The Latest Advancements In Hair Restoration

Eyebrow Hair Restoration and Concealment of Scarring with Hair Transplantation

By Marc Dauer, M.D., ABHRS

Hair Restoration has come a long way from the unsightly large “plugs” of yesteryear. Today we practice Follicular Unit Transplantation which allows us to relocate hair follicles in the same way they naturally occur. This technique has also allowed us to transplant hair to other areas of the body besides the scalp.

Follicular Unit Transplantation is the general term to describe transplantation of naturally occurring follicular units. Typically hair grows in clusters of 1,2,3, and 4 hair follicular units. There are two main techniques used to harvest these follicular units. The first and most commonly used method is called “The Strip Method”. This involves taking a narrow strip of hair (usually not to exceed 1.5 cm in width) from some region in the permanent hair zone (in men this is in the occipital and parietal regions of the scalp) and dissecting the strip under magnification into individual follicular units. The other technique used in harvesting is Follicular Unit Extraction. This involves using a biopsy punch tool, usually between .6mm-1.2mm, and extracting the individual follicular units from the permanent hair zone for transplantation into another area.

Eyebrows are one of the most important defining characteristics of the face. Often you don’t even realize the full impact that eyebrows make until you see a person without them. With the Follicular Unit Transplantation, it is now possible to restore natural looking eyebrows that will last a lifetime.

Eyebrow hair loss can occur for several reasons in women and men. Physical trauma (such as burns or lacerations), medical treatments (such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy), excessive plucking, and even menopause, can all contribute to eyebrow hair loss. In the past some people opted for eyebrow tattoos to recreate lost eyebrow hair. Eyebrow transplants can be implanted over eyebrow tattoos to recreate natural looking eyebrows.

The hair to be transplanted into the eyebrows is usually harvested from either the mid occipital region or the nape in the posterior auricular region. In both cases the hair in these areas is of finer quality, thus more accurately resembling natural eyebrow hair. With an artistic eye, and keen attention paid to the individuals facial characteristics, the boundaries of the new eyebrows are drawn in so that the patient can see the shape of their new eyebrows. Once the design is completed the area to be transplanted is anesthetized with local anesthetic containing epinephrine and then tumesced with saline solution. The tumescence allows the grafts to be placed closed together, while elevating the skin further away from the underlying vasculature, thus resulting in less vascular damage. Small recipient sites are made with a solid core 22 gauge needle, with care taken to limit the depth to the size of the follicle to be transplanted. Grafts placed too deeply may result in excessive bruising and/ or cyst formation or scarring. Only single hair follicular units are placed in the eyebrows.

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