Why does donor hair continue to grow after hair transplant surgery?
Donor hair grows after being transplanted because of ‘donor dominance’. The hair follicles used ( or ‘donated’) from the back scalp area during hair transplant surgery are genetically programmed to continue growing hair for a lifetime. These hairs are not susceptible or resistant to DHT.
Take the example of male pattern baldness. This form of loss proceeds exactly as described – hair is lost in a pattern common to males. However, for transplant, donor hair is taken from the back scalp, where baldness never occurs and is therefore termed dominant hair. The donor (or dominant) area extends from the lower part of the back of the scalp to the lower parts of the side scalp. And this is the reason that hair follicles located there are used in hair transplant surgery.
It is important for the patient to understand that no ‘new’ hair is introduced to the balding areas, only hair that is moved from one area of the scalp to another. It’s also very important to realise that this process is self-limiting, the limitation being the ability of the donor area to supply any more without being denuded. Hair restoration surgeons require a finely-tuned expertise to redistribute just enough of the patient’s limited supply of donor hair follicles during a hair transplant procedure to create a fuller head of hair.
It’s also important that the hair restoration surgeon looks at the possibility of future hair loss patterns, particularly in the younger man, before agreeing or planning a course of action. And, as male pattern balding is progressive – sometimes over a number of years – it is important to balance the use of hair replacement surgery and hair medication to achieve natural-looking results.
Mr Michael May – FRCS, principal of the Wimpole Clinic has carried out over 8000 hair restoration treatments and has an enviable reputation in this, his specialist field. He has exceptional skill in advising patients and undertaking the surgery to create for his patient the appearance of a full head of naturally growing hair.