You’ve decided a hair transplant is what you need to feel more confident or to restore what you’ve lost over time. Now that you’ve made your decision, there’s another one on the horizon – choosing the best method for your hair transplant. There are two common methods for hair transplants: the traditional strip harvesting technique and the newer NeoGraft® technique. But how do you choose the best method for your hair? Dr. Tim R. Love recommends the strip transplant method to his patients for many reasons. Here are a few:
Strip method: The traditional strip harvesting technique, known as Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), involves removing the follicular units from the donor area as one group. The strip method allows the follicular units to be extracted intact, in their genetic form. Each follicular unit contains 1 to 4 hairs (the average is 2.2 hairs per follicular unit). The strip method requires expert surgical skill so the patient will achieve the best result while causing the least trauma to the donor site. It also allows healthy hair to harvest faster.
NeoGraft® method: The newer NeoGraft® method automates the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure. The NeoGraft® method takes the hair out from the donor area with a cookie-cutter looking punch knife that has a diameter of approximately 1mm. This tool is inserted around one hair or a group of hairs known as a follicular unit. The tool makes a short, quick, rotational spin on the scalp to extract the hair follicle. This is done blindly, since the surgeon cannot see the root of the hair while inserting the tool into the scalp.
Proven vs. New and Trendy
Strip method: The strip method has a proven track record of success and provides natural looking permanent results.
Strip method: On average, the strip method cost $3 per graft.
NeoGraft® method: On average, cost is $4-6 per graft. This may not seem like a significant increase, but the average patient needs 1,500 grafts. The difference will add up quickly.
Strip method: Since the hair strip is taken out in a surgical suite with a well-positioned and visible surgical field and magnification, the strip method creates quality grafts with best viability. This allows the surgeon to precisely remove the needed follicles intact, which avoids trauma and the likelihood of cutting across and destroying hair follicles.
NeoGraft® method: Graft quality is not as good compared to the strip method because the surgeon assumes that the direction of the punch knife and the hair shaft are the same and the knife will not cut the hair across and damage it. The hair’s roots may change direction slightly as they are buried in the skin so the chance of cutting across the roots while taking them out is increased.
Strip method: The strip method makes it possible to choose the best donor hair. By taking out donor hair from the back of the head, which never grows completely bald in most men, the donor hair is resistant to the damaging effects of testosterone. The testosterone hormone is responsible for genetic hair loss. This healthy donor hair doesn’t care about its new location and stays in place since their genetic material makes them more resistant to hair loss.
NeoGraft® method: Donor hair is often taken from the broader section of the skull, and theoretically, even elsewhere on the body. Variety does not translate into quality since randomly chosen hair is not necessarily more resistant to hair loss.
Post-Surgery Hair Style
Strip method: While it takes a few days for the incision at the donor site to heal, the surrounding hair is not affected by the strip method. No haircut or change in styling is needed.
NeoGraft® method: In large hair transplant sessions, the entire donor area must be shaved to access the follicles. You may need to sport a new hairstyle for a while.
Strip method: While there is a small linear incision resulting from the harvesting, it is usually covered by your hair. Plus, during subsequent procedures, the first scar is completely removed. With the strip method, regardless of the number of procedures, the patient is left with only one incision.
NeoGraft® method: If the first NeoGraft® session requires 2,000 grafts, you’ll have 2,000 tiny round scars. If there are follow-up procedures this number will double, triple, and so on. With each subsequent session, the scarring with the NeoGraft® method increases. Plus, if genetic hair loss continues or you happen to require several procedures, thousands of fine scars may become visible in the thinning donor area.
Need help deciding?
The most important factor in considering a hair transplant method is the experience and the know-how of the surgeon involved in the hair restoration surgery. Dr. Tim Love will deliver a state of the art hair transplant while observing strict quality control during every phase of your hair transplant procedure. Contact us at 405-751-LOVE (5683) to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tim Love.