A Brief History of the Hair Transplant Surgery

A lack of appreciation for history is a clear indicator of a lack of interest to learn more about things that are actually important to you. If you to develop a firm understanding of hair transplant surgery, then you need to take a look back and find out how this surgical procedure came into being. The bigger question here is, is there a need for you to learn about the hair transplant surgery? Is that not the work of the surgeons who are charge with the responsibility of making sure that you look absolutely spectacular a few weeks after your surgery? Well, truth be told, a person who is not well informed on hair transplant surgery will almost always end up making the wrong choices. With the recent developments in the hair loss industry and the field of surgery, there are numerous hair transplant procedures that you could opt for. Each one uses a unique technique of its own. If you are not aware of which particular procedure is right for you, then the results of the surgery are going to end up being disastrous.

The Story of Dr. Okuda

The country of origin for hair transplant surgery is Japan, which shouldn’t be surprising given the fact that they have made impressive progress in the field of surgery over the last century. In the year 1939, a physician by the name of Dr. Okuda was able to come up with a breakthrough process that would revolutionize hair restoration once and for all. He was a dermatologist whose initial intention was to help people with scalp injuries and burn victims. Back in the day, he developed a specific punch technique. When employing this technique, he extracted small sections of the skin that contained hair and implanted these into tiny holes created in the areas where the skin had experienced significant damage. Once the grafts were placed properly and healed, hair began to re-grow in areas that were previously bald. It is important to note that Dr. Okuda never attempted to regenerate new hair follicles. He was simply transferring hair follicles from one place to the other.

The Changes Made by Dr. Tamura

Once original technique for hair transplantation was developed, it became easier for people to make considerable progress in the field of surgical hair restoration. A few years after Dr. Okuda’s incredible achievements, a dermatologist by the name of Dr. Tamura was able to make significant improvements to Okuda’s technique. The goal of Tamura was to make the grafts smaller. The smaller the grafts are, the more real or natural the hair would appear. Tamura was able to successfully minimize the size of the grafts down to one to three hairs per graft. Given the kind of technology that was available to him that was an unbelievable accomplishment. Tamura was specifically working with adult female patients who had hair restored in their pubic regions (because it would have been risky to experiment with scalp hair). The brand of surgery that Dr. Tamura developed all those years ago is pretty similar to the one that is being used in hospitals and hair clinics around the world today. Although Dr. Okuda deserves to be credited with the invention of hair transplantation, Dr. Tamura is the one who was able to perfect the technique.

The Contributions of Dr. Orentreich

The concept of hair restoration surgery had not been introduced in the West for a very long period of time. This is because most of the innovation and developments that were taking place in the field of hair transplantation was during the time of the World War II. Given the hostile relationship between Japan and the United States at that time, you couldn’t possibly expect physicians of these two countries to exchange information and innovation with one another. It was not until the early 1950s that the first hair transplant was carried out in the United States. The man responsible for this outstanding feat was Dr. Norman Orentreich, a dermatologist working in New York. The hair transplantation was carried out on a patient who was suffering from male pattern baldness. Despite the impressiveness of his achievement, Orentrech came under fire and was heavily criticized for the procedure that he had developed. This is because his procedure bore a lot of resemblance to that of Dr. Okuda. As a result, he was unable to come up with the kind of natural looking results that people had expected of him. That being said, Orentreich was the dermatologist who established that hair on the back and sides of a person’s head was not susceptible to balding. Hence, these hairs could be easily used for hair transplantation.

The Change in the 1960s

Even though the early hair transplant procedures were quite ineffective, this surgical hair restoration method had attained widespread popularity by the 1960s. The follicular unit transplantation was developed in the 1990s and since then, hair transplant surgeries have become a much more acceptable form of hair loss treatment.