The future of hair restoration and hair transplantationResearch on hair restoration takes us from fascinating investigations of follicular phsychology to essential studies regarding clinical safety and efficiency of medical treatment, to evaluations that are necessary for the surgical technique. At the end of the ’90s, leaders in the hair transplant field debated several subjects. Out of these debates came out several common truths accepted, although not unanimously, by the majority of specialists in the field. These specialists consider that too little scientific effort has been made for understanding the specifically psycho-social results of the various types of hair restoration interventions. A scandinavian study suggests favourable changes of the image of the self on patients for whom minoxidil produces hair growth, compared to placebo containers, but because pre-testing was assessed retrospectively, after the medical treatment, the results cannot be considered very convincing.
Probably there have not been made any systematic research because of the fact that such an approach requires interdisciplinary endeavors among scientists and physicians who work “in different worlds.” This necessary collaboration should be encouraged. The knowledge that this might imply, has promising implications for patient care and, finally, for the quality of people’s lives.
At the beginning of the 21st century, hair transplant specialists are debating the superiority of follicular unit micrografting versus the more traditional micrografting and minigrafting. Many specialists say that follicular unit micrografting, while a technically more demanding and time-consuming procedure, but yielding superiour results in terms of a more natural appearance because hairs are transplanted as they grow naturally in the scalp, will prevail.
The future of hair restoration is exciting, primarily because of the medical advances that will be made. Gene therapy also may have some future application in treating hair loss, because once the full human genome is mapped, the location of genes that cause alopecia can be identified and potentially replaced with non–hair loss gene sequences. Hair cloning may offer the surgeon a virtually unlimited supply of donor hairs.
Also, another vital direction in the future of hair hair transplantation is the mechanisation of the hair transplant process, which can improve in a dramatic way the process of follicular unit transplantation. But, of course, a hair transplant will remain an aesthetic procedure that requires an experienced surgeon to create natural-appearing results.