Hair loss affects millions of men and women across the UK, making hair transplant treatments increasingly popular. While it is shown that over half of men aged 50 and over suffer from male pattern baldness, it is increasingly common to see the signs of visible hair loss at a much younger age. Whether you are in your twenties or sixties, experiencing sudden or gradual hair loss can be psychologically challenging and worsen the problem. At Seneca Medical Group, our team of highly experienced doctors specialise in restoring a youthful appearance to enhance your daily life. Using the advanced Direct FUE technique, we deliver long-lasting results for a natural-looking solution.
The Direct FUE, also called Direct Hair Implantation (DHI), is an advanced version of the FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplant and has become the gold standard of hair transplant procedures in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. The procedure is a minimally invasive technique that avoids the need for graft processing and is designed to deliver lasting results, with a natural appearance that is supported by the fact that transplanted hair follicles will grow in the same way that the other hairs do.
As with any hair transplant treatment, Direct FUE is suitable for a range of candidates primarily aged 25 or over. However, it is particularly effective for individuals who experienced any level of androgenic alopecia, and other forms of alopecia, which is the most common form of hair loss. As the name suggests, this hair transplant procedure focuses on the extraction of hair follicles from the donor area, usually the back (occipital) or sides (temporal), before being implanted into the recipient area where alopecia or hair loss has occurred. The most common sites are the forehead, middle, and crown area of the scalp. The follicles will be implanted with a specialised implanter device that is used to control the direction, depth, and angle of placement with outstanding accuracy.
Extraction is facilitated by a special tool to allow surgeons to extract grafts with precision and minimal trauma. This ensures faster healing and excellent graft quality for optimal growth at all times. Meanwhile, the avoidance of making reception holes in the scalp during the stage of implantation ensures that this modern approach to hair transplantation can eliminate the threat of “orange peel” scarring. Moreover, it means that patients will retain full flexibility in relation to hair styling options as the hair grows naturally just as it would on any other part of the head.
Once the follicles have been relocated from the donor area to the receiver site, they will soon begin to grow new hairs. Results can often be seen in as little as 3 months, although it does take 12-18 months for the full benefits to show. Crucially, the Direct FUE technique allows your doctor to tailor the hair transplant treatment to meet individual needs. By recreating a natural hairline, for example, it is possible to restore the frame of the face, rejuvenating the entire facial features.
The process begins with a full consultation with your doctor to understand your expectations regarding your new hairline and the overall plan. Following this, the Direct FUE extraction process will be performed using the specialised extraction tool.
DESIGN – EXTRACTION
Hair follicles are extracted from the safe donor area on the back and side of the head and collected one by one in preparation for the next stages. Your doctor will extract the right number of follicles to reflect the design plans, which are based on your individual goals and in accordance with medical protocols.
Keeping the hair follicles in controlled conditions is another key step that can have a significant impact on the future regrowth of new hair following the transplant. Here at Seneca Medical Group, we use minimal handling and store the extracted hair follicles in a specialised Hypothermosol® solution. This step ensures that hair follicles are stored at optimal temperatures until they are needed for the final stage. This is an essential part of the process, which is another reason why hair transplants should be performed by highly experienced professionals. Correct handling and proper care of the grafts promote faster regrowth and better overall results.
HypoThermosol® is a graft preservation solution that can be used in grafts to promote hair follicle growth and reduce swelling. Not only does it moisturise the follicular unit like a saline solution while you wait for a transplant, but it also adds vital nutrients that promote growth. Follicles have no blood and oxygen supply while awaiting transplantation, but HypoThermosol has been shown to better tide them over until they are able to generate their own again.
Finally, the hair follicles must be implanted into the area of the head where the new hairs belong. Implanters do not need reception holes and leave minimal scarring. The surgeon is able to meticulously plan what type of grafts to implant into each area. The single grafts are used to create a soft, natural-looking hairline while the multiple grafts (follicles with three or more hairs per unit) are placed in areas where density is required. The implantation can be planned in a way, so that hairs are strategically placed for maximum results. The Direct FUE treatment can be used by both men and women as a cure for hair loss and to restore a youthful look with greater efficiency than other hair transplant treatments, including standard FUE.
RESULTS & AFTERCARE
New hair growth can be observed within 2 months of the treatment, with final result achieved in 10-12 months. Seneca Medical Group provides a comprehensive aftercare package, including detailed post-op instructions and up to 14 months of follow-up appointments, ensuring the best possible outcomes.
Direct FUE offers numerous advantages when compared to older methods like FUT or traditional FUE:
As with any hair restoration surgery, the time that Direct FUE takes can vary from one patient to the next. While your doctor will talk you through the process and the aftercare steps, the procedure itself focuses on three key stages as detailed below.