Can you transplant hair between existing hairs?
If a person has a decent head of hair, but wants it to be fuller, how
do you put the new hair in between the existing hairs without destroying them?
First, if a person has a “decent head of hair” they should thank their lucky stars and leave well enough alone.
Hair transplantation does not create new hair. It only relocates bald resistant hair follicles from the back and sides of the head to the balding areas on top, where they will then continue growing for a life time. Therefore there is a limited amount of “donor hair” that can ultimately be used to cover the balding areas.
Thus a hair transplant cannot restore a person’s hair its original hair density. However, fortunately a person only needs to restore about half their original hair density to create an illusion of fullness. That’s why many people don’t really notice their hair loss until almost 50% of their hair has already fallen out.
There is an excellent animation about this 50% threshold in the multimedia section of the Hair Transplant Network for those who want an illustrated example of this concept in action.
Now, as for transplanting new hair in between existing hair, this can be done. But this should only be done in areas that actually need more hair to reach the 50% threshold to recreate the look of fullness.
Today, if a hair restoration physician is doing cutting edge Ultra Refined Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation, their incisions and grafts are very small and thus they can be placed in between existing hairs, while minimizing the disruption to the existing hair follicles. These small minimally invasive incisions also minimizes the risk of “shock fallout” in which existing hairs shed due to the trauma of the neighboring incisions.
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