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What is "All Micro Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation"?

And why does it produce the most natural results?

As a very happy veteran of this procedure, let me explain why it's THE most "State of the Art" hair transplant procedure.


Let's begin with what we all want - hair that looks totally natural through out, no matter what way the wind blows. So how do we get this result? We get it by doing a hair transplant procedure that exactly mimicking the way hair naturally grows on our scalp.

If you look closely under magnification at how hair naturally grows, you'll see that hair grows in clusters of one, two, three, and some times four hairs.



 These naturally occurring groups of hair are called "follicular hair units". Notice also that they are scattered about in an irregular pattern.

So given how hair naturally grows, an excellent hair transplant replicates nature by relocating these naturally occurring "follicular hair units" from the donor area to the recipient site (balding area) - one naturally occurring "follicular hair unit" at a time.

    Micro grafts created from
natural groupings.
One of several medical assistants uses magnification to create 1,2,3 and 4 hair micro grafts in natural groupings.


To do this successfully requires that each "follicular hair unit" be kept intact and trimmed under a microscope to create the ultimate micro graft - a naturally occurring "follicular unit" graft. 

These micro grafts are then placed in very close proximity and in an irregular pattern that mimics how they naturally grow on the scalp. The end result is a hair transplant that looks natural because it is natural.

The ability to do this successfully, and in a session of 1500 or more grafts ("a mega session"), has only come about in the past few years. And only a small group of experienced hair transplant physicians perform this procedure with excellent results today.

If "all micro follicular hair transplants" are the best, why aren't all physicians doing it?

Basically the reason is that it takes time to change and adapt to these cutting edge advancements in technique.

A doctor who is still performing 500 to 1000 grafts per session, relying on a staff of 1-3 technicians, may find it difficult to transition to mega sessions of 1000-2000 grafts requiring a staff of 4-6 technicians. These longer sessions are more labor intensive and technically more demanding. It also takes a lot of time and effort to learn this more refined technique.

In addition, a follicular hair transplant procedure is less profitable for a clinic. Follicular unit grafts require more time, skill, and expense to create compared to the mini/micro grafts. A full all micro mega session may require four to five assistants working with microscopes in addition to the surgeon to competently perform this advanced procedure.

Many hair transplant clinics, including the large commercial operations, find it more profitable to do the standard mini/micro graft procedure, because one doctor can do two or three patients a day using this older and less demanding technique. This produces more revenue for the clinic but less than ideal results for the patient.

 Can it get any better than this?

The "follicular unit hair transplant" now creates such a high level of naturalness that many doctors believe that hair transplantation has advanced about as far as it can. After all, you can't get any more natural than using hair as it naturally occurs in "Follicular Hair Units". 

What about cloning?

Perhaps some day physicians will be able to clone hair follicles from a patient's donor area. This could potentially allow a patient a virtually unlimited supply of balding resistant donor hair. This would be of particular value to patients who have very little donor hair available for transplanting.

Although this potential advancement is exciting, it is currently only in the early test stages. And it will probably be very expensive if and when first introduced.

For those like me who are good candidates with sufficient donor hair, there is no reason to wait for cloning, if and when it comes. Even after three hair transplant sessions my hair in back is still surprisingly thick. So I've achieved the results I wanted with no need for cloning.


Further reading on "Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation"

"Creating a natural hairline" by Dr. Ron Shapiro

"Follicular Unit Grafts v.s. Small Mini grafts" by Dr. Ron Shapiro


What are the advantages of "all micro follicular hair unit grafts" over regular "micrografts"?

(Even micro grafts that are only one to three hairs in size are inferior to all micro follicular unit grafts for a number of reasons.)

  • Since follicular unit grafts are trimmed under a microscope they contain less excess tissue and are smaller. This allows the surgeon to place them closer together.

  • Because follicular unit grafts are smaller, the surgical incision at each recipient site is smaller. This results in quicker healing with out scarring or skin surface deformity.

  • Due to the small size of the grafts and incisions, many more grafts/hairs can be transplanted in one session, making "mega sessions" of between 1500 to 2000 grafts practical and safe. This allows the patient to achieve much better results in less time, without numerous surgeries.

  • Because the follicular units are not dissected or broken apart, graft growth and survival is better that when mini/micro grafts are used.

  • Once transplanted these tiny hair grafts are indistinguishable from the natural groups of hair in the near by area.

  • Practiced by a skilled and artistic surgeon, follicular unit hair transplantation can produce a look that is undetectable and completely natural after only one procedure.


For further information on this advanced procedure:

Article by Dr. Ron Shapiro "Follicular Unit Grafts v.s. Small Mini grafts"

Article by Dr. Ron Shapiro "Creating a Natural Hairline"


Contact me (Pat)or The Shapiro Medical Group

To call the Shapiro Medical Group Directly

Call 1-800-843-1989 or 952-926-0000
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