Splitting Hairs?

While many general practitioners are understandably sceptical about whether a hair transplant really does work, there is also a lot of confusion around the amount of hair that a patient can obtain when they have a hair transplant.

Perth-based hair loss specialist Dr Jennifer Martinick said that hair loss patients should always retain healthy scepticism and conduct thorough research before committing to a transplant. Dr Martinick said that along with researching the physician’s experience, their international reputation and clinic’s professionalism, hair loss patients should find out exactly how many hairs they were likely to end up with after having a transplant.

She said while there had been remarkable evolution of hair transplants over the past decade, it was important to be aware that not all hair transplants were the same. Leading physicians produced invisible undetectable results and their clinical practices were also based on using techniques that produced thicker heads of hair for their patients.

She said prospective hair transplant patients needed to be aware of the difference between having a transplant where 1000 grafts equated to just 1000 hairs and one where the same amount of grafts actually resulted in up to 4000 hairs.

Dr Martinick said patients should be encouraged to ask hair physicians what they meant when they referred to a transplant of so many grafts.

“Ask the clinic to define if you are getting a hair, a follicle or a graft,” Dr Martinick said.

“In my practice we acknowledge that some follicles contain just one hair while others contain three and four hairs.

“Our awareness of this is used as a basis to create a fuller head of hair.”

Dr Martinick said that other than at the front hairline, the natural mid scalp contained mainly three and four follicles. “At our clinic we pair a 1 and 2 hair follicle or and 2 and 2 hair follicle to create an increased number of 3 and 4 hair grafts,” Dr Martinick said.

“This allows us to mimic nature more closely and to create a denser result for the patient.”

“Our clinic makes 1500 follicles into 1000 grafts giving a result that is 50 per cent thicker than that achieved in other clinics.

“The benefits to the patient are a denser more natural coverage, less trauma to the scalp and significant cost savings.”

Dr Martinick said some hair replacement clinics only transplanted single hair follicles. Hence, the result achieved was that 1000 grafts equalled just 1000 hairs.

“A lot of patients would never think to ask the question about how many hairs they will get when they pay for 1000 grafts?

“But it is an important question to ask because 1000 grafts does not mean the same amount of hairs at all clinics.”

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