Q: For patients who intend to keep their hair parted on the left side, do you follow any rule of making the left side more dense then the right or is it distributed evenly? — M.S., Simi Valley, C.A.
A: On a first hair transplant procedure, I generally place the sites/grafts symmetrically, even if a patient combs his hair to one side. The reason is that the person may change his styling after the procedure and I like to have the first hair transplant symmetrical for maximum flexibility. An exception would be a person with limited donor reserves. In this case, weighting on the part side is appropriate in the first procedure. Once the first hair transplant grows in and the person decides how he wants to wear his hair long-term a second transplant can be weighted to accommodate this. Weighting can be done in one, or both, of two ways: 1) by placing the sites closer together on the part side or 2) by placing slightly larger follicular units on the part side.
If a person decides to comb his hair back, then forward weighting is used. For greater details on this, please see some of my publications where I address the aesthetics of hair transplantation:
- Bernstein RM, Rassman WR: The Aesthetics of Follicular Transplantation. Dermatol Surg 1997; 23: 785-99.
- Bernstein RM, Rassman WR: Follicular Transplantation: Patient Evaluation and Surgical Planning. Dermatol Surg 1997; 23: 771-84.