Please note that this information is not about the popular Norwood classification that only describes the various patterns and stages of hair loss over time. What we are concerned here is the classification of methods or approaches used for hair transplant.
Hair transplant methods are classified on the basis of the way hair transplant surgeons place the hair-bearing skin grafts taken from the donor site of a patient’s scalp into the recipient area where hair density is needed.
Two major classes into which hair transplants can be divided with respect to the approach or method applied are:
Strip Method, and
Traditionally, hair transplants were performed by extracting one or more pieces of long strips of hair-bearing skin from the donor area and simply ‘plugging’ it into the recipient area. Although this method had many disadvantages, the doctors had no choice since this was the only approach available in surgical hair restoration industry since its beginning as a major breakthrough in the hair restoration industry in general, and it was not until 1995 when the surgical hair transplant took its next leap by introduction of graft-size minimization concept pioneered by the NEW Hair Institute Group.
The new idea of follicular unit extraction and transplantation rather than whole, long-strips, though revolutionary it is, demands very high levels of expertise on the part of the doctor. So it was not bought immediately by the doctors or the patients. With time, however, as the data of high success rates of cases treated initially steadily mounted and client satisfaction and confidence gradually made it the choice method everywhere causing a rise in its demand to unprecedented heights, its value as the best surgical method has finally been established.
Today, we have the following three variations of FUE:
Single Hair Follicular Unit Extraction, in which grafts bearing single hair are transplanted,
Single Follicular Unit Extraction, in which each graft contains two hairs, and
Modified Follicular Unit Extraction, consists in transplanting groups of 4 hairs in each graft
The first two types are particularly useful in achieving natural hairlines and eyebrows, whereas the last one is considered best for achieving density in the main areas of the scalp above the hair line. In other words Single Follicular Units are wonderful for getting natural looking results, whereas Modified Follicular Units assist in creating density.
Believe that using single follicular units exclusively is not the best choice for most patients, especially if they have gray hair, curly hair, thin hair or a large bald area. Therefore use the time-honored ‘mixed’ approach selecting appropriate type and number of follicular units for each case and situation.
To each individual client we assign a team comprising a hair transplant surgeon and a cosmetic expert who prepare a strategic plan of treatment based on the data gathered during the examination session, and report back on exactly what percentage of hair density, and what type and number of follicular units the case in question needs in which areas to have a perfectly natural, and harmonious look of the hair on his head.