Androgenetic hair loss is defined by the shrinking of hair follicles, which leads to thinner, shorter hairs, and eventually to dormant follicles and correlating bald spots.
One popular treatment to androgenetic hair loss is hair transplant surgery. More technically known as follicular unit extraction procedures, these surgeries have been occurring in the U.S. for over 70 years. Typically, there are two methods for the transplant: follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) or follicular unit extraction (FUE).
In FUSS surgeries, a strip of skin is removed from a “donor” area that contains healthy hair follicles. This strip is then cut into grafts and implanted in the specific areas where loss is occurring. In FUE procedures, individual follicles are removed from the donor area and implanted individually at the area of loss.
Both methods have high success rates and can result in truly amazing hair restoration for qualified candidates. While the FUE approach is often the preferred method as it minimizes scarring, both methods unfortunately do require the sacrifice of healthy hair follicles from the available donor areas.
Partial longitudinal-follicular unit transplantation (PL-FUT), an approach developed by Dr Coen Gho of the Hair Science Clinic, is an exciting advancement in the hair transplantation speciality as it extracts only a part of the follicle, preserving active stem cells at the donor site. The end result - no scarring, maintained density in the donor area and an active, hair-growing follicles at the recipient site.
Sources: Advances in Hair Transplantation: Longitudinal Partial Follicular Unit Transplantation, Coen G Gho and H.A.M. Neumann; Hair Science Clinic; WebMD; Sydney Hair Transplant