Hair Plugs vs Hair Implants – Everything You Need To Know

Hair Plugs vs Hair Implants

Losing hair has remained an issue for ages immemorial. Many people have lost their hair due to baldness. Sometimes we may temper with the hairline in one way or the other. For this reason, the need to re-grow the lost hair may not be new among the human race. Sometimes hair doesn’t re-grow, or in other times, we feel that the process takes much time. When we look at hair plugs vs hair implants in recreating the original hair look, it takes us back to when these procedures started.

woman with Hair Plugs vs Hair Implants difficulty

In the beauty industry, there lie some solutions to hair loss. In the 20th century, hair plug technology was born. Hair plugs refer to a type of surgery where a surgeon punches portions of the back of the scalp and transfer them to balding areas or in areas with permanent hair loss.

Dr. Norman Orent Reich first performed the procedure in the 1950s. Later, this technique was outdated, resulting in a less natural look and later advanced to modern hair transplant procedures.

Hair implants, on the other hand, refer to a surgery that involves the insertion of synthetic hair-like material into your scalp. Unlike in hair plugs, these synthetic hair materials don’t grow and will need regular maintenance to give you a near-normal hair look. So think of it more like implantation rather than attachment as perceived in hair plugs.

So, to differentiate the two, hair plugs will involve portions of your scalp with natural hair attached or transplanted to your hairless scalp portions. Hair implants, on the other hand, will affect hair-like synthetic hair products inserted on bald regions to mimic the natural look of a person with a complete hair look.

I believe this definition will keep you in the loop as we look at these two procedures in detail if you need to get some baldness out of the picture. So, keep reading to learn more. It will help us decide which route to follow between hair plugs vs hair implants.  

Do people still use hair plugs today?

Surgeons and cosmetic professionals no longer perform the hair plugs procedure. Over the years, this technique became outdated, and surgeons no longer use hair plugs to treat their patients. However, the technology advanced, and we got newer versions of the original hair transplant procedure. These two advancements or modern hair transplants include:

Hair Plugs vs Hair Implants follicle chart

Follicular unit transplant (FUT)

This advanced form of hair transplant started in the 1990s and early 2000. In this transplant procedure, the surgeon uses a large strip of hair follicles extracted from the back of your scalp to obtain single hair follicles. After a strip of hair gets received linearly at the back of your scalp, it gets subdivided into single hair follicles.

These single hair follicles then get transplanted into your hair-less region, giving you an appealing look. The area receiving the transplants will be unnoticed, and the hair will later grow, giving you an excellent entire hair appearance.

This procedure will be better than the original hair plug technique and the implant procedure because:

  • You get individual hair follicles transported to the bald region
  • The hair grows to give you a natural hair look
  • You will not experience the side effects of fake hair from hair implants, like inflammation and infection.
  • This procedure has gotten approved in almost all regions worldwide.

On the contrary, this procedure may come with a price to pay. The strip where your hair gets removed leaves a linear scar at the back of your scalp. Although it may not get visible with your hair falling back, some people prefer not to have this procedure due to the scar formation.

Follicular unit extraction (FUE)

FUE resembles FUT in most of the ways except in the extraction process. In the extraction process, the surgeon will extract single hair follicles and transplant them in bald areas singly too. This way, no scar forms, and you get a completely natural hairline or hair look. This form of transplant gets fancied by most people looking to re-grow their hair. This procedure has the following advantages over FUT and hair plugs.

  • It provides a faster recovery.
  • It proves less painful than other forms of hair transplant
  • It doesn’t lead to scaring
  • It works best if you have low hair density
  • You will get a natural hair look

Are hair implants safe?

Hair implants will represent a form of hair transplant where you don’t use actual hair follicles but rather fake synthetic hair-like products. This procedure is preferred by those looking to get a faster hair solution where they don’t have to wait for the hair to grow. It will offer you a long hair look already with zero struggles. The side effects of this procedure include:

  • It tends to be more painful than FUT, FUE, and hair plug procedures
  • It does not guarantee a 100% natural hair look, especially on the hairlines
  • The synthetic hair requires regular maintenance to maintain its original look
  • You may be in danger of inflammation resulting from an infection brought about by the procedure.
  • This procedure has no worldwide acceptance, getting banned in most countries.

The following could get associated with this procedure:

  • Scaring
  • Bleeding
  • Infections
  • Extreme pain
  • Scalp swelling
  • Possibilities on ingrown hairs
  • Scalp numbness
  • Unsatisfactory results
  • This procedure could result in temporary hair damage and loss

When considering hair plugs vs hair implants, it could be best to look at their effects. But, since hair plugs don’t exist anymore, it could be best to perform modern FUT and FUE transplant procedures instead of having hair implants.

Final thought

As seen in this article, all procedures involving hair plugs and hair implants bring about adverse effects. If you need to choose between modern hair transplant procedures of FUT and FUE and hair implants, it will depend on the result you expect. Implants will be your perfect choice if you need long hair with no wait time for re-growth.

On the other hand, if you need your natural hair to re-grow and you feel patient enough, then FUT and FUE will be a perfect choice. They also don’t present the risk of infection and inflammation and will heal faster to give you a more desirable look.