Hair restoration has come a long way since its early days, with the term “hair plug” often surfacing in discussions around the topic.

Yet, what exactly is a hair plug, and how has the field evolved to provide more natural-looking results? This article will shed light on the history of hair transplant techniques, discussing the transition from hair plugs to the advanced methods currently used at Charles Medical Group, such as Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).

The Origins of Hair Plugs

In the mid-20th century, hair restoration surgery was a nascent field. The first techniques involved using a punch tool to extract large round sections of scalp from a donor area, which were then implanted into the balding parts of the head. These grafts, known as hair plugs, typically contained about 10-20 hair follicles each. Due to their size and the way they were spaced, hair plugs often led to an unnatural appearance, resembling the bristly hair of a doll rather than the varied density and pattern of natural hair growth.

Why Hair Plugs Fell Out of Favor

The telltale signs of hair plugs – rows of conspicuous, circular tufts on the scalp – were a significant drawback. They did not blend seamlessly with the surrounding hair, resulting in a less than satisfactory aesthetic outcome. As techniques improved and understanding of hair growth patterns increased, the demand for more refined and natural-looking solutions grew.

Advancements in Hair Transplantation

Today, hair restoration has been revolutionized by two primary methods: FUE and FUT. These techniques focus on transplanting smaller units of hair, typically 1-4 follicles at a time. These follicular units mimic the natural growth pattern of hair, leading to results that are virtually indistinguishable from a person’s original hair.

Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)

FUE is a minimally invasive procedure where individual follicular units are extracted directly from the donor area without the need for a linear incision. This method reduces scarring and allows for quicker recovery times. It’s highly precise and can be performed with manual or robotic assistance, such as the state-of-the-art ARTAS® Robotic Assisted FUE system used by Dr. Glenn Charles.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

Also known as strip surgery, FUT involves removing a thin strip of tissue from the back of the scalp, from which individual follicular units are meticulously dissected under a microscope. This method typically allows for a larger number of grafts to be transplanted in a single session.

The Psychological Impact of Hair Loss

Hair loss can deeply affect an individual’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. A full head of hair is often associated with youth, attractiveness, and health, which is why hair restoration can be transformative for one’s self-image and quality of life.

Choosing Modern Hair Transplant Methods

For those considering hair restoration, modern techniques like FUE and FUT provide numerous benefits over old-fashioned hair plugs. These include a more natural hairline, denser and more even hair growth, minimal scarring, and a boost in confidence. At Charles Medical Group, patients receive tailored solutions based on their unique hair loss patterns and desired outcomes, ensuring the best possible results.


Understanding the evolution of hair transplant techniques underscores the importance of choosing a skilled and experienced surgeon like Dr. Charles, who is committed to the latest advancements in the field. With modern FUE and FUT methods, individuals can leave the outdated concept of hair plugs behind and look forward to natural, long-lasting hair restoration results.