Background: The field of hair transplantation has evolved considerably over the last quarter century. Performed correctly, the cosmetic results of contemporary hair transplantation are virtually undetectable in women and men. Large, pluggy "punch grafts" have been replaced with natural-appearing follicular unit grafts, which maintain their existing anatomy and with proper technique can match the orientation of surrounding hair follicles.
Objective: To review all of the steps involved in hair transplantation surgery and to provide an overview of medications used in conjunction with transplantation to help prevent hair loss.
Materials, methods, and results: The authors review key aspects of the consultation, physical examination, selection of appropriate candidates, excision of donor area, hairline design, graft creation and placement, and postoperative instructions. The role of medications such as minoxidil and finasteride in preventing ongoing hair loss is an essential part of the treatment plan. For nonsurgical candidates, other treatments such as wigs, hairpieces, and camouflages are reviewed. Future trends may involve the use of low-level laser light therapy, dutasteride, and cloning of follicles.
Conclusion: Patients and physicians alike are pleased with the results of contemporary hair transplantation, and physicians can now recommend the procedure without reservation. The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.