Hair transplantation easier w/ new technique

LOS ANGELES Bobby Amoroso owns a hair salon. When he noticed his own hairline receding, he got nervous.

"I'd look up in the mirror, and that's all I'd see," said Amoroso. "I'd look up and I'd focus right on my hairline."

At just 34, Amoroso wasn't ready to lose his hair.

"I knew I had to do something fast," said Amoroso.

While researching his options, he found Dr. Alan Bauman and a solution for the hair he'd already lost.

"The only way to restore that hair is through transplantation," said Dr. Bauman.

Follicular unit extraction, or FUE, is the least invasive transplant option available. It harvests hair follicles from the back of the scalp and re-implants them up front. It works well, but it's a long, difficult process.

"Very often, we'd have to do multiple days, either back to back or weeks apart, to get the number of grafts to get coverage," said Dr. Bauman.

Dr. Bauman now uses a new device called the NeoGraft to make the process easier.

"What the NeoGraft does is it really accelerates the harvesting of the graft," said Dr. Bauman.

The device uses slight rotation to loosen follicles, then acts as a punch with suction to quickly remove them.

"You can literally make dozens, if not hundreds, of extraction sites and then pluck all the follicles in one fell swoop," said Dr. Bauman.

In traditional FUE, it may take six hours to harvest 800 follicles. The NeoGraft can get up to 1,600 follicles in one day.

Amoroso saw results four months after his procedure. His hairline and his confidence are restored.

"I could never look at a hair stylist and take him seriously," said Amoroso.

Now his clients won't have to.

Dr. Bauman says fewer than 10 physicians across the country are using the NeoGraft, adding that up to half of his patients are from out of town. The procedure ranges in cost from $10,000 to $20,000, but once the hair is transplanted, it's there for good. Another benefit is there's no linear scar, so patients can have short haircuts.

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