What Was a Hair Plug?

Hair Transplant Graftsare No Longer Called Hair Plugs!

A plug is a circular hair transplant graft taken from a donor area (usually made by using a power tool) and transplanted to a prepared circular site on the top of the balding scalp.

It’s called a plug because a slightly larger graft is “plugged” into a smaller bald site, which can cause a thick, tufted result. Since the plugs are slightly separated from one another, the result was the often described cornrow effect. Different size circular “plugs” were inserted between the prior healed or growing ones, but there was always a small space between the grafts making them noticeable, especially in dark-haired patients with contrasting light-colored skin.

Generally plugs were very large in diameter and would contain fifteen to twenty hairs. The typical procedure would require three or four visits of about one hundred plugs each in a very bald gentleman.

Hair was usually styled to the side to cover the hairline and any of the plugs in the center of the bald area which were always spaced further apart than those on the hairline or frontal region. In the past patients were told, “Look it’s not perfect, but at least you have hair.”

There were two schools of thought in the past. Some doctors believed that only twenty to thirty plugs should be transplanted in each (of multiple) sessions. Others felt that larger sessions were better for the patient and the result because circulation, and therefore, subsequent growth lessened with multiple procedures. Since the plugs needed a large blood supply it caused them to compete with the plug closest just like two closely planted trees competing for nutrients.

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