To Scar or Not To Scar


A very common question about hair transplants is “what the scarring will be like.” First, it is important to know why scars occur. Scars occur when the skin is broken for any reason. The body is engineered to heal itself without any aid from a doctor. The way it does this is with specialized cells that contract at the edge of the wound and pull the skin together. The body then produces collagen to bind the skin together. This process will produce a scar. The larger and wider the wound and the more tension there is on the healing wound the wider and more pronounced, or hypertrophic, the scar will be.
In hair transplantation there are two main methods of procuring the hairs. The hair we use as donor hair is taken from the back and sides of the head. Unlike the hair on the top of the head, this hair is genetically engineered to never fall out.
The first method is the strip method. In this technique a large strip of hair is cut out of the back and side of the head. The hairs are individually sectioned from this large strip. The donor site is closed with sutures and staples and there is often a great amount of tension on this wound. This method will lead to a large, visible scar that is easily seen even when short hair is worn on the scalp. Due to the tension it also creates a fair amount of pain. See our pictures of what the hair transplant scars look like.
The second, newer technique utilizes the NeoGraft. With NeoGraft each follicular unit is harvested individually. The NeoGraft uses a small needle to harvest each graft. This small needle makes a very small wound that heals with minimal scaring and no sutures. The scars that are created are so small, that after they are healed, they are almost impossible to see with the naked eye. In addition, since there is no tension on the wound there is little risk for hypertrophic scaring and minimal pain.

Article by
Atlantic City Plastic Surgeon