Anatomy of a hair follicle. What the best hair restoration surgeon will tell you.

There are some who surmise that transplanting hair micro-surgicallly is simply a matter of removing hairs at the back of the head and installing them in small slits in the scalp as one would do with transplanting, say, a flower.

It’s much more complicated than that. The best way to explain it is to start with the hair follicle.  All hairs grow in a hair “follicle” a group of from one to four hairs.

Part of the skin, a hair follicle consists of a palilla, a large bulbous structure at the base of the hair. Surrounding the papilla is the hair matrix which is where cells that form the hair are created. It’s important to note that the cells in the hair matrix represent some of the fastest growing cells in the human body. That’s why radiation and chemotherapy can cause temporary hair loss, since both these therapies are meant to kill rapidly growing cancer cells.


Each hair follicle has its own sebaceous (oil) glands, muscle fibers (that give goose bumps and a blood supply. Because of all these elements, the hair restoration surgeon and his technical team must remove follicles completely intact or they will fail to grow in their new location.

Obviously there is a lot of skill involved in this process. The best hair restoration surgeon will have many years of experience and will have worked consistently with the same technical staff to assure that as many hair follicles survive as possible. It has been shown that a hair restoration surgeon who has worked many years with the same technical staff has a greater success rate when it comes to hair follicle viability.