What are Hair, Follicle, Follicular Unit and Graft?
These are the most commonly used terms in a hair treatment or transplant procedure.
Hair: – Hair is actually the outer shaft of the keratin material that is commonly seen and referred as hairs.
Follicle: – This hair grows from a root. The root of each hair is known as follicle. Follicles lie just beneath the scalp skin and it is responsible for producing the hair shaft. Follicles also comprise the bulbs, i.e. stem cells that produce hairs, sebaceous cyst, other supporting cells and the skin cell layer.
Follicular Unit: – A collection of hairs that are grouped together on the scalp skin is a follicular unit. These units are the starting point of new-age hair transplant surgeries. Generally, hairs don’t grow singly in the scalp. Instead, these form a cluster consisting of units. Each unit further comprises of one, two, three or more hairs. Less hair in one unit means thinner hair whereas more hair in one unit forms denser hair. On an average, Indians have 2.2 hairs in one follicular unit.
Graft: – Graft is a medical term that refers to a tissue or an organ that can be transplanted from one part of body to another. So, there are kidney grafts, skin grafts, bone grafts, etc. In hair transplant, it is the hair grafts. Hair grafts are the hair plugs that are extracted from donor region, preserved and treated in transplant labs and finally implanted in the recipient areas. Grafts are the most crucial elements in modern transplant procedures. The choice of hair grafts reflect on the transplant results. Therefore, surgeons are extremely careful in selecting the most appropriate hair grafts for improved results.