Book a FREE consultation  
For a free consultation or assistance, please call 020 7730 6666

Browse by Category

‘Over-Harvesting’ Becoming a Problem for Hair Transplant Surgeons

An oft misunderstood term in the field of hair transplants is “donor hair”: people with hair loss often imagine clinics full of lavishly-coiffed individuals willingly letting their hair be plucked out for the benefit of strangers.

In reality, the only donor in a hair transplant operation is you: the donor hair comes from areas of your own head where it is more abundant than the places it is needed – in cases of Male Pattern Baldness, the places with the strongest growth are typically anywhere but the front and the crown. Genetic hair loss affects the top of the scalp so donor areas tend to be at the back of the head or sometimes the sides.

Worrisome habit

Dr Sanusi Umar - Los Angeles Hair Transplant SpecialistNoted Californian hair transplant surgeon Dr Sanusi Umar (pictured) says he has observed what he describes as a trend for “over-harvesting”. Writing on his website’s blog, he states that this has become “a worrisome habit of many novice FUE hair transplant clinics.”

FUE, incidentally, stands for Follicular Unit Extraction, and describes one of the most popular hair transplant method currently available. In a nutshell, thousands of hairs are taken from the back of the head and individually re-implanted where they are needed. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, the replanted hair will continue to grow.

Dr Umar correctly states that bad FUE hair transplantation planning can lead to unnatural looking hair; he further claims that a classic example was a recent client of his who had visited another clinic to try and surgically correct his Male Pattern Baldness. For a start, Dr Umar complains that the 10,000 hair follicles moved around the patient’s head were simply too many, and led to “scars, a depleted donor source, and aesthetically poor results.” The man wasn’t helped, says Dr Umar, by the fact that many of the implanted hairs failed to grow.

Dr Umar is in an unusual position compared to most hair restoration surgeons, and – whilst his concerns are undoubtedly valid – his rather unique modus operandi does perhaps explain why he is so vehemently against the over-harvesting of head hair. Dr Umar champions the idea of using body and facial hair as donor hair instead, and has developed several tools and techniques to assist his work in this area. Using his patented UGraft procedure, he claims to have corrected hair loss in some patients using chest and beard grafts alone.

While hair transplants are certainly better than they once were, they do come with a price tag of around £5,000 – more still in big-name western clinics but significant less if you shop around and participate in a spot of medical tourism in places like Turkey and India. They are also not recommended for people under 25.

Hair loss treatment first

Finasteride 1mg Aindeem tabletsFollowing guidance from their hair transplant surgeon, what many men with genetic hair loss do is to first undertake a bespoke hair loss treatment course for at least six months before the operation, to see if they can boost the number of hairs on their head. In some cases, the men turn out to be so impressed with the results that they cancel the operation and continue with their pharmaceutical treatment instead.

The argument that ditching the transplant in favour of this type of regime will turn out to be more expensive in the long run quickly flounders when people realise that the products that form the backbone of a hair loss treatment course need to be taken on an ongoing basis after a transplant, too.

Why? Because the hair in the areas surrounding the transplanted hairs will continue to thin which, if left unchecked can lead to a highly undesirable and unnatural-looking result. The testosterone by-product DHT which causes thinning hair by attacking the follicles around the top of the scalp in men with a genetic predisposition to male hair loss will continue to attack the old non-transplanted hairs just as ruthlessly as it did before the op. It is only clinically-proven treatments that can address this.

Another way of looking at it: if weeds have ravaged your old lawn and you replace part of it with astroturf, the grass surrounding the freshly-laid area is still likely to wither if you don’t get busy with the weedkiller.

Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

Related Stories

Share this article

No Comments

No comments yet.

Comment on this article

* required field

Will not be published

Online Consultation

Submit an instant online consultation so that one of Belgravia’s hair loss specialists can diagnose your condition and recommend an effective course of treatment, wherever you live.

22 Oct

Giovanna Fletcher Shows Hair Growth After Postpartum Alopecia

When author Giovanna Fletcher posted a picture of her hair on Instagram it wasn’t the usual ‘boast post’ we are used to seeing from celebrities. The Hello! magazine columnist was demonstrating her tufty regrowth following hair loss after the birth of her second child earlier this year. Quickly garnering over 14,000 likes, Fletcher was applauded for bringing awareness to […]

Read full article »
21 Oct

Success Story Alert! New Male Hair Loss Treatment Entry

A new entry has just been added to Belgravia’s Male Hair Loss Treatment Success Stories gallery. In just 6 months, this client has gradually seen his hair regrow with much improvement in all areas affected. Find out what he had to say and see his regrowth results close up, or find out more about treating Male Pattern Baldness by […]

Read full article »
21 Oct

Can Garlic Shampoo Cure Male Hair Loss?

There are many myths about how to treat hair loss, a number of which involve applying various foods to the head. Three of the most commonly repeated include rubbing onions into bald spots, having scalp massages using ginger, and using garlic-based solutions and rubs. Now, taking these mythical natural hair loss remedies to the next level is garlic shampoo which […]

Read full article »