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January 2014

Body Hair Transplant with uGraft Now Allows Hair Restoration for the Severely Bald

Hair loss, thinning and balding is a major concern for men in America that prompts many to seek hair loss treatments.

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Due to the lack of hair restoration options for the severely bald and a desire to help men with failed prior hair transplant surgeries, Dr. Sanusi Umar of DermHair Clinic created the uGraft technique, also known as the Umar Procedure.

Since a full head of thick hair represents youth and vitality in our society, men who experience hair loss can experience negative self-esteem and decreased self-confidence.

While many men opt for surgical hair restoration, those with severe hair loss and balding are sometimes problematic cases in terms of traditional hair transplants.

Men who are severely bald are typically not candidates for hair transplantation due to lack of traditional donor hair on the head. Others with botched past hair transplants also lack options due to inadequate traditional donor source of hair from the back and sides of the scalp.

Some men simply need an additional hair transplant if they got one early in life and then suffered additional extreme hair loss.

Hair transplants traditionally use 5,000 to 7,000 follicles as a donor hair supply. A severely bald person can transplant only a tenth of lost hair, leading to poor coverage.

However, a more advanced method of follicular unit extraction (FUE) allows for surgical hair restoration. Body hair transplant (BHT), also known as body hair to head transplant, uses non-head hair and transplants it to recipient areas. With BHT, the donor area expands since hair can be harvested from other parts of the head and body, including beard, chest and leg hair.

Hair loss from androgenetic alopecia, also known as pattern baldness, is the most common cause of severe baldness. However, baldness is the increasing result of past hair restoration surgeries. Patients may have undergone an older technique and now have a stretched scar or experienced a botched hair transplant surgery. When baldness reoccurs after initial surgery to restore hair loss, it is even more difficult for the patient.

Many times the donor supply on the head is nonexistent or not suitable for use in traditional hair transplants. BTH alleviates this issue by expanding the donor area to the body and allows the use of approximately 20,000 grafts. This quadruples the availability of donor hair sources for grafts. Even patients with severe scarring can now employ this hair transplantation with incredible results.

All FUE hair transplantation variations are based on the same extraction process. The first incision cuts skin surrounding the follicular unit, either to partially or completely separate the follicle from tissue attachments. The cut is made at varying depths. The follicle is then extracted, either with or without further dissection.

Some practitioners refined FUE cutting techniques, leading to slight variations. Notable variations include FOX, developed by Doctors William Rassman and Robert Bernstein; the SAFE Method, developed by Dr. James Harris; and uGraft, also known as The Umar Procedure, developed by Dr. Umar.

The Safe Method’s first two steps reduce transection rates with novice use. The first score is shallow, made with a sharp punch. The second score is deeper, using a wider, blunt punch. However, the third step adds operating time.

The SAFE Method may also bury grafts during extraction. Dr. Umar’s uGraft technique uses two-step follicular extraction with special punches for precision and safety. The extraction has the benefits of the SAFE Method without the third step and threat of burying grafts.

Dr. Umar’s advanced method of FUE with uGraft, along with BHT, produces superior results and allows more patients to have full hair restoration. Dr. Umar discusses the potential of BHT to alleviate hair loss issues in those who are bald in his article, “Hair Transplantation in Patients with Inadequate Head Donor Supply Using Non-Head Hair,” published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery.

To read more about the benefits of uGraft and BHT, click here.