All Hair Transplant methods are not created equal nor are the Doctors, and in some unfortunate cases, the Clinicians. I refer to Clinicians as those who are not Doctors but have some working knowledge of Hair Transplants while working in a clinic. In many cases and in specific countries these are the ones who are performing the surgery. This is not only illegal but highly dangerous for the patient.
No matter how advanced a procedure or its instruments, if a Surgeon does not specialize or is new in the procedure, there are greater chances of post-op issues. In the end its the skill of the surgeon who has the most influence on the outcome of the procedure. Male patients in some of the UK cities like Bath, Bristol, Manchester or Glasgow look for this type of hair restoration method tipically performed in Istambul, Turkey.
What is the DHI (Direct Hair Implantation) Procedure?
The DHI Procedure or “Pen Method” is the newest in restoring a patient’s hair through a Hair Transplant. It is an alternative to the FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) but is based on the same principle. The procedure where hair is taken from the donor area and implanted into the balding area is a method which has been both safe and very successful in the past decades. It stood the test of time with modifications during its history. These modifications have come in the form of tools/equipment and advanced surgical procedures.
The DHI method relies on a more exacting procedure with less chance of scaring. Unlike the FUE Procedure, individual follicles can be extracted instead of 2-3 grafts, which can then be implanted into the balding area. The biggest difference is the pen like instrument called the “Choi” which extracts the hair and is used to implant the hair without the need for an incision. In the FUE method, a slight incision is required to implant the grafts of hair.
In using the Choi Implanter Pen, the angle of the hair growth can also be manipulated to give the hair a more natural looking pattern. Because of the ability to manipulate the angle of growth, the DHI procedure is perfect when using hair from other parts of the body. Chest, back, arm, and facial hair can be used as the donor grafts for the scalp.
Is the DHI Procedure better than the FUE Procedure?
Technically speaking, DHI is just another “version” of the original meaning of the FUE Procedure. But for clarity, we will refer to FUE as the original version of the hair transplant method. Both use the existing hair of the patient which is then implanted into the balding area. The idea behind both techniques is identical, although the difference is the technique and tools which are used.
The DHI method has many advantages and is no doubt a step in the right direction for a more natural looking head of hair. The real differences come down to time, money and experience which one should always take into consideration when looking for any treatment for hair loss.
DHI Cost and Time
Compared to the original FUE Procedure, the DHI will be more costly and take more time to perform. Because individual hair follicles are being extracted and implanted, compared to the 2-4 with the FUE, the time it takes to perform the overall procedure will increase. We are not talking about a significant amount of time, although a one-day procedure with the FUE might take two days with the DHI. Because of this, some doctors might try to squeeze this procedure into one day by speeding up the process as well as increasing the time the patient is on the “table” in one session. This is highly unorthodox and can create health and cosmetic issues for the patient
While taking more time and being a more precise procedure, the cost will be slightly higher than the FUE. For those on a budget, which most of us are, this could be the reason to forgo the DHI for the FUE.
A tool is only a good as the hand it’s in, which can be said of an instrument and the doctor. Many Hair Transplant Clinics confuse new procedures with ease of use and less experience needed, although it’s quite the contrary. Any Hair Transplant procedure involving surgery, requires a specialist doctor who understands not only the “tools” but the difficulty in creating a healthy natural looking head of hair.
The DHI procedure takes more time as well as experience because of the accuracy needed in working with a single graft, which leads me to another important issue. If a clinic is more interested than in making money and not about the outcome of shoddy work, then it doesn’t matter which method is used.
Many clinics abroad will not only have inexperienced doctors performing the work, but unqualified and uncertified Clinicians performing these procedures. Not only irresponsible, but criminal as the results can contribute to long-term health issues. No matter how modern, cutting edge, or state of the art the technology might be, there is no substitute for an experienced Doctor whose experience is built upon that specific procedure and tools.
What’s the Best Option for Hair Transplants?
If you have a qualified surgeon working at a certified and reputable clinic, then you should be satisfied with either the DHI or FUE Hair Transplant procedures. Due Diligence is essential when deciding on which procedure, clinic and country. I refer to country because there is a huge difference in the quality of healthcare, as well as the rules, laws, and regulations pertaining to clinics and procedures. A quality Hair Transplant can change the feeling of one’s self-confidence and their outlook on life.