With the patient’s input, Dr. Williams revisits the priorities previously discussed in the original consultation. The desired hair line is established utilizing anatomic and artistic guidelines to ensure an undetectable, natural result. The patient receives local anesthesia in the hairline region and below the donor area. A thin, superficial piece of skin 1cm wide and 10-30 cm in length is comfortably removed and the edges are approximated utilizing small clips. These clips will be hidden under the hair and removed in 7-10 days.
Each hair follicle, which will be individually removed from the piece of skin under stereoscopic microscopes, will transferred individually. Natural occurring groupings will be recreated by transplanting the follicle, which each have 1 to 4 hairs, in strategically placed areas outlined by the doctor. Dr. Williams uses advanced techniques to create a natural hairline through ultra-dense packing of single hair grafts, utilizing custom made blades to create recipient areas. Special attention is required to provide the artistic, irregular pattern needed to obtain an undetectable hairline, giving the patient the best result possible after only one procedure.
The third step is the creation of recipient sites in areas needing hair. Recipient sites are superficial openings in the scalp that receive the transplanted grafts. During hair restoration, Dr. Williams makes a specific number of these incisions, based on each individual’s particular hair loss pattern. Typically, the range is 1000 to 3500 follicles being transferred into these recipient sites. Because each hair follicle on the human body contains 1-4 hairs, the actual number of hairs being transferred is usually 2500 to 8800. The size, spacing, and direction of the recipient sites are the foundation for a natural looking hair restoration procedure.
The fourth step is the placement of the hair follicles. Each graft is meticulously placed into the recipient sites at the correct angle, direction, and depth, by an experienced and skillful team, to achieve a natural-looking result. After all of the hair follicles have been placed into their respective recipient sites, the procedure is complete and the healing process begins. Because the graft recipient sites are small, they heal in a few days. A bandana is placed over the scalp to be removed the next day. The hair can be gently washed the next day.
Although the procedure may take all day, it is an enjoyable day of movie watching, enjoyable conversation along with a catered lunch. Breaks are allowed at any time and many patients bring work from the office. Patients can use their computer or make phone calls in a private, adjacent office. The team performs many hours of tedious and painstaking microscopic and magnified work preparing and placing the grafts.
The final step is waiting for the hair restoration to grow. Virtually all transferred hair follicles survive and eventually grow hair; however the process takes time. Although some clients notice growth in 4 months (with use of Low Level Laser Therapy like I-Grow), typically 8 – 12 months are necessary to witness optimum growth of the newly restored hair. The progress is so gradual that it goes unnoticed and is natural at every stage.