Hair plugs are actually a form of hair transplant, it was very popular back in the 1950s; however, doctors don’t use the term hair plug in the medical world today. A hair plug is usually a small round piece of the scalp that is removed or punched out from the back of the patient’s head. Each plug will contain about 20 individual hairs. These pieces of hair will be plugged into the balding area of the scalp later.
Although hair plugs are not fake hair since they are made from your own hair. They usually give you a fake appearance due to their size and the gaps between them. They usually look like the hair on a Barbie doll, which has that distinct plug-like look.
However, today hair transplant is a much more evolved procedure. The surgeon will remove individual follicles called follicular units instead of removing plugs of up to 20 hair follicles altogether. And of course, the transplantation of these follicular units will give you a more natural look, providing better healing of the donor site too, you only need about a week to be completely healed, hair transplant will leave you with small red pinpricks, that will fade away revealing a completely natural hair.
Traditional hair plugs were revolutionary at their time, but we have been using more modern techniques recently, which are much quicker and will give more pleasing results.
If you’ve received hair plugs in the past, it’s still possible to get a modern hair transplant. However, you need to have enough hair follicles to use as grafts for the balding areas in your scalp.
If you choose to do a FUT procedure, your doctor will use a strip between 1 to 1.5 centimeters wide. Many cosmetic clinics offer hair plug reversals for people that are not happy with their old results.
Which one is better: Hair Plugs or Hair Transplant?
As technology improved, hair plugs were not used, hair transplant is now being performed using the newer FUT and FUE techniques. Those newer techniques have many more advantages such as less procedure time, lower risk of scarring, and more natural-looking results.
We should inform you that modern hair transplants have superior hair plugs. We know that both techniques will make regain your lost hair by moving healthy hair to areas of your scalp where hair is no longer grow or is starting to thin. However, using hair plug techniques for a hair transplant is riding a tractor to work, you know that it will get you there, but not fast enough, and with terrible discomfort. It’s the same case with your hair; you don’t just want your hair to grow again, you want it to grow and look completely natural without anybody noticing that you had a hair transplant.
Early hair transplants like hair plugs took a long time, A study from 1971, said that this procedure will take 16 weeks to be completed for deep hairline recession, while modern hair transplant techniques only take about 4 to 8 hours to preformed. And that is why hair transplant technology is the best solution. Since it is a minimally-invasive procedure that lets your hair grow naturally in the easy recovery.
How to choose between hair plugs and hair transplants?
As we already told you, hair plugs results will look like a barbie doll hair and it is not as natural as today’s procedures results, in addition, hair plugs procedure also has larger complications and risks comparing to modern hair transplant technology, such as:
- Scalp numbness.
- Ingrown hairs.
- Displeasing results.
- Temporary hair loss.
To choose the best method for your case, you need to know information about modern hair transplant techniques like FUT, which is appeared in 1995 and replaced hair plugs in the early 2000s. In FUT, the surgeon will cut a strip of skin from your scalp and then extract the follicles and transplant the individual follicles into balding areas, this procedure achieves more natural results, it is used when you need a large number of follicles grafted, and it is cheaper and shorter than other hair transplant techniques.
While in FUE hair transplant, which is newer than FUT, the doctor will remove individual follicles. This procedure is currently the most common hair transplant technique in the world, if you choose to do this surgery, you will get many benefits, such as Faster recovery, less pain, and scarring, it is also effective for people with lower hair densities.
However, you should know that a hair transplant surgery is more effective to treat genetic hair loss caused by male or female pattern baldness, and balding on the front of your scalp.
Some people still use the term hair plugs to refer to any type of hair transplant surgery including modern techniques; however, this type of surgery has never been used since the 2000s. We use FUT and FUE procedures because they give you more natural results than hair plugs.