Follicular Units And Why They Are Important

Human hair grows in tiny bundles called follicular units. Although this fact had been recognized for some time by histologists (doctors who study human tissue), the existence of follicular units has been largely ignored by physicians performing hair restoration surgery.

follicularunits1A magnified look at scalp hair that has been trimmed to 1 – 2 mm long will show you that, in fact, hair grows in small “bundles” of 1,2,3, occasionally 4, and rarely 5 hairs per “bundle”.

These hairs, along with their accompanying support system (sebaceous glands, erector pilae muscle etc.) form what is now known as the “Follicular Unit”. These 1-5 hair “bundles” usually exit the scalp through just a single pore!

When examined under a powerful microscope, these “Follicular Units” are clearly distinct anatomical entities, “individually wrapped” by a layer of (connective) tissue. The follicular unit is thus the hair bearing structure of the skin and should be kept intact to insure maximum growth.

In addition to the full terminal hairs, the follicular unit contains 1-2 fine vellus hairs, sebaceous (oil) glands, a small muscle, tiny nerves and blood vessels, and a fine band of collagen that surrounds the unit (the perifolliculum). In areas of the scalp affected by genetic balding, the healthy terminal hairs are gradually replaced by hairs of smaller diameter and length called “miniaturized” hairs.

follicularunits2FUT hair transplants and FUE hair transplants require the precise dissection of each Follicular Unit, keeping all of its elements intact. This ensures optimal survival and growth of the hair and properly transplanted follicular units are indistinguishable from naturally occurring follicular units.

Using nature’s own building blocks for hair transplantation with follicular unit hair transplantation provides reliably good, natural results.