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When hair transplant surgery first came onto the scene, men and women with thinning hair or bald scalps (who had been hiding under their hats and scarves for years) finally had some hope. Those who could afford this “new” technology ran to the first hair restoration doctor who claimed they could cure their baldness. Unfortunately, the technology, which seemed advanced for the time, could often result in pluggy, unnatural looking hairlines. For many who had these “baby doll” hair transplants, the results were both cosmetically and psychologically disastrous.
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Older methods of hair transplantation included punching out circles Hair Plugs of hair-bearing scalp that were then moved to the balding areas. Practices such as scalp reductions (literally cutting out the balding areas of scalp and raising the two sides of hair-bearing scalp hair implants toward the center) often left long visible scars. For a time, there was also the method of planting synthetic hair directly into the scalp and then surgically sewing it beneath the skin, a procedure that is now illegal in the United States. This latter was a short lived experiment which caused the hair to be rejected and the scalp to be severely scarred.
The older surgical procedures presented numerous cosmetic problems, the most common of which were the large, unnatural look of plug-grafts. These punch graft techniques of hair transplantation also tended to leave circular scars throughout the donor area (the donor area is the area of scalp where the hair is harvested from for the transplant). Other problems included poor hair direction, inconsistent hair growth, and a generally unnatural look to the hair restoration procedure. In many cases the results were so bad that patients were left wishing they were bald again.
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