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Hair restoration includes the medical and surgical treatment of various forms of hair loss, including non-surgical. The most common cause of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia (AGA), also known as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness.
Medical hair restoration
Hair transplant surgery
Surgical hair restoration is the only permanent technique that can move hair from permanent zone to the balding area. First introduced to the United States by Norman Orentreich in 1952, hair transplant surgery has evolved over the decades. The original procedures involved using 4 mm grafts often left clients with an unnatural-looking hairline, but since it was the only option available to address baldness, clients accepted the results and doctors were not motivated to improve the procedure, since there was consistent business. Hair restoration surgery is a procedure where natural groupings of one to four hairs, called follicular units, are extracted from the patient's donor site then moved to the area of balding, called the recipient area (see Follicular unit transplantation). Hair restoration surgery, or hair transplantation, has been traditionally used for the treatment of male pattern baldness, but it has gained popularity for treatment of female pattern baldness, eyebrow hair loss, and to restore hair in any part of the body. In addition to cosmetic purposes, hair restoration can be used for treatment of hair loss due to trauma or burns. Hair restoration should be performed by certified surgeons who specialize in hair replacement. The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery is a medical association of physicians who specialize in hair restoration.
Follicular unit transplantation
The most common hair restoration surgery technique is follicular unit transplantation (FUT). In FUT, follicular units are extracted from the back of the head, where hair tends to be more permanent, in a strip of skin called the donor strip. Once the strip is removed, the donor area is either sutured or stitched back up, ideally in a way that minimizes scarring. Removing adequate width of strip helps with minimizing the scarring. Measurement of scalp laxity with a laxometer can help a hair transplant surgeon remove the strip with the optimum size. If done properly, the remaining scar, called a line scar, will only be visible with short-cropped hair or a shaved head. After the donor strip is extracted, it is dissected into individual follicular units. These are then transplanted into the recipient area in the patient’s balding scalp where they become viable hair-producing follicles.
Follicular unit extraction
In follicular unit extraction (FUE), follicular units are extracted from the back of the head using a surgical punch or other device. A 1-mm punch is often used to make a small circular incision in the skin around the upper part of the follicular unit, which is then extracted directly from the scalp. Once removed, the donor follicles are transplanted into the recipient area where, as in FUT, they grow hair. This is commonly done by using manual or automated methods. Patients are alert during the entire procedure, as it is a painless experience. It takes 9–12 months for patients to experience full hair regrowth. Several FUE centers have published peer-reviewed non-industry-sponsored works on methods to improve on automated FUE.
Recent research yields new hopes for hairloss treatment
On 21 October 2013, an article "New Technique Holds Promise for Hair Growth" by Denise Grady was published in the New York Times. The article illustrates that there has been a breakthrough in the dilemma of finding better treatments to hair loss.  Angela Christiano, a hair geneticist and dermatology professor at Columbia University Medical Center has taken part in leading a research project having to do with hair follicles. Angela Christiano is part of a team of collaborative researchers who identified multiple genes that play a role in alopecia areata (a heritable disease in which there is a plentiful amount of hair on the front of a person's head but a significantly small amount in the back of the head—resulting in patches of no hair. Whereas in hair transplantation, there is no increase in the number of hair follicles, a new technique has been developed that actually increases the number of follicle cells, thus promising to increase the number of hairs and not simply move them from one place on the scalp to another. 
The newly developed technique involves the removal of a small patch of cells (pertaining to hair formation) from the scalp; the small patch of cells are then cultured in Petri dishes to increase the number of cells; then, these cells are injected into a person's scalp. 
However, favorable results depend on the technique with which these cells are cultured.  For example, growing the cells in a flat, one-cell layer Petri dish did not yield any favorable results after testing.  However, placing these cells into a drop culture medium on the lid of the Petri dish and then flipping over the lid so that the drops hung upside down, did indeed yield favorable results.  It seemed, the cells needed to touch in a 3D way instead of simply a 2D way in order for the cells to communicate (send and receive signals). 
The article made clear that this research is only a step in the way to true results that could eventually become so popular and successful that products would become available to the public. Already, companies are anticipating the success that products providing a new treatment to hair loss would have.  With future successful research, truly, effective products could be made commercially available and affordable.
- Drug Details Search. Food and Drug Administration.
- Elliott VW (2005) Grafts containing multiple follicular units have advantages for surgeon and patient. Hair Transplant Forum Int 15:203
- Bernstein RM, Rassman WR, Szaniawski W, Halperin A: Follicular Transplantation. Intl J Aesthetic Restorative Surgery 1995; 3: 119-32.
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