I remember reading about some balding patients that had follicular units placed where they still had hair to prevent future hair loss. I think I also read that it’s not a good idea to do this. Can someone offer me an explanation?
This insightful information was posted on our hair restoration forum by Dr. Jerry Wong of Vancouver BC, Canada who is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians.
It is possible to transplant hair in between and around your existing hair however, it depends on how much hair you still have. If you have thick hair it may not be such a good idea because some of the hair that you have will be damaged from the hair restoration procedure.
However, when I have patients come in for a procedure and they still have native hair in the recipient area I shave this area so that I can better see the spaces to fill in. The angles are much more visible and easier to duplicate thus reducing the chances of permanent transection (irreparable damage to the follicle) greatly. I work on hair loss patients with existing hair all the time and when properly prepared there is no loss of native hair so the final result is that much better once it has matured.
The one issue that I think you may be misunderstanding however, is the assumption that getting a hair transplant between existing hairs will prevent further hair loss. This is not true because any hairs in the vicinity of the newly transplanted hairs will fall out if they are genetically vulnerable to DHT, programmed by genetics. Surgical hair transplantation does not prevent further loss. That is the job for Propecia or Proscar (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil). The surgical procedure merely adds to what you have.
Dr. Jerry Wong, MD