Has anyone found scalp exercises helpful to increase donor laxity prior to hair transplant surgery?
In my opinion, there is no doubt that with vigorous and extensive scalp massage, scalp laxity will increase enough to allow harvesting more follicular unit grafts and minimizing tension on the closure. Although I have not conducted scientific studies to prove that scalp exercises hair restoration surgery, I think it is as plain as the light of day that patients who follow the instructions to the letter will increase their laxity.
It has been well known for a long time that massaging immature scars can help prevent scars from becoming hard or raised. It would seem to follow logically that scalp exercises or scalp massage would also affect the same layer of the dermis influenced by scar massages; namely, somehow, by moving the scalp back and forth, not only can you soften up previous scars but you can also increase the laxity of native skin so that it glides more freely and with more laxity.
I believe there must be an effect on collagen molecules and perhaps even on elastin molecules which are located in the deeper layers of the skin. Another mechanism by which scalp exercises work is through tissue distension. Continually moving and manipulating the upper layers of the scalp over the fixed cranium in a small way, expands the tissue a little bit giving greater laxity.
We know that tissue expansion works. We can place tissue expanders underneath the scalp and fill the expanders, thereby increasing the surface area of skin. And, by direct comparison, I am sure that scalp exercises lead to greater scalp laxity.
The below video demonstrates how I think scalp exercises should be performed.
I hope this makes sense.
Dr. Kenneth Siporin
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
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