The follicular units

Published in Capillary graft

What are follicular units?

The follicular units are not more than sets of hair follicles and can be formed by one or several of these follicles: 2, 3, 4, etc. A new hair is obtained from each hair follicle.

Due to the above reason, and in the case of any area of the body, follicular units can also be defined as sets of hairs. On the other hand, when referring to the hair that is specifically born on the scalp, they are also described as groups of hair.

The follicular units and the hair follicles, are they the same?

Although, in certain occasions, these terms are often used interchangeably, we have already seen that they are not synonymous.

Therefore, from the first moment it’s convenient to define what are the hair follicles and determine what are the differences they show in relation to the follicular units.

What are hair follicles?

 Follicular units are the dermal cells responsible for hair development.

Follicular units are the dermal cells responsible for hair development.

The hair follicles are a refolding of that skin that presents the disposition required for a hair to be formed. In other words, it’s about the dermal cells responsible for hair development.

This hair shaft or hair could prolong its stay in the follicle for two to six years. After this period has elapsed, its fall will occur and it will give up the space it occupied for a new hair to grow. The activity of the follicles is intense, because the mentioned replacement could be repeated up to 25 times during the life of a person.

What are the phases of its growth?

The reason for this constant substitution lies in the so-called hair growth cycle, which can be summarized in three fundamental stages:

  1. Anagen or growth: almost nine out of ten follicles go through this stage.
  2. Catagen or fall: the remaining hair follicle is in this period.
  3. Telogen or resting: a minimal proportion does in this phase of rest.

The time during which each stage extends will depend on the part of the body. For example, in the scalp, the growth stage lasts from two to six years.

Anatomical peculiarities of the follicles

If we look at an anatomical point of view, the hair follicles are distributed in an upper and lower area. It is in the latter that there is an area characterized by the permanent reproduction of those cells that begin to develop and that is known as a bulb.

However, the bulb is not the only anatomical structure present in the follicles, highlighting:

  • Sebaceous gland: is responsible for making the necessary sebum for the lubrication of the hair, called pilosebaceous follicle to the joint that forms next to the hair.
  • Piloerector muscle of the hair: its function is to endow the hair with a certain angle and favor that it bristles before various stimuli.

The follicular units are composed of one or more hair follicles.

Are there differences between hair and a hair follicle?

In case of analyzing this question from a rigorous perspective, the assertion that hair follicles and hairs are different concepts is correct, since they are two independent anatomical structures. And it’s that the hair follicles are those that generate the hairs or, strictly speaking, the hair stems.

However, and because it’s common acceptance that the stem is attached to the hair follicle under any circumstance, it’s quite common to use both words indiscriminately in everyday language.

Follicular units and hair follicles in a capillary graft

The number of follicular units obtained is the essential component to define how much costs the capillary graft.

The number of follicular units obtained is the essential component to define how much costs the capillary graft.

The importance of follicular units

Focusing exclusively on hair graft surgery, we can ensure that the follicular units are the ideal reference for achieving an optimal hair implant.

Thus, a correct treatment of the follicular units during a surgical procedure of this type and an adequate ordering, counting and transplantation of the same, is the fundamental key for the capillary graft intervention to be considered successful. And this is confirmed by the experience acquired during so many years.

What is the basis for determining the price of a hair transplant?

In line with the above, the number of follicular units obtained is the essential component to define how much it costs to undergo a capillary micrografting. It’s precisely at this moment when it is most advisable to know how to distinguish the concepts of follicular units and hair follicles.

And it is not at all strange that, at the time of making the budget for this type of surgery, the potential patient confuses them. As we saw at the beginning of this article, the follicular units are composed of one or more hair follicles, the difference between one and another term being evident.

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