This question was posed by a hair loss sufferer seeking hair loss help on our hair restoration forum and answered by Dr. Ricardo Mejia of Jupiter, FL who is one of our recommended hair restoration physicians. His professional answer is below.
Hair transplant physicians have utilized a variety of techniques to try to measure scalp elasticity. Hair restoration surgeons have injected saline underneath the skin in the subcutaneous area to determine how much the tissue balloons. We have used scales using a ruler to measure the “stretch” from one point to another in both the vertical and horizontal plane. All of these measures depend on tissue mobility or how the skin glides over the skull and the extensibility of the scalp or how much it is able to stretch. These are two different phenomena.
To get a better idea of this, these are the scalp exercises I recommend to my hair transplant patients and will illustrate the two concepts.
- With your head straight, clasp your hands behind your head as if you were doing sit ups. WIth good firm pressure on the scalp lift the scalp up and down with your hands together. You will notice the scalp gliding over the skull. Do this at least 15 minutes twice a day for 4 weeks
- Bend your neck as far forward as you can and repeat the exercise. This time the amount of movement or gliding action is reduced (especially in the lower part of the neck) as you are isolating more of the extensibility of the scalp itself. For the engineers out there, this is the mechanical creep.
Doing these scalp exercises can help “loosen the skin” for hair transplant surgery. The ultimate tension on the wound is dependent on the number of follicular unit grafts removed, the width of the strip, and other factors discussed previously.
Dr. Ricardo Mejia