Guide to Hair Transplant Terminology

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Hair Transplant

Graft/ Follicular Unit (FU)

Hairs emerge from the scalp not one by one but in groups of 1 to 4 hairs from the same orifice called a follicular unit. These follicular units can be seen under a microscope. On average, 20% of the follicular units have 1 hair, 45% have 2 hairs, 30% have 3 hairs and 10% have 4 hairs. Therefore, the average is generally between 2.2 and 2.4 hairs per follicular unit.

Intact graft

It is a graft composed of the entire structure of a healthy follicular unit with a thick connective tissue envelope.


It is a rupture of the integrity of the graft by a section at any point along its length. It is a graft that is not viable because it is devoid of its root.

Partial graft transection

It is a follicular unit (or graft) composed of two or more hairs and has a cross section of one or more hairs leaving the others intact.

Complete transection of a graft

It is a follicular unit composed of one or more hairs where all the roots have been completely severed. The graft is not viable and no regrowth is possible in case of transplantation.

Embedded graft

During the harvesting maneuver with a punch, the graft sinks and is buried deep under the skin. Loss of the graft.

Fractured graft

This is a graft broken into two pieces and is often caused by excessive force applied by the forceps to the graft during the extraction maneuver.

Mini graft

A mini graft contains several follicular units (3 to 12 hairs). Their use has been abandoned because their implantation gives an unaesthetic result in doll’s hair. A few teams in France still use this technique (mini graft of 2mm) which should be banned.


Follicular extraction

It consists in extracting the follicular units (grafts) with a punch.


FUE stands for Follicular Unit Extraction. It is a technique for extracting follicular units (graft) one by one from the donor area using a small diameter punch (0.75 – 0.8 – 0.9 – 1.0 mm).


FUSS (Follicular Unit Single Strip) or FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) or commonly known as the strip technique means a technique for harvesting grafts by cutting mini grafts or follicular units on a strip of scalp removed by scalpel at the level of the crown leaving a linear scar. This technique is less and less used in favor of the FUE technique.

Donor area

This is an area of the scalp located in the crown and temporal region where the hair is not sensitive to androgens and therefore supposed to be permanent. During a hair transplant, the hair located in this donor area is removed and then implanted in the bald area. These transplanted hairs retain their resistance to androgens and continue to grow without any signs of loss.

The Caucasian population has an approximate density of 70-100 grafts/cm2 or 260+/_ 30 hairs/CM2.

Receiving zone

This is the area of the scalp where we will implant the grafts that have been harvested.


A major source of energy and support to the cell, it is a solution that contains ATP at the liposome level. During a hair transplant, we keep the grafts in a liposomal ATP solution that will act as a source of ATP to the oxygen and blood deprived grafts once extracted from the scalp.


This cooling device is essential for the preservation of the grafts. The hypothermic state (2-9°C) considerably reduces the metabolism of the cells and thus optimizes the survival of the grafts.

PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma)

A blood sample is taken from the patient’s elbow and centrifuged to obtain a product that contains a high concentration of platelets (PRP) that secrete growth factors.

In the hair field, PRP can either be used as a preservative solution for grafts or injected into the scalp to have an anti-fall effect.


It is a portable optical microscope connected by Wifi to a screen. It allows us to view the grafts, their details invisible to our eyes, whose resolution is too low. We use the proscope on a daily basis to determine the density of the donor area before a hair transplant.

Receiving hole/silt

This is a hole created with a scalpel blade in the recipient area to receive the graft.


ATOE (Aid to Extraction) is a specific forceps that will facilitate the rapid and precise extraction of the grafts once they have been cored with a punch.

Graft cleaning

It is performed under a microscope and consists of removing the waste from each graft (part of a non-viable graft that has undergone transection)

Graft sorting

This consists of counting and separating the different size of graft with 1, 2, 3 or 4 hairs.

White dots

These are multiple small rounded white spots of hypo pigmentation left by the punch during the collection of the grafts in the donor area. These spots are most noticeable when the head is shaved white. The diameter of this spot varies from one person to another and depends on the color of the skin and the diameter of the punch used.

Hair cloning

Hair cloning is practiced in the laboratory and consists of culturing healthy hair follicle cells extracted from a donor site (area without hair loss as is the case in the crown) in order to replicate them (generate thousands of follicles with a sample of a few hair follicles).

These thousands of replicated cells can then be injected into a bald area of the scalp to theoretically create new healthy hair.

Hair cloning has been proven in animals but in humans it is still at the research stage and little progress has been made.


It is a metal tube that by a movement of rotation, oscillation or vibration will penetrate the scalp by its end to take the graft by coring. The diameter of the punch can vary from 0.7 to 1.2 mm and the end can be sharp or not.

Manual punch

It is a punch connected to a handle. Thanks to the force of his fingers, the user will be able to core a graft by a rotation or oscillation movement.

Motorized Punch

A micro electric motor will activate the punch either by rotation, oscillation or vibration and thus core the graft.

Sharp and cutting punch

The lower end of the punch is sharp and penetrates the scalp tissue more easily.

Unsharpened punch

Non-sharp punch tip that theoretically reduces the transection rate of the graft.

Edge out punch

The cutting edge is located at the level of the outer wall of the punch tip thus avoiding contact with the graft at the time of coring in order to reduce the transection rate.

Flared punch

It is a punch with a flared end whose purpose is to avoid traumatizing the grafts during coring.

PCID (Powered Cole Isolation Device)

This programmable machine was developed by Dr. John Cole. It allows for precise control of the various rotation parameters and the oscillation of the punch in order to minimize transection.

Harris Safe System

This machine was developed by Dr. James Harris. It allows the removal of a follicular unit using a non-sharpened punch with a rotation at variable speeds.

Implanter/injector pen (choi, lion)

It is an injector pen that is used to implant the grafts in the recipient area.

Once the pen is loaded with a graft, a plunger is activated to inject the graft into the recipient site through a needle. There is no need to make pre-holes because the implanter makes the hole and places the graft at the same time.

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Guide to Hair Transplant Terminology
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