The question that comes up more than most is – will I get full coverage from a transplant? In other words, there is a natural and understandable desire to be able to run your fingers through a full head of hair again.
Transplantation, not generation
The first thing to remember is that this procedure – called Follicular Unit (Hair) Extraction – is technically one of hair re-distribution. No matter how skilled a practitioner is they cannot conjure up new hair nor create new hair follicles; it has to be transplanted from other parts of the scalp where the existing hair is thickest and placed carefully into the area that needs coverage.
How much hair can be harvested?
To answer the question of how much coverage you can expect to gain from a transplant we must first explain why donor hair is taken from the back or sides of the head. Simply put, it is because this area is resistant to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness. This is why it is rare for men to lose hair from these areas of the head and why donor hair is extracted from here in order to cover a bald area or increase hair density in receding areas.
Depending on the area to be covered there is only so much hair available for extraction from the donor area in order to avoid damage to this part of the hair.
A follicular unit, or graft, contains 1-5 hair strands and on average there are 90-120 units, or 100-250 hairs, per square centimetre. Around a third of all follicles in the donor area may be extracted.
With a FUE transplant there could be on average a maximum of 6,600 units available which seems like a lot but if there is extensive baldness over a large area then it is unrealistic to expect 100% coverage from a transplant.
Planning for the best coverage possible
Not all of the 6,600 grafts can be extracted at once; you may need several sessions for this. Our experienced transplant surgeons will therefore carefully plan how the grafts are to be extracted so as to avoid creating bald spots in the donor area and will take into account future hair loss possibilities. Rest assured the result will be a pleasing outcome and an attractive head of hair.
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