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Dr. Harris is a renowned hair transplant surgery expert.
Hair transplant surgery is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that can restore your own natural hair to thinning areas such as the temples or crown. It is virtually painless and is usually completed in one day. There are two types, follicular unit excision (FUE) and the strip method.
With FUE the hair follicles are removed one-by-one from the donor site (usually the back of the head), then transplanted hair-by-hair to the thinning or bald area. This method leaves no visible linear scar.
With the strip method a thin strip of scalp is removed from the back of the head containing follicles. These follicles are then transplanted hair-by-hair into the balding area. This method leaves a very fine linear scar at the back of the head which is rendered non-visible once the hair grows back. This method costs less than FUE.
At the Hair Sciences Center in Denver, CO, Dr. James Harris performs state-of-the-art hair transplant surgery in a personalized setting. He is an internationally renowned expert in hair transplantation, a lecturer, inventor of patented FUE technology, and an advocate for patient education.
In short, you will find no more experienced and respected hair transplant surgeon. Your search for the right physician ends here. Read the hair transplant reviews.
Here are some things you should know about hair transplant surgery procedures at HSC.
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Expertise of the hair transplant surgeon
What are follicular units?
Most people (including some doctors) believe that hair grows in single strands over the entire scalp. Not true. Look through a stereoscopic dissecting microscope at the Hair Sciences Center of Colorado and you’ll see that hair grows in small bundles of one to four-and occasionally, five-hairs. These bundles, along with their support system (below-the-skin sebaceous glands, muscle and connective tissue) form what is known as a “follicular unit.”
What is follicular unit excision? (FUE)
Follicular Unit Excision is a technique that eliminates the linear scar associated with strip harvest and helps to minimize scar visibility in the donor area and to reduce healing time. Specifically, FUE is a method of obtaining follicular units from the donor area one at a time using specialized punches or the ARTAS Robot. Surgeons performing this technique select the follicular unit to be removed, the punch is then placed over the follicular unit and inserted into the skin to separate the follicular unit from the surrounding skin. Next, the follicular unit is grasped and extracted from the surrounding skin. To minimize follicle damage, Dr. Harris has developed the S.A.F.E. System and the S.A.F.E. Hex dissecting tip for the patient’s benefit.
What is follicular unit hair transplantation? (FUHT)
FUHT is a specialized surgical procedure in which the grafts transplanted are follicular units, naturally occurring single hairs or groups of 2-4 hairs. This is how hair grows naturally on your scalp and this is duplicated with FUHT. Once the units are prepared, they are carefully placed in thinning/balding areas in such a way as to achieve the most natural appearance. This means we rearrange the units-using one- and two-hair units to reconstruct the hairlines and three- and four-hair units to create density behind the hairline zone. This makes the results virtually undetectable.
How does FUE differ from FUHT?
The difference is in how the individual follicular units are obtained. In the standard FUHT-strip harvest the donor units are identified and dissected away from the donor strip using operating microscopes. The donor strip (a portion of skin) is surgically removed from the donor area and the incision from the procedure always creates a linear scar. In comparison, FUE creates small (less than one millimeter) scars where each unit has been removed. No strip of skin is removed. FUE is less invasive as it removes less skin than strip harvest for the same number of grafts and therefore heals more quickly with less pain and discomfort.
In general hair can be worn ¼ to ½ an inch after FUE without exposing the donor scars while strip harvest scars will require the hair to be longer than ½ inch to hide the donor scar.
Are the end results of transplants using FUE better than those of FUHT with a strip harvest?
No, the appearance of the transplanted area is generally the same.
What is the Harris S.A.F.E. System and Scribe?
Dr. James Harris, HSC director and lead surgeon, has invented and patented a proprietary method of Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) called the Harris S.A.F.E.™ (Surgically Advanced Follicular Excision) System, a patented breakthrough methodology for hair transplantation. The Harris S.A.F.E.™ System not only avoids donor-strip surgery—meaning there is less scarring and discomfort—but also minimizes graft trauma, preserving more of your own donor follicles. The more grafts that survive, the better the outcome. The S.A.F.E. procedure uses a special instrument designed and patented by Dr. Harris known as the S.A.F.E. Scribe™ and S.A.F.E. Hex. This new methodology means that individuals who were previously not considered good candidates for FUE—including African Americans and those with gray hair—now have a viable option. Additional patient benefits include:
Virtually 100% of patients are candidates for hair transplant surgery
Increased available donor hair due to less follicle damage
Increased donor capacity, as diminished scalp laxity is no longer an issue
More natural-looking hairlines are possible, because the surgeon can select hair characteristics in addition to the number of hairs for placement. Specifically, the finer hair found at the nape of the neck or behind the ear can now be selected and transplanted
Decreased post-operative pain
Reduced healing time
No visible linear scarring
This system is available to FOX Negative® patients
Ideal for the patient who has been told nothing else can be done
African American and gray-haired patients will benefit significantly and become better candidates for the surgery due to less follicle damage
Contact the HSC office to determine whether the Harris S.A.F.E. System is right for you or learn more about an FUE hair transplant cost in this informative video by Dr. Harris.
Is each follicular unit transplanted, irrespective of the number of individual hairs in that unit, considered to be one unit for purposes of your fees?
Yes. It is the same price whether the unit has one hair or four hairs.
Can hair from other areas of the body be transplanted on the head?
Yes, a body hair transplant is a viable option for some, but this is usually only done when a patient has exhausted the scalp donor supply. The patient must be aware that body hair is not the same as the hair on the head. It usually grows at a different rate and has a different texture. Hair from other regions of the body will grow when placed on the head, but may have a slightly different characteristic than the existing scalp hair. Hair obtained from other areas of the body should be harvested by follicular unit excision (FUE).
Can you control the direction in which the transplants will grow?
Yes. We carefully select where to place each follicular unit that is transplanted. We choose the recipient sites to maximize the natural look of the final outcome, as each recipient site made by our team directly determines the direction and angle of growth. The direction will follow the pattern of hair native to that region.
How do I know if I’m a good candidate for hair transplant surgery?
Most men and women in good general health are candidates for hair transplant surgery. Your personal situation is best determined through a private consultation. As noted previously, your consultation will provide plenty of time to have your questions about candidacy, options and outcomes answered to your satisfaction.
What can I expect in terms of density and fullness?
The word fullness rather than density more accurately describes the visual effect of what we perceive as “thick” versus “thin” hair. The concept of fullness is broader and more inclusive. Density (the number of hairs per square centimeter) is only one of several contributing factors involved in a positive visual appearance. Other contributors include hair shaft diameter, color, texture and curl. These factors may be of equal, or even greater importance, than density in achieving a “full” head of hair. For example, in the early stages of balding, the “thin look” is caused by a process called miniaturization, whereby hair is reduced in size but not actually lost. Therefore, the density (the counted number of hairs/cm2) remains the same, although the person’s look of fullness can be dramatically reduced. Depending on these factors, the results after initial surgery will vary from patient to patient. Still wondering, “How does a hair transplant work?” We’ll happily answer any questions you have.
How many grafts would you estimate I need to restructure my hairline?
The only way to give you an estimate is to assume that you are completely bald. Consider this: filling in small recessions usually requires around 500 follicular units. To fill in the frontal forelock and hairline can require from 1500 to 2000 follicular units. To transplant from the hairline to the top of the crown requires over 3000 follicular units. All of these numbers are approximate. Your personalized estimate will also depend on facial shape for placement of the hairline, your personal desires, your needs for density and the amount of hair already present.
Download the free ARTAS® app, and pursuant to its instructions take 5 photos of your head and send them to us. We will give you a online consultation and, if possible, a ballpark figure on what you may expect regarding the cost of a hair transplant that is right for you.