West Ham boss Slaven Bilic’s hair has been the topic of speculation recently. The Hammers boss had a hair transplant before his stint as a sports commentator on the Euro 2016 fixtures. Fans were quick to pick out the 48 year old’s transformation, as well as some of the signs of hair transplant work, including scalp scarring on the hairline.
Now, just months later, the end result is impressive and the transplanted hair has grown fully, giving the commentator a mop of hair. The effects of hair transplantation can take a while.
Transplantation has progressed significantly over the past couple of decades. Here is a brief explanation of the two most commonly used techniques:
Follicular Unitary Extraction (FUE)
Since 1988, FUE has been used, whereby one follicle is inserted at a time via tiny excision holes. It is microscopic and methodical work. It helps the client choose their new hair look due to the precise way the hair is relocated into position. It also heals well.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
FUT is an older method that is still popular. A small strip of skin is taken from the back of the scalp and the team prepare each follicle under a microscope to ensure that they are in the best condition and will withstands the remainder of the transplantation procedure. This method of skin grafting is more cost effective than FUE, but can result in the tell-tale scar in the donor area.
There are also non-surgical procedures such as SMP or Scalp Micropigmentation. SMP uses natural pigmentation applied to the scalp to resemble natural hair growth. It is a camouflage technique that is growing in popularity as a cheaper, longer-lasting and less invasive procedure than transplantation surgery.
SMP can also be used in addition to hair transplant surgery, to give the impression of thicker hair in the transplanted area, or to cover up scarring in the donor area.