, genetics, testosterone, and cancer. As the dermal papillae die, the hair follicle will “miniaturize” and become dormant. Once a hair follicle goes dormant, it cannot be restored. (Kim).
Hair Cloning on the Horizon
Hair cloning is the scientific process where dermal papillae are replicated in a lab. Scientists have discovered how to isolate these cells from someone’s hair and then culture them in a particular medium that allows for the cells to multiply into thousands. There have been many attempts to replicate this process and then simply inject these cells into the scalp of a person who the scientists have gotten the cells from. Unfortunately, most of these experiments have failed when it comes to trying to rejuvenate dead hair follicles.
New research has shown that while “hair cloning” is still a process that will take years to perfect, combing the principles of hair cloning with other hair restoration modalities like Low-Level Laser Therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma injections may present an optimal strategy when it comes to hair restoration. (Dmitri Wall, 2022)
Stem Cells for Hairloss
While hair cloning doesn’t look like it’s going to be a substitute for FUE hair surgery any time soon, the uses of dermal papillae don’t stop there. The stem cells in hair follicles may rejuvenate underperforming hair. 100 or so hair follicles are removed from the back of a patient’s head using an FUE process and Cryo-preserved in a tissue bank. This stops the aging process of the hair follicle. Then, when the patients experience hair loss, the hair follicles are processed and the stem cells are isolated, cultured, and multiplied in a lab. Finally, they inject the multiplied hair follicles into the hairloss patient’s scalp. (Kajiura, 2015).
While the basic science behind this research seems to be sound, researchers are still in the beginning stages of this research. The process is still far from clinical trials. For now, it can only be done in the UK as it is not FDA-cleared at this time. However, CBD is also in a similar boat. It too goes unapproved by the FDA, and we all know plenty of people who’ve changed their lives thanks to CBD. As such, many LA stem cell clinics offer the procedure, and patients continue to rave about the results.
NeoGraft Hair Transplant
The NeoGraft hair transplant is basically an FUE hair surgery that uses a specialized hand-held tool to that automates the FUE extraction and implantation process. The Neograft machine claims that the automated process “removes the chances of human error” and that there is less follicle damage in a NeoGraft procedure.
Research shows that the NeoGraft machine requires a steep learning curve for the individuals who use it. The issue with NeoGraft is that it is marketed as an “automated FUE surgery” technology to clinics that do not specialize in hair transplants. The NeoGraft marketing team seems to target dermatologists who do not offer hair transplants as a service. They sell the machine to doctors who do not know how to use it, or how to perform a successful FUE hair surgery without offering any training in the use of the machine.
Nothing Beats the FUE Hair Surgery
We have discovered that there are a lot of upcoming advancements in the hair restoration industry. The ARTAS robot uses artificial intelligence to predict how hair follicles lie under the skin and the NeoGraft machine does the extraction and implantation itself. In a few years, you may just be able to go into an FUE clinic and sit in a chair while robots and computers do your hair transplant by themselves. Chances are in 60-70 years that technology advances enough that you won’t end up looking like you were just struck by lightning as well.
Unfortunately, that day is many years in the future. With the invention of things like self-driving cars and “smart homes,” we have come to realize that nothing beats good old-fashioned human skill and experience. Technology is great to help make our lives easier. However, when it comes to the important things in our life, like our appearance and health, it’s best to not trust that brand-new hair robot.
Here at Best Hair Transplant Los Angeles, we are an FUE clinic with humans, not robots. We believe doctors should be hair experts in FUE hair surgery. When you come into our office, you’re in good hands. We’re skilled professionals with years of experience in FUE transplants. You won’t find any robots or dermatologists here at Best Hair Transplant Los Angeles. Our hair transplants experts make sure you get back your head of full, thick hair.
Affordable Los Angeles Hair Transplants
Best Hair Transplant is the best place to schedule your hair transplant in Los Angeles. We’ve helped both men and women regrow their lost hair. But don’t take our word for it. We suggest learning as much as possible about hair restoration. Do so prior to making a decision on how to address your hair loss. Not every procedure is right for everyone.
At Best Hair Transplant, we’re proud of our results and happy to provide hair restoration services. Additionally, we’re proud to make hair transplants affordable and help you save money on a variety of hair transplants. To ensure your ease of mind, you can view our customer recommendations HERE. Furthermore, you can also see our Google reviews and Yelp reviews. We can’t wait to help you start restoring your lost hair.
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- Dmitri Wall. (2022). Advances in hair growth. Faculty Reviews.
- Kajiura, S. (2015). Cryopreservation of the Hair Follicle Maintains Pluripotency of Nestin-Expressing Hair Follicle-Associated Pluripotent Stem Cells. Tissue Engineering. Part C, Methods.
- Kim, J.-C. (n.d.). Hair Cloning and Follicular Cell Implantation. Hair Restoration Surgery in Asians.