the transplantation of follicular units, rather than the larger mini-micrografts or plugs that has revolutionized modern hair transplantation and surgical hair restoration.
The follicular unit not only consists of a small group of hair follicles , but it also contains nerves, blood vessels and a tiny muscle called the erector pilorum .The whole unit is packaged in collagen that surrounds it and makes the follicular unit a distinct structure. Follicular Transplantation
Because follicular units are complete anatomic and physiologic structures, keeping them intact during the follicular hair transplant will ensure their maximum survival and growth. Follicular units are very small structures, however, and only careful stereo-microscopic dissection by a skilled and experienced surgical team can ensure that they will be kept whole and will not be damaged during the various phases of the hair restoration process.
A major advantage of using follicular units in hair transplant surgery is to be able to keep the recipient sites as small as possible. The micrograft has a diameter that is 50% greater than the follicular unit and a volume over two times as great, so the recipient site needed to hold the micrograft would need to be over 2x as great as the follicular unit.
The smaller the recipient sites, the closer together they can safely be placed in the scalp. Small recipient sites also allow larger numbers of grafts to be safely transplanted in one hair restoration session without injuring the scalp or compromising its blood supply. Therefore, using follicular units maximizes the density of grafts that can be transplanted in one session and the number than can safely be used at any one time.
. This guarantees that these grafts will not appear pluggy, because follicular units represent the way hair grows in nature. Although using follicular units prevents a pluggy look, they must be placed in the proper direction and distribution to ensure a totally natural appearance to the hair restoration.
Using hair grafts larger than follicular units will always compromise naturalness in the hair transplant and using grafts smaller than follicular units will always result in less fullness.