Doctor Masson is the founder of the Parc Monceau Hair Transplant Center (CGCPM), a reference center in Paris for the treatment of hair loss. The center has a great deal of expertise in the new hair transplant techniques.
Baldness is very common, it actually affects up to 30% of men. The origin is mainly genetic and hormonal. Hair implants can be a solution to the problem of baldness (it is possible to speak interchangeably of hair transplant, hair implants, capillary graft, and capillary implants).
Different treatments are available.
Medical treatments can sometimes have an effect on baldness and slow down hair loss, but it is an illusion to expect complete regrowth. The best known treatment is minoxidil.
Once baldness has been established and fixed, the most effective treatment is to implant hair. It is important, though, that the treatment is well done because it is sometimes worse to end up with artificial looking hair which is poorly distributed, the skull covered with scars, than a baldness which is well-worn and assumed. In Paris, hair transplantation is a technique which is increasingly used and now gives results which are better and better controlled. Today, it is rare to see a failed hair transplant procedure.
Costs vary for a new generation FUE micro-punch or robot hair transplant procedure but, on average, the price is between 4,000 and 8,000 Euros for one session in Paris with approximately 6,000 to 8,000 individual hair grafts.
It is worth remembering that hair transplants are not just for men because more and more women are also turning to hair implant procedures. Personally, they represent 20% of my patients in this area.
Different countries and centers have become famous for hair transplantation, there is much talk outside Paris of Turkey which now has several reputable hair implant clinics.
Four anti-baldness techniques compared
Flaps and scalp lifts
These procedures are more or less associated with various tissue expansion methods and, as such, are demanding solutions that are hardly ever used today.
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant)
A strip of scalp is harvested from the posterior part of the skull, above the nape of the neck in the occipital region where the hair does not fall out. A scar is therefore created, but is often very discreet, even invisible, on condition of wearing the hair a minimum length (5mm). We then create follicular units of 3 to 4 individual hairs which are transplanted onto the hairless area to be covered, one by one. The hair then grows back after 6 to 12 months. The operation takes place under local anesthesia and lasts for an average of 3 to 5 hours.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) +++
This is a more recent technique which consists in taking follicular units one by one using microsurgical equipment and then replanting them one by one. The operation takes place under local anesthesia and lasts for an average of 5 to 8 hours. There is no linear scar left behind the head but circular micro-scars the size of a follicular unit.
Hair implants or hair grafts by Robot
The use of a specific robotized machine such as the Artas Robot currently makes it possible to increase performance, reduce the risk of graft rejection, improve patient comfort and, most probably, represents the future in the field of hair grafts.
FUE due to its new and “scar-free” character is popular with patients and now very fashionable. In practice though it’s worth knowing that according to all current scientific studies, the difference between FUT and FUE in terms of aesthetic results on alopecia is not obvious.
In our opinion, the FUE method is best suited to patients who wish to wear their hair very short, have little surface area to cover, and who wish a rapid return to active life or have already possibly benefited from a FUT and have an insufficient reserve of available hair for another treatment (there is not enough slackness to harvest another strip of hair). This in combination with a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) treatment is also practiced more and more.
The FUT is better suited to patients with a large surface area to cover, more limited financial means (the FUT is cheaper than the FUE because it is faster and technically easier to perform) and who count on wearing their hair a certain length to hide the resulting scar (a hair length of at least 5mm).
Using a robot for hair transplant procedures is probably the technique that will be most practiced in the years to come, in 2020 the new machines are already starting to be very reliable.
How is hair transplanted?
The FUE method stands for Follicular Unit Extraction. It creates hair transplant results, without scaring, in a natural way. A follicular unit or graft is made up of 1 to 3 hairs. Thanks to current techniques and equipment, it is possible to graft between 6,000 to 10,000 hairs (4,000 grafts) in one session to obtain an optimal hair density. And this hair by hair to avoid the “pluggy look” which is anything but natural and causes a visible scar.
The first step is to take the hair graft by graft using a punch, micro-punch or robot. This will not leave any scar and be performed under local anesthesia. Then the second step is that the hair will be re-implanted unit by unit in the area where it is lacking.
What is the best hair transplant technique?
The answer is clearly a technique that does not leave a scar and allows the follicular units to be grafted one by one. The FUE, therefore, either by micro-punch or robot, and for both men and women.