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John Bell Croyden Centre


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History of Hair Transplantation

The practice of hair transplantation dates back to the 19th century. It is believed that modern transplant techniques began in Japan around the 1930s, where surgeons used small grafts, possibly even follicular unit grafts to replace damaged areas of eyebrows or eyelashes, but not to treat baldness. Maybe this was a cultural influence as baldness, natural or otherwise, was very common in the Samurai class. The early hair transplant surgeons efforts did not receive global attention at the time, and it wouldn't be until the 1950s, that the hair transplantation procedure pioneered in Japan, became available to a wider audience.

When the practice of hair transplantation first arrived on western shores, there was a general belief that transplanted hair would not last. It was considered to be a temporary and limited fix to a problem that had cursed humanity for many years. In general, surgeons thought that once the donor hair had been transplanted to the recipient part of the head, it would slowly die off and suffer the same fate as the original hair that had once occupied the now bald or balding area. Fortunately this was not the case. It is now accepted that transplanted hair will only grow in its new site for as long as it would have in its original one. This rule continues to serve as the fundamental foundation for hair follicle harvesting, whether it be by strip method or Follicular Unit Extraction.

Varying levels of success in the hair reansplantation field were achieved over the next couple of decades. Some surgeons worked on transplanting smaller grafts, but the results were only slightly successful, with 24 mm plugs that resulted in a scalp that resembled a dolls head. Other surgeons started using large numbers of small grafts in the 1980s, while American surgeons began using thousands of micrografts in a single session. In the late 1980s, an eminent surgeon introduced the use of a stereo microscope to dissect a single donor strip into small micrografts. The follicular unit hair transplant procedure has continued to evolve, becoming more refined and only slightly invasive as the size of the graft incisions have become quite minute. These smaller and less invasive incisions enable the surgeons to place a larger number of follicular unit grafts into a given area. The new refined follicular unit hair transplantation procedure can place over 50 grafts into a square centimeter.

With the latest improvements to the surgical technique and in particular, the Follicular Unit Extraction procedure, the recovery time is instantaneous and the pain virtually zero. There is no need for any bed rest or hospitalisation after the hair transplant has been completed.

All consultations and check-ups at The Hair Clinic are FREE.

Further Information

If you would like to know more or are interested in a quote we would be happy to help. Phone us on 020 7224 4640, email us at or fill in our enquiry form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.