The History of Hair Transplants

Even though the common belief is that the world of hair restoration began in the Unites States, it didn’t. The roots of modern day surgical hair restoration were actually cultivated in Japan in the late 1930’s. It was in 1939 that Japanese physician, Dr. Okuda described in detail his groundbreaking work in surgical hair restoration for burn victims. He created a grafting technique also known as the “punch” technique to harvest round sections of hair-bearing skin (tissue), which were then transplanted into small round holes at the recipient site. The use of this method was used in order to regrow hair in burn victims and the holes were prepared in the scared or burned areas of the scalps of his patients. After the skin grafts healed, they continued to yield hair in the previously bald areas of scalp.
Another Japanese doctor, Dr. Tamura lessened the size of the grafts to 1-3 hairs for better results. Unfortunately, this technique was lost during World War II, but they were soon rediscovered and used in the West.
The issue of baldness has affected humanity as recorded history has made notes about peoples’ lack of hair. No longer did we have to go bald and do nothing about it!
1950’s: A New York physician by the name of Dr. Norman Orentreich performed the first known hair transplant in the US on a man suffering with male pattern baldness (MPB). It was that day that Dr. Orentreich essentially reinvented modern-day hair transplantation. His work demonstrated that the hair from the back and the sides of a patient’s scalp was for the most part – resistant to the balding process. This is called the donor zone and is known to be DHT resistant, these hairs are essentially “protected” and are considered the holy grail for any type of hair transplantation.
According to the research of donor dominance, it was a principle that expressed why transplanted hair would continue to present the characteristics of the hair from where it was taken.  If taken from the side of the scalp, the hair will continue to grow as hair from the side of the scalp, but it would continue to grow in areas of the scalp that were thinning or completely bald.
1960’s: The decade that the industry of surgical hair transplantation had forever found a place in cosmetic surgery! The new views of baldness created a holistic treatment as the complete issue was beginning to be understood in the 1960’s. Surgical techniques focused on moving hair-bearing flaps to bald areas, using tissue expanders to help scalp reconstruction in bald areas and finally using bald reduction scalp surgery to remove part of the bald scalp and replace it with hair bearing scalp tissue. However, these techniques still could not have the desired natural look.
1970’s: Large grafts were used during this era and became known as “hair-plugs.” Hair plugs gave a negative view on hair transplants. Limitations on technology and procedure had drastic, sometimes crude results for Orentreich’s patients, and this created a social stigma associated with hair transplants.
1980’s: By the early 80’s micro-grafts used smaller grafts rather than one long strip resulting in a more natural look. Moving away from easily detected plug transplants, these techniques set the foundations for modern surgical practices that focus on safety and natural looking results. Micro-grafts were an improvement, but they still were not perfect.
1990’s: It wasn’t until the mid-1990’s that surgical hair restoration came out of the dark ages to produce credited and natural looking results. Alas! The advent of follicular unit transplantation (FUT) requires follicular units dissected from a donor strip (i.e. the back of the scalp) for a better result but requires more time and surgical skill.

Mid-2000’s: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) became the current method of hair transplants that used a very tiny punch from a donor strip until the proper number of follicles were obtained.  FUE became more widely used as it made hair transplantation a virtually undetectable, viable option for many hair loss sufferers.  While technology ‘advanced’ that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘improved’ technology, the Robotic FUE method using an ARTAS Robot has seen more harm than good. FUE performed by the human-hand has made hair transplantation a virtually undetectable, viable option for many hair loss sufferers.

Hair transplants have also been coupled with new medications like Propecia/Finasteride and OTC Minoxidil/Rogaine in order to slow or even stop hair loss for optimal results.  In the past 30 years, tremendous advances have been made in stopping hair loss and regrowing hair back.
At Modena Hair Restoration, we want you to make an informed decision when choosing not only the right method that suits your specific needs, in addition – the right surgeon is just as important, so we’ve added a few quick pointers to help you choose a clinic and physician for your next hair restoration procedure.

  • The surgeon specializes in Hair Transplant surgeries with extensive expertise
  • The surgeon performing your procedure is a member of the ISHRS
  • The surgeon only performs 1 surgery per day
  • The surgeon performs the surgery – not allowing his or her technicians to take over
  • The surgeon extracts by hand – not a mechanical robot such as the Artas or NeoGraft 

Southern California & Las Vegas Hair Restoration surgeon, Dr. Yazdan, can often give the results patients’ desire in a single FUE or FUT/Strip hair transplant surgery, with future sessions to follow only if necessary. Dr. Yazdan personally performs each hair transplant in Beverly Hills, Orange County and Las Vegas surgical clinics at his surgical center, utilizing a dedicated team throughout the entire process. He is involved in every aspect of the procedure in order to ensure the best possible hair restoration results and is committed to performing only one surgery per day in order to provide patients with the undivided attention they deserve.
Remember, while a hair transplant is considered minimally invasive, this is still a surgical procedure that takes many years of skill and artistry to make it look natural and undetected by the naked eye. For more information regarding helpful tips, read our blog topic – Hair Transplant: Consultation Questions to Ask Your Surgeon.
For questions or to schedule a consultation, call one of our offices conveniently located in Irvine, Newport Beach, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas at 888-717-5273 or contact via our website at contact Modena Hair Link