The strip method is a method of obtaining follicular units from a donor strip taken from an area of non-balding scalp at the back and sides of the head, removing the grafts from the strip using operating microscopes, and then transplanting the grafts in the bald or thinning areas. This is a method of obtaining grafts from the donor area whereby a strip of skin is removed from the donor area under local anesthesia. The donor site incision is sutured closed and follicular unit grafts are dissected free from the strip using stereomicroscopic dissection. This method is in contrast to follicular unit extraction (FUE) where the grafts are removed directly from the donor area one at a time (see description under the “FUE” FAQ’s).
Patients experiencing the following conditions are excellent candidates for the Strip Method:
Doctor determines that given the individual’s profile, this procedure is a better surgical option
The scalp is very elastic. When the donor strip of hair is removed, the scalp on both sides is simply pulled together and sutured. The only evidence of surgery is a thin, horizontal line hidden under the hair on the back or side of the head. The scar usually resembles the crease of the palm of your hand. Immediately after surgery, the scar is hidden in your hair. It should not be visible unless your hair is lifted up. After healing, the scar is virtually impossible to find. The length of the scar will depend on the number of grafts needed. Larger sessions will require a longer scar and vise versa.
This a special strip closure technique whereby the surgeon will treat one wound edge in a way to induce hair to grow through the scar to make it less visible when the hair is worn short. This technique works well but it is not 100% effective in eliminating all scar visibility.
I like to wear my hair short in the back. Will the scars from a strip harvest show through? After you have healed, you can cut your hair fairly short. Do understand, however, that scars will be detectable if your hair is so short that it does not layer or lie down in back. No matter how fine they are, scars do create some distortion in the skin.
If you are considering shaving your head, hair transplant surgery - of any kind - is probably not in your best interest. The point of hair transplantation is to not look bald. If you have had a strip harvest, shaving your head will reveal the small skin distortions that naturally accompany graft placement, and the donor area scar will likely be visible.
To learn more on the topic of hair loss and restoration please see the series of informative hair transplant videos made by Dr. Harris.