History of Modern Hair Restoration
Research into hair biology and diseases has grown tremendously in the past 20 years, enabling Dr. Brownell to create extraordinarily natural hair transplants that are virtually undetectable, even by stylists.
Hair transplantation surgery began in 1939 when Japanese dermatologist Dr. Okuda first documented his surgical attempts to restore hair in burn victims. Dr. Okuda used a “punch technique” to extract sections of hair-bearing skin, which were then implanted into the scarred or burned areas of the scalps. After skin grafts healed, hair continued to grow in these previously bald areas.
In 1943, another Japanese dermatologist named Dr. Tamura refined hair transplant surgery by using significantly smaller grafts of one to three hairs, a process similar to many techniques used today.
These surgical breakthroughs remained lost to Western medicine until 1952. In that year, a New York dermatologist, Dr. Norman Orentreich, performed the first known hair transplant in the U.S. on a man with male pattern baldness.
Orentreich’s theory of “donor dominance” demonstrated that hair from the back and sides of men’s scalps were generally resistent to balding. But Dr. Orentreich’s surgical technique, which replicated the punch graft technique of Dr. Okuda, produced less than satisfying results for men. By the mid-1990s, hair restoration surgeons abandoned these large grafts in favor of smaller grafts that produced more natural-looking results.
Today, Dr. Brownell has refined the hair replacement transplant with Follicular Unit Extraction using NeoGraft Technology, a revolutionary advance that optimizes the harvesting of follicles and the natural look of hair while limiting donor scarring.