I’m researching hair transplant surgery, but still can’t figure out if the results from the procedure are permanent, or if the implanted hair will shed overtime? Are there certain regions of the scalp with hair follicles that are resistant to hair loss?
In general, follicular unit grafts used during hair transplant surgery are extracted from a region of the scalp called the “universal donor region.” The reason why this area is called the donor region is because the follicles in this part of the scalp are highly resistant to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the hormone that directly causes follicles to “shrink” and stop functioning (i.e. stop producing visible hairs). These hairs retain their donor characteristics (a phenomenon called “donor dominance”), which means when they are implanted into balding scalp, they are still resistant to DHT and will NOT shed. Long story short, they become permanent.
There are some individuals who do tend to recede into the universal “safe zone,” and this means some of their follicles may not be as resistant to DHT. However, this usually only applies to follicles on the fringe of the safe extraction zone, and most hair transplant surgeons would not utilize follicles like this, as they know they would be prone to future loss.
Just for reference, here is a case from recommended hair restoration surgeon Dr. Michael Meshkin, where he presents a patient who underwent hair transplantation at his clinic 18 years prior. As you can tell in the “after” images, his hair still looks excellent nearly 2 decades after the procedure, and this helps prove that hair transplant surgery is permanent! Dr. Meshkin – 18 years after hair transplant surgery.
Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”
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