Comparing Older Methods of Hair Transplantation to Today -1

Hair Transplantation – Older Methods versus Today’s Methods

The process of hair transplantation has come a long way over the last 60 years. Since the beginning, hair transplantation as a whole has improved so much that it is said to have reached the peak of the mountain.This statement appears very true when it comes to graft diameter size (much thinner grafts than before), graft numbers planted in a day (they are much larger), growth rates (over 90% growth is now expected versus 50%) and natural and almost undetectable frontal hairline designs (due to smaller grafts and deliberately irregular shaped designs).

Hair Transplantation

However many hair loss sufferers that have never done their research on this topic still believe that results are easily detectable and that hair transplants do not consistently work as was the case in the old days.There are different type of surgeries like Frontal hairline hair transplant, body hair transplant, cosmetic surgery and Optimizing recovery etc. For this reason, let us compare the older methods to today:

Punch Grafts (Plugs) – Late 1950s to Early 1980s

Graft Diameter Size                        =             4-5mm each

Number of hairs in each graft     =             15-20 hairs

MaximumSurgery Session Size  =             50-100 grafts

Typical Growth Rates                     =             30-50%

Quality and Naturalness Score   =             1/10


This is the method which deters many (who are not in the know) from exploring the possibility of even considering a hair transplant today. It is the oldest method of hair transplantation which produced an easily detectable and very pluggy looking result. Large amounts of bleeding would occur forcing the sessions to be kept to a small number of less than 100 grafts. Growth rates were poor and client satisfaction was rare.  Punch grafts is one to avoid at all costs. For this reason we only give it 1/10 on our Quality and Naturalness Score.

Mini Grafts – Early 1980s to around 1990  

Graft Diameter Size                        =             2.5mm each

Number of hairs in each graft     =             6-10 hairs

Maximum Surgery Session Size =             200-400 grafts

Typical Growth Rates                     =             30-50%

Quality and Naturalness Score   =             3/10


Mini-grafts represented a nice step forward because the graft size compared to punch grafts had halved. This means that these thinner grafts could now be planted closer together which produced more density and improved naturalness. However 2.5mm grafts was still considerably thicker than ideal and growth rates rarely surpassed 50%. Therefore a score of 3/10 is given.

Micro Grafts – From around 1990 and onwards

Graft Diameter Size                        =             1.5mm each

Number of hairs in each graft     =             1-4 hairs

Maximum Surgery Session Size =             400-2000 grafts

Typical Growth Rates                     =             60%-80%

Quality and Naturalness Score   =             6/10


When micro-grafts came onto the scene it was the first time that the hair transplants industry began to earn some respect.  Suddenly results started to look reasonable. A high majority of grafts were growing and if you ended up choosing the right surgeon you would have a fair chance of being happy you made the decision to proceed with surgery. Instead of being told that you needed four or fivesmaller hair transplants 8-12 months apart, now you could obtain 2000 grafts in a day. Because no magnification is used during the dissection process it results in a portion of the follicular units being damaged which reduces the overall growth rates. The naturalness of the transplanted frontal hairlines is not ideal but is a massive step up from the older methods. We give it a 6/10.

Hair Transplant Surgery

Micro-grafts surgeries are still popular today and whilst not the most advanced option available, it requires less staff and less practice to become proficient at it. Due to this micro-graft surgeries appeal to many clinics and are cheaper than the best available surgical method today.

Follicular Unit Grafts – From the mid 1990s up to day

Graft Diameter Size                        =             1mm average

Number of hairs in each graft     =             1-4 hairs

Maximum Surgery Session Size =             2500-6000 grafts

Typical Growth Rates                     =             92-99%

Quality and Naturalness Score   =             10/10


Follicular unit grafts represent the very top of the mountain in hair transplantation because they win in all the categories like Stem cell Therapy are listed. Every graft is dissected under magnification which makes the grafts super fine and minimizes transection damage. This produces grafts as thin as 0.9mm and growth rates of around 95% average which allows dense packing and very natural, almost undetectable looking results. Depending on the clinic you visit as many as 6000 grafts can be transplanted in one day.

Hair Transplant Treatment

Follicular unit grafts can not be any thinner; produce higher growth or bigger surgeries than is possible today. When searching for the right clinic to perform your hair transplant, do check for the following:

  1. The clinic specializes in follicular unit grafts
  2. Anexperienced surgeonwith at least 5 years experience performing follicular unit graft procedures that is ABHRS accredited
  3. Experienced hair transplant technicians with at least 3 of them holding 5 years of experience (or having been involved in over 1000 hair transplants) assist the surgeon
  4. The ability to perform very large hair transplant procedures of 4000-6000 grafts in a day (if you personally require a large amount of surface area treated)

If you have any questions regarding any of hair loss treatments or would like an appointment for a face to face consultation in Melbourne or Sydney please call us on 03 9693 9200.

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