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How Do Hair Transplants Work? | Earth Lab

How Do Hair Transplants Work? | Earth Lab

Let’s talk about hair. Some of us will apparently
spend a year and a half over our lifetime, just washing, brushing, styling and generally
fiddling with our hair. Not me of course, I just wake up like this. With hair transplants beginning to take root
in the public consciousness, I’m here to tell you how they work. We are covered with hair. Our entire bodies
have the ability to grow hair, with the exception of our lips, the palms of our hands, and the
soles of our feet. That hair differs all over the body, but the
way it grows is pretty much the same. Just underneath the skin, all bundled together
with things like nerves, blood vessels and sweat glands, are our hair follicles, where
individual hairs gradually increase in length as more cells are added to the base over time. As part of their natural cycle, hairs stop
growing and fall out of the follicles, to be replaced with new ones. When someone plucks
their eyebrows, it’s only a short-term solution because the follicle can simply grow a new
hair. The problem comes when, for some reason or
another, the hairs stop coming. And this can be caused by a number of things, like a major
trauma to the skin leaving scar tissue without any follicles. And without follicles, you
can’t grow hair. In another very common case, the follicles
simply…stop. They’re still there, like the perfect hair-making machines they are,
but a hormone called di-hydro-testosterone comes along to interfere and switch them off. Although both men and women can suffer from
this type of hair loss – alopecia – it’s most often seen in men, where the follicles
around the hairline, the top of the head, and right back to the crown, have the receptors
for that particular switch-off hormone, and gradually just stop producing hair. Once the
old hairs fall out, you’re left with what’s known as male-pattern hair loss. In both of these cases, hair transplants offer
a solution, by transplanting not just the hair, but also healthy follicles, into the
areas that need them. Surprisingly perhaps, hair transplants kicked
off in the 1950s, when doctors first realised that you could remove a hair follicle from
one part of the body and successfully install it into another part. In cases of male pattern hair loss, there
tends to be a safe zone of permanent hair growth around the back and sides of the head,
from which healthy follicles can easily be extracted. But, early transplanting efforts tended to
give less than ideal results. Surgeons would remove small patches of skin
around three or four millimetres across, each of which would contain around 20 hair-growing
follicles. These ‘plugs’ – as they were known – would
then be inserted into small holes or slits made in the hairless area in a kind of grid
pattern. The problem with this is that the follicles
grew alright, but they grew exactly where they were put, and not where they weren’t,
so the transplanted hair had the look of these weirdly regular tufts, very much like doll’s
hair. Which I don’t think is a favoured look for
anyone. Thankfully, medical science has moved on in
leaps and bounds in the last few decades, and hair transplanting is now an almost unthinkably
delicate and thorough procedure. Instead of transferring around twenty follicles
together, most modern transplants move just one or two at a time, in what are called ‘follicular
units’. To get an idea of how crazily laborious that
is, take a look at your own hair in the mirror, and see how densely packed those hairs and
those follicles are. Imagine picking them out and putting them back in one by one. And
don’t bother trying to count them by the way – there can be 100 follicles in every
square centimetre. So how do you separate all of those follicular
units? One technique is called the strip method or,
more ominously, Follicular Unit transplantation. It involves removing a thin strip of hairy
skin from the safe zone at the back of the head, then, with a very sharp eye and an even
sharper scalpel, slicing it up into individual follicles. The follicular units are inserted into small
slits in the skin of the bald area, and the wound at the back of the head is closed with
stitches or staples. While this method lets surgeons get at potentially
thousands of follicles in one go, it relies an awful lot on a steady hand, and leaves
the patient with a long scar that cuts right across what was their best bit of hair. One way of getting round this is to go for
a different technique, called Follicular Unit extraction. Instead of slicing out a big portion of skin
in one go, this method uses a punch tool that looks like a tiny drill almost, to cut around
individual follicular units, leaving the rest of the skin intact. What’s left behind is a whole load of tiny
circular holes that heal to leave barely perceptible scars. It thins the hair in the safe zone,
but not too noticeably. The follicular units from this extraction
method are implanted into slits in the balding area just the same as with the strip method. And at this stage there’s as much art as
science involved. It’s the job of the surgeon to make sure the new hairs blend seamlessly
into the existing hair. This involves drawing a realistic hairline and using single follicular
units at the edge to make a finer transition. Then, multiple units containing two or three
follicles are put in on the top of the head to give a denser covering. During a single, very long procedure, up to
several thousand individual follicles are painstakingly removed and reinserted into
the scalp. It can then take up to 18 months to see the effects as new hair grows in. However, sometimes, the healthy follicles
in the safe zone aren’t enough to cover the area needing attention. In the past, that would have meant making
a compromise. Perhaps settling for a more wafty do, or a more creative hairline. But some surgeons are pioneering techniques
to take follicles not only from the head, but from other parts of the body. Body hair transplants involve taking hairs
from the chest and back and – very selectively, mind – transplanting them onto the scalp. But it’s not all plain sailing when it comes
to sticking your chest hair on your head. As I said before, hair grows differently in
different parts of the body, and you might have noticed that chest hair tends to be a
little bit…coarse. It can also grow at strange angles which,
as anyone who has ever gone into battle with that one annoying tuft will tell you, may
be more trouble than it’s worth. So that’s hair transplants. As a cosmetic
procedure it still comes with a pretty hefty price tag – around two pounds fifty per
hair. And even though precision and robotic surgical
techniques are constantly improving, there’s still no guarantee of success without multiple
visits to the operating theatre…and I guess the bank. If you don’t have that kind of cash you
can always embrace the baldness, or if you’re self-conscious, invest in a hat. If you don’t already subscribe to the channel
and you like what we do, please do make sure you subscribe. Hit the little bell symbol
and then you’ll get a notification every time we put up a new film. And click here to find out why you are going
bald, if you are going bald that is. Or even if you’re interested in it. And comment

100 thoughts on “How Do Hair Transplants Work? | Earth Lab

  1. And it's on the pain scale level of childbirth…. apparently.

    Two of my colleagues recently had it done. One of them said it was worse than any tattoo he had and spent the night following the procedure feeling like his head was going to explode too much pain to sleep.

    I'll stick with the cue ball look thanks

  2. Just remember theres a very sick man with health problems out there somewhere with a full head of hair that would trade it for your bald head and health in a second.

  3. It is worthless it should be illigal why they simply simulate hair growth a d make the seed of hair grow into the skin

  4. I'm so glad I don't have male pattern hair loss in my genetic profile. I feel for those that do. I consider my hair one of my best features, it'd kill me if it started falling out.

  5. Nice video. It's good to see people educating others on the subject. It's not without it's inaccuracies though, which I guess is to be expected, since you guys are journalists and have to go with the information you are given. For example, no transplant takes 18 months to grow. On average, a hair transplant takes 10 months for us to see the "final" result.

  6. This vid isn't ENTIRELY accurate.. The hair follicles do not simply drop the hair, and not regrow anew… They actually get smaller and smaller.. The hair is still there, it's just been transformed into peach fuzz.

  7. I don't understand how can somebody blame fue hair transplant technique today. This is not year 2008, but 2018. There are great results from many clinics all over the world (just google, find video results). See Rooney, Berbatov, Conte, even Travolta today. What scars? Are you kidding me? They are microscopic today. I am sorry for all the losers who still blame HT. They are frustrated losers with no money. Only people with diabetes or other health problems are unlucky.

  8. When it comes to develop new techniques and technologies for a profitable business it sure it advances fast, instead of trying to solve the problem tackling its roots.

  9. I don’t like how you’re reading the script… too dramatic lol tone it down there, fish n chips. I feel like this video could’ve been executed in under 5 minutes.

  10. I am so so thankful I don't have balding genes. In fact, my family is too hairy. I have to pluck my eyebrows and shave every day and my hair grows too fast.

  11. i dont get it, my pubes are hella healthy, but my head be dying off….. id rather want to be balled down there than up here… smh

  12. I have the issue of scar tissue being on my head and hair doesn’t grow

    I heard you say a reason for hair loss could be scar tissue I was like omg yes I know

  13. Why don't we donate our hair when we die? I'd gladly donate my whole scalp when I die. Then scientists can have a go at it, make it grow like lab grown meat.

  14. Does the donor hair ever grow back? Is the donor area left with tiny scars if the patient decides to shave his head later?

  15. I have an idea.

    Grow a beard.
    And have surgery to turn your head upside down.

    Problem solved.
    You could even paint a mouth on your forehead!

  16. More men with hair seem to worry more about their hair, how it looks and if their losing it. Men who have lost it don't seem to worry about it..If I can't get as many women due to being bald, well that's just another person, stress and shackle I don't have to worry about, and allows me more time to do what I want in life.
    And if you ever get any blokes insulting you about being bald, threaten to pull their hair out, it's shuts them up as they dread the thought of losing their vain identity..Shave and tan, great look for the man.

  17. I wonder if they can do a hair transplant one person to another person like some woman and/or bloke to someone as bald as kojack. Like a donor, you with me?
    Peace ✌️ out people

  18. HA, yeah. I went from thick long curly hair to 0 in the biggest surprise a man can have. Got bored with the Jesus look, shaved my head bald and then I found out they will not grow anymore. Thick hair on the sides masked this well enough so I never suspected this would happen, at 21.

    Now to fix that, at least in my country, that would be around 5k pounds. In all honesty it doesn't bother me anymore, but first year was shit.

  19. Honestly i am wendering while we sre losing our needed hair like head and growing our un needed hair like down hair.

  20. I'm not bald, I can still grow a lot of hair. I'm just seeing the options for the inevitable baldness in the (hopefully) far future. Lol.

  21. So what you saying in the end is it doesnt worth it, especially if you dont have the money for it. Its not good investement for confidence, in my opinion invest in other attributes of yourself.

  22. It sucks losing your hair. And it's even worse if it starts in your teens! I did a hair transplant last week and I'm so glad I did it. You can see the results and my experience on my channel!

  23. Yes, that procedure nearly saved my life!!!! I was insecure due to the loss of my hair I felt like I was limited. Thank God I was able to go to South America and get this procedure done at a fourth of the price if you guys want more information call 1(844) 990-4247 or 1(844)990-HAIR.

  24. Oh my God, I can relate! This has really been an issue for me. I started balding when I was 19 years old and my goodness I used to get made fun of by my friends. I felt insecure going up to a girl to talk to her because I felt like all the focus was on my head. Thank God I was able to go to South America in Colombia to be specific. they have some of the best plastic surgeons in the world. the good thing is that I was able to do this DHI procedure at 1/4 of the price that I would have normally gotten it for in the United States where I live. If you guys want more information call 1(844) 990-4247 or 1(844)990-HAIR.

  25. You should all check out this hair transplant clinic in Turkey, Emphair Hair Transplant. It's a miracle i got my hair back 🙏

  26. Carefully ommit the fact that Turkey is the hair transplant capital of the world and a great procedure there can end up costing you way less than £3000

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