What are Follicular Units?

Hair Transplant Washington, D.C.

Young man with full head of hair is turned to look toward camera with cocked eyebrow, small smileProviding effective hair loss solutions is an art as well as a science, and a hair transplant at our Washington, D.C. cosmetic surgeon’s office is one of the most effective solutions available today. Dr. Hadi M. Rassael performs follicular unit transplantation (FUT), which involves removing miniscule grafts of healthy hair follicles and transplanting them into areas of skin where hair has stopped growing. Unlike many commercial hair loss treatments, FUT is a natural solution based on decades of scientific research, capable of producing permanent and satisfying results. To learn more about this sophisticated and effective procedure, please contact us today.

Hormones and Hair Loss

Hair loss can occur for various reasons, but the most common is androgenetic alopecia, which is the result of excessive hormones attacking healthy hair follicles. Known as male pattern baldness (and female pattern baldness when it affects women), androgenetic alopecia is a condition that causes hair loss in well-defined patterns. It results from follicle exposure to the male sex hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which shrinks the follicle until it can no longer produce thick, aesthetically pleasing hair. Though the exact process of pattern baldness is not yet fully understood, experts know that some patients genetically inherit hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT.

Transplanting Follicular Units to Combat Hair Loss

Fortunately, even patients who are genetically predisposed to hormonal hair loss retain hairs that are DHT-resistant. These hairs are typically located at the sides and back of the head, and serve as donor sources for hair transplantation procedures. We use the patient’s own donor hair for the transplant. Detecting and treating hair loss in its earliest stages (while there is still plenty of donor hair available) will provide the most beneficial and pleasing results.

To transplant DHT-resistant hair follicles, Dr. Rassael will remove a small amount of hair-bearing skin from the donor area, and then divide the graft into numerous smaller grafts that contain only one or a few hair follicles. Called follicular units, these tiny grafts are then placed into miniscule incisions in the target area to begin repopulating the area with healthy, natural hair. The grafts and incisions are so small that bandages are not required during healing. Dr. Rassael and our staff will provide you with specific care instructions to help ensure successful healing after your hair transplant.

Learn More about Follicular Unit Transplantation

The hormone DHT is derived from testosterone altered by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. Experts are focusing on the actions of DHT to better combat hair loss, and hope to learn how to inhibit or control the hormone to more effectively prevent and treat hair loss. As part of our dedication to improving our patients’ self-image and confidence, Dr. Rassael studies the latest research and technology involving cosmetic surgery and hair replacement. To learn more about our hair loss solutions and the benefits of hair transplantation, contact us at our Chevy Chase, Maryland location today. We can help you regain the youthful appearance and self-confidence you deserve.


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