What are hair flaps?

Discovery Health

Wouldn't it be nice to wake up tomorrow morning with a full-grown frontal hair line made of your own natural hair? Well, only one procedure offers that possibility.

A surgical technique called "flaps" is about 20-years old procedure. It uses a much larger portion of hair-bearing skin - called a flap. The flap is transferred from hair-bearing parts of the head (like the sides or back) to the balding area. The flap's size and its placement depend mainly on the patient's needs. A hair-bearing flap (which replaces the need to use about 350 punch grafts) is sewn into its new position. As the flap heals, the scar will be hidden by relocated hair. That hair grows to the very edge of the incision.

Flaps transfer the greatest amount of hair in the least amount of time. But the surgery is more extensive and doctors who perform the procedure must have very specific training and experience. The treatment requires general anesthesia, and it does leave scars both above and below the flap. Adding another disadvantage, the angle of hair growth could remain the same as it was on the side of the head. This might look strange.

Recently, plastic surgeons have made significant advances in flap techniques. They can combine flap surgery with scalp reduction to create better coverage of the head's crown or they can combine flaps with tissue expansion to provide better frontal coverage resulting in a more natural hairline.

Continue Learning about Baldness and Hair Loss

Baldness and Hair Loss

Men and women naturally lose hair as they age, with about two-thirds of men either bald or showing a pattern of baldness by age 60. Yet other hair loss can be triggered by sudden physical or emotional stress, childbirth, crash die...

ts, medication such as antidepressants, autoimmune conditions such as lupus, and thyroid diseases. Another form of hair loss, called alopecia areata, causes bald patches on the scalp, beard, eyebrows and eyelashes. Discuss any sudden hair loss with your doctor.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.