I’m 29 years old, and I have been losing my hair since I was in my early twenties. Recently, I started researching hair transplants, but I’m not sure why some hairlines look natural, while others look artificial. What makes the hairline look natural?
The hairline is critical for the overall aesthetic appearance and outcome of the hair transplant procedure. Several factors contribute to making the hairline appear natural, but the most important is the overall design. A skilled, experienced, and talented surgeon is responsible for creating the layout of the hairline- this will include the height, shape, and temporal angles.
Macro and Micro-Irregularities Are Vital
There is no perfect hairline. A perfectly symmetrical hairline looks artificial and fake. The front of the hairline needs to be single-haired follicular units (fu). Single-haired fu’s give the hairline a soft appearance seen in nature. Naturally, hairlines have zig-zags of hair that are asymmetrical. These asymmetries are called micro-irregularities. If you look at a hairline from a distance, you will notice that the border of the hairline is not straight and is curvaceous. These irregularities are called macro-irregularities.
Angle and Direction
The angle and exit of the hair are critical. Hairs exit differently all over the scalp. In the mid-section of the scalp, hairs exit around thirty to forty-five degrees. As the hairs reach the hairline, they exit anywhere from fifteen to twenty degrees and point towards the nose.
The angles are vital; when you transition from the front to the mid-section, the angles gradually change, from forward to lateral. At the same time, the angles change from the hairline to temporal peaks or temple points. Temporal points are angled flat against the skin. The hair is also very soft and thin.
Choosing The Right Hair
High magnification is necessary when restoring a hairline surgically. Surgeons must use 50-100x magnification to ensure single-haired fu’s are in the front row of the hairline. Hair located above the ears and nape of the neck is the best for extraction.
However, these hairs may be vulnerable to DHT for some patients, and this is why the patient selection is important. A somewhat rare condition called retrograde alopecia can affect the hairs above the ears and at the nape of the neck. When a surgeon understands the fundamental basics necessary for surgical hair restoration, the results appear natural.