Prior to the advent of modern hair transplantation, hair transplant surgeons performed hair transplants using hair plugs. In 1939, Dr. Shoji Okuda of Japan described using hair plugs to treat alopecia areata, leprosy, and scarring alopecia. Dr. Norman Orentreich, a NYU dermatologist, performed the first hair transplant to treat male pattern baldness using hair plugs in 1952. You may have heard of the term hair plugs but may not be familiar with what they really are. Hair transplantation using hair plugs involves a surgical technique where the hair transplant surgeon uses a round punch device to remove an approximately 3-4 millimeter cylindrical portion of scalp and hair. This hair plug is transplanted from the “donor” area on the back of the scalp to the “recipient” area on the frontal scalp or hairline. Prior to the advent of modern hair transplantation in 1994 by Dr. Bobby Limmer, hair plugs were the gold standard in hair transplantation. The reason hair plugs have such a bad reputation is that they produced non-natural results in which the transplanted hair had a tufted or doll’s-hair appearance.
Follicular Unit Transplantation
As a much-needed improvement on the hair plug technique, Dr. Limmer described modern hair transplantation using micrografting or follicular unit transplantation. In follicular unit transplantation, follicular units the size of 1 to 4 hairs are individually transplanted, resulting in a natural appearance that mirrors non-transplanted hairs. Dr. Vlad Ratushny only performs the modern techniques of hair transplantation at Boston’s MassDerm Hair Transplant Institute such as follicular unit transplantation / strip excision.
Dr. Vlad Ratushny, a regular columnist in the the prestigious hair transplant publication Hair Transplant Forum International, was recently featured discussing new findings in the field of hair growth biology. In this article, Dr. Ratushny describes how olfactory receptors (typically used to transmit our sense of smell) have been discovered by scientists in human skin. The researchers in the study, published in Nature Communications, showed not only that smell receptors are found in the skin, but that specific odorants (e.g. a synthetic variant of sandalwood) could potentially stimulate hair growth. Further studies will be necessary to determine whether these findings can be translated into new therapies to promote hair growth.
Hair restoration surgeon and Harvard-trained, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Vlad Ratushny MD, PhD has the expertise to provide the most advanced surgical treatments for hair loss for both men and women. Dr. Ratushny’s expertise includes the two most advanced options for hair transplantation including follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT/strip excision). In addition to being a hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Ratushny is also a Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital-trained dermatologist specializing in hair loss. Dr. Ratushny believes that it’s not enough to just be trained in the surgical techniques for hair transplantation. He prides himself on a deep understanding of men’s and women’s hair loss.