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How do Scalp Exercises Improve the Chance of More Grafts in Hair Transplant Surgery?

10/7/2008 12:04:21 PM

Question:

I have been doing scalp exercises for a good number of weeks in the hope of getting a larger hair transplant session. I'm concerned that the constant tugging and pulling of my scalp may cause more hair loss in the donor area. Is this a valid concern? Also, I'm not too clear as to how good scalp elasticity can yield more follicular unit grafts. How does this work?

Answer:

To understand how donor hair availability is determined, you must first be familiar with the follicular unit hair transplantation technique. A surgeon will remove a linear strip of tissue containing hair follicles. A harvested strip includes three dimensions, length, width, and density. The longer and wider the strip and the denser the hair within the strip, the more follicular units it contains.

Available donor hair is determined by scalp elasticity (width), donor hair density (density), and the potential risk of future hair loss (length).

Scalp elasticity (laxity) directly affects the width dimension of the harvested strip. Scalp exercises can help increase scalp elasticity. The gradual pulling of the skin will help "loosen" it which will allow a quality surgeon with a large and experienced staff to harvest a wider strip - the wider the strip, the larger the number of follicular units in a single session. As long as you are doing scalp exercises properly and aren't pulling at the hair follicles, no damage will come to the donor hair.

Donor hair density also directly affects the number of follicular units obtained during surgery. The more follicular units per square CM (FU/cm2), the greater the number of follicular units harvested.

The risk of future hair loss is something serious that surgeons must consider. Just like scalp elasticity determines the width of the strip harvested, considering future hair loss will ultimately determine the length of the strip and placement of the scar. This is because patients with a risk of temple and side hair loss will have a lesser donor area "safe zone" for surgeons to take from in those areas.

Bill - Associate Publisher

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