The History Of Hair Transplants

The History Of Hair Transplants

Throughout history, humans have always sought out ways to enhance their appearance and regain their self-confidence.

Throughout history, humans have always sought out ways to enhance their appearance and regain their self-confidence. One such attempt involved the development of a revolutionary technology – hair transplants. Read on to learn more about how this procedure has been developed over time, beginning with its invention in Japan in 1930 up until the present day!

In the early 1950s, a Japanese plastic surgeon named Dr. Shigeyoshi Inaba was the first to successfully transplant hair follicles from one area of the body to another. This breakthrough paved the way for modern hair transplants, which are now performed all over the world.

Despite being originally invented in Japan, it wasn’t until the late 1960s that hair transplants began to gain popularity in the West. One of the earliest pioneers of hair transplants in America was Dr. Norman Orentreich, who developed a technique called ‘donor dominance.’ This approach is still used today and involves taking hair follicles from areas of the scalp that are not affected by balding (the ‘donor’ areas), and transplanting them into the balding areas (the ‘recipient’ areas).

Since those early days, hair transplant surgery has come a long way. Today, surgeons have access to vastly improved technologies and techniques that allow them to achieve natural-looking results that are indistinguishable from a person’s original hairline.

Timeline of Hair Transplant History

The first recorded hair transplant was in Japan in the year 1930. The procedure was performed on a patient who had lost all of his hair due to leprosy. Doctors took hair from the areas of his body that were not affected by the disease and transplanted them to the balding areas of his scalp. This early attempt at a hair transplant was not very successful, as the transplanted hair did not take well to the new environment and soon fell out.

It wasn’t until almost two decades later, in 1949, that another attempt at a hair transplant was made. This time, the procedure was performed on a patient who had lost all of his hair due to burns sustained in a fire. Doctors again took hair from unaffected areas of his body and transplanted them to the balding areas of his scalp. This time, the transplanted hair took better to its new environment and remained on the patient’s head for several months before falling out.

Over the next few decades, there were sporadic reports of attempts at performing hair transplants, but it wasn’t until 1970 that the procedure began to be performed more regularly. In this year, Dr. Norman Orentreich performed Hair Transplants: Invented In Japan? | How Far We’ve Come what is considered to be the first successful modern-day hair transplant. He took donor hairs from patients’ heads and transplanted them into balding areas using a micrografting technique that is still used today.

Inventor of Hair Transplant

In the early 1950s, Dr. Okuda began experimenting with hair transplantation in Japan. He would remove small patches of hair from the back of a patient’s head and transplant them to the front. This was a very rudimentary form of hair transplantation, but it laid the groundwork for future procedures.

It wasn’t until 1959 that Dr. Norman Orentreich performed the first successful hair transplant in the United States. He transplanted hairs from the back of a patient’s head to the front, just as Dr. Okuda had done in Japan. This method, known as autologous grafting, is still used today.

Since then, hair transplantation has come a long way. Procedures are now much less invasive, and patients can expect natural-looking results. With modern technology, anyone who is balding or has thinning hair can achieve a fuller head of hair.

Modern Techniques

Hair transplants are no longer the crude, painful procedures they once were. Thanks to modern medical advances, hair transplantation surgery is now a minimally invasive outpatient procedure with minimal downtime. But how did we get here?

It all started in Japan in the 1930s. Dr. Shingo Hamada was the first to successfully transplant hair from one person to another, using fine needles to implant individual hairs into tiny incisions in the scalp. This early form of hair transplantation was unfortunately quite painful and often resulted in scarring.

Over the next few decades, surgeons experimented with different techniques to try to improve upon Dr. Hamada’s original method. In the 1970s, Dr. Norman Orentreich developed what is known as the “strip harvest” technique, which involved removing a strip of skin from the back of the head and dividing it into thousands of small grafts for transplantation. This method was less painful than Dr. Hamada’s technique and resulted in fewer scars, but it could still be quite tedious and time-consuming for surgeons.

In the 1990s, a new surgical instrument called the micropunch made hair transplantation much simpler and quicker by allowing surgeons to remove small round grafts of skin containing just a few hairs each. This made it possible to transplanted thousands of grafts in a single session, which greatly reduced recovery time and gave patients much fuller results.

Today, hair transplant technology has advanced even further. The Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique involves the use of a handheld machine to remove individual follicles from the back and sides of the head and transplant them into tiny slits made in the recipient area. This technique is largely painless and leaves no visible scarring, making it a popular choice for many patients seeking to restore their hair.

Pros of the Procedure

Hair transplants are a surgical procedure used to treat hair loss. The most common type of hair transplant is follicular unit transplantation, which involves taking healthy hair follicles from one area of the scalp and transplanting them to the balding or thinning area.

Benefits of hair transplants include:

• Increased self-confidence: For many people, hair loss can be a major source of anxiety and low self-esteem. A successful hair transplant can help restore confidence and improve quality of life.

• Natural-looking results: When performed by a skilled surgeon, hair transplants can produce very natural-looking results.

• improved appearance: Hair transplants can help make the overall appearance of your scalp more cosmetically pleasing.


From the beginnings of hair transplants in Japan to modern day practices around the world, it is remarkable to see just how far we have been able to come with this technology. With its roots firmly planted in history, it is clear that hair transplants are here to stay and will continue making improvements as time goes on. Modern hair transplant procedures offer patients a safe solution to baldness or thinning, making them an increasingly popular choice for those seeking a lasting transformation. As technological advances continue to be made, skin and cosmetic treatments such as these look set to revolutionize our beauty routines further still.