How to Avoid Pluggy Look from Hair Transplant?

wondering how you can get hair transplants without a pluggy look? it seems that some guys get that after-procedure look, others dont. i obviously dont want others to know i got this done.

Doctor Answers 12

Pluggy look is a technical complication from unskilled doctors and technicians

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Pluggy look is a technical complication from unskilled doctors and technicians.  A good hair transplant surgery will go unnoticed by others.  That is why finding the cheapest doctor is not the most wisest choice.

Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Good question

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Pluggy look is a result from usually an older technique.  FUE (I prefer NeoGraft) and proper placement considering natural density patterns, orientation, and an eye for aesthetics should avoid a pluggy look every time.

Follicular Unit Extraction Avoids Pluggy Look

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This depends on the technique and surgeon used for hair transplant. Thirty-or-so years ago, hair transplant was associated with the pluggy look due to the now-antiquated methods that were used. Nowadays, this is not so. Any experienced hair transplant surgeon with skill and artistic propensity should be able to implant donor hairs without a pluggy result. The same may not be said of novice practitioners, which means you need to extensively research surgeons and not just arbitrarily pick one. Furthermore, certain modern techniques are prone to more natural-looking results. For example follicular unit extraction (FUE) has a greater capacity to create soft, gradual hairlines due to its use of non-traditional donor hair (such as finer caliber nape hair).

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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Obtaining a natural look from Hair Transplant

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With today's modern techniques one should no longer use the old plug grafts method.  A transplant today done properly does not look like the patient had a transplant since grafts contain 1-3 hairs. 

Jack Fisher, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon

Avoiding Pluggy Look in Hair Transplant

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The pluggy look was due to the process of large hairbearing grafts put into cut out areas. No quality hair-transplantation surgeon does this kind of work anymore. Our office only does micro-follicular hair grafts of 1 or 2 hairs in small .5mm perforations in the scalp. The results are completely natural and totally undetectable.

Achieving an undetectable results

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These days, anyone who does not achieve an undetectable result from a hair transplant has not had an aesthetically performed procedure, and therefore has likely not done his/her homework. The use of the microscope in follicular unit grafting allows for the smallest grafts that can then be placed in an aesthetic fashion to create a natural appearance. Doing research online is generally the best way to be assured of getting an excellent result- be sure to view hundreds of before and after photos as part of your homework.

Producing a Natural Hair Transplant Result

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There are a couple of ways to avoid this look.  One is the use of micro grafts (1-2 hairs) and mini (3-4 hairs) grafts, a wavy pattern to the hair line with placement of micro grafts at the hair line.

Dr. ES

To Avoid Hair Plug Looks AFter Hair Transplants

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Good hair restoration has moved far beyond the plugs, i.e., 4 mm round grafts containing 16 to 20 hairs in each.  However, we have still not moved beyond bad work.  Compression, pitting, bad angles, traumatic insertion, kinky hair, unnatural curl, wrong graft to site fit are all things that I still see in cut-rate clinics or inexperienced hands.  The way to overcome this problem is by having not only an excellent surgeon but an amazing team.  To me the success of a transplant involves both elements.  My new textbook, Hair Transplant 360, is a two volume edition with one by me for physicians and one by my assistant, Emina, for assistants.  Nothing like that has ever been written before.  Focus on quality of every member is the key to excellent outcomes.


Sam Lam

Sam Lam, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Plugging Look in Hair Transplantation

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The final result in hair transplantation depends on the hair texture and density,as well as the skill of the technician (surgeon). Hair transplants are easy to do, but it is difficult to get good results. Some patients choose to have the Fleming/Mayer flap, where there is no risk of the "pluggy" look while achieving normal, uniform density.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Avoiding the pluggy look in hair transplants

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It is hard to find a hair surgeon these days who performs plug grafts which give the "pluggy look". Properly done follicular unit grafts cannot give the "pluggy look."

The look you describe comes from more than one follicular unit in a plug placed in a recipient hole that is smaller than the graft. This compression of the follicular units creates an abnormally dense look in a small area. By transplanting hair by its loweest common denominator, the follicular unit, one cannot get this compression.

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.