The strip method is a method of obtaining follicular units from a donor strip taken from an area of non-balding scalp at the back and sides of the head, removing the grafts from the strip using operating microscopes, and then transplanting the grafts in the bald or thinning areas. This is a method of obtaining grafts from the donor area whereby a strip of skin is removed from the donor area under local anesthesia. The donor site incision is sutured closed and follicular unit grafts are dissected free from the strip using stereomicroscopic dissection. This method is in contrast to follicular unit extraction (FUE) where the grafts are removed directly from the donor area one at a time (see description under the “FUE” FAQ’s).
Those who benefit
Patients experiencing the following conditions are excellent candidates for the Strip Method:
Why would someone choose strip method over individual follical unit extraction?
What does the scar from a strip harvest look like? How long... how visible... what should I expect?
The scalp is very elastic. When the donor strip of hair is removed, the scalp on both sides is simply pulled together and sutured. The only evidence of surgery is a thin, horizontal line hidden under the hair on the back or side of the head. The scar usually resembles the crease of the palm of your hand. Immediately after surgery, the scar is hidden in your hair. It should not be visible unless your hair is lifted up. After healing, the scar is virtually impossible to find. The length of the scar will depend on the number of grafts needed. Larger sessions will require a longer scar and vise versa.
Follicle Unit Transplant surgery is a relatively traditional harvesting procedure during which a strip of a follicles is removed from an area of the patient’s scalp with healthy and dense hair growth. The difference that the removal of the thin strip of follicle makes to the donor area is unnoticeable and the procedure leaves behind a thin scar that is easily concealed by the growth of hair. Once the strip of follicles has been removed, it is cut further to isolate the follicles into smaller groups for grafting onto the donor site.
What is a ‘Trichophytic Closure”?
This a special strip closure technique whereby the surgeon will treat one wound edge in a way to induce hair to grow through the scar to make it less visible when the hair is worn short. This technique works well but it is not 100% effective in eliminating all scar visibility.
I like to wear my hair short in the back. Will the scars from a strip harvest show through? After you have healed, you can cut your hair fairly short. Do understand, however, that scars will be detectable if your hair is so short that it does not layer or lie down in back. No matter how fine they are, scars do create some distortion in the skin.
Can I ever shave my head after a strip harvest? What would it look like?
If you are considering shaving your head, hair transplant surgery - of any kind - is probably not in your best interest. The point of hair transplantation is to not look bald. If you have had a strip harvest, shaving your head will reveal the small skin distortions that naturally accompany graft placement, and the donor area scar will likely be visible.
Follicle Unit Strip Transplant surgery has been a staple hair loss treatment for years. Advancements in technology have also allowed the technique to improve and continue to deliver more and more impressive results.
As a traditional hair loss treatment and hair treatment surgery, it still has the benefit of delivering permanent, natural-looking results. It also allows hair restoration surgeons like Andre Nel, to remove a large number of healthy follicles at once, improving the end result. Follicle Unit Strip Transplant Surgery remains, overall, a reliable and worthwhile hair loss treatment method.