Hair transplant history

Andreas Krämer Hair4life



Hair loss sufferer, consultant since 2004, co-author of the book “Hair Transplantation Guidebook” by Alliance4Hair, founder of Propatient with lawyer Chr. Bomke, co-founder of the HTTC training center for doctors. Known from SWR, SAT 1, ZDF, Spiegel and many others. About Us

Since about the 18th century, dislocations of hairy skin parts have been reported in animals and humans. With varying degrees of success. However, there were no significant further developments until the following century.

Read more about the history of hair transplantation here:


In 1939, a Japanese dermatologist named Okuda was the first to describe the puncture technique in hair transplantation. He used small punches to transplant hairy skin from the scalp to other areas of the scalp, as well as to eyebrows and moustaches. The transplanted hairy skin successfully produced hair in its new position. However, Dr. Okuda envisaged this technique only for burn victims. At that time, he did not think of the possibilities of using his technique against typical androgenetic (hereditary) hair loss.


It is very interesting to note that as early as 1943 there was the first report of transplanting one’s own hair with so-called micrografts, which contained only 1-3 hairs. This was Dr. Tamura, another Japanese dermatologist, who in turn saw his technique as being only suitable for the restoration of female hair. The micrografts were taken by elliptical strips from the hair crown area. It is interesting that this technique is still very similar to the standard method used in Germany today. The discoveries of these two doctors were also published in Japanese medical journals, but their groundbreaking procedures remained unknown to the Western world at first, probably because of the Second World War, during which Dr. Okuda died.


The first to rediscover transplanting one’s own hair was Dr. Orentreich. In 1959 he published his work in the New New York. His discovery was that hair follicles taken from the hair crown area and transplanted into bald areas retain their longevity and grow permanently on the previously bald areas and no longer fall out. In this way, hereditary hair loss could also be treated. He developed a hair transplantation method in which he removed hairy skin parts from the permanent area (donor area) with a cylinder. He then used the same cylinder to remove previously bald scalp in the recipient area, i.e. skin parts that were the same size as the hairy skin parts removed with the same cylinder from the permanent area. At that time, his goal in a hair transplant was to transplant as many hairs as possible per graft without endangering the survival of the hair roots. At that time, it was believed that the ideal graft size was 4 millimetres in diameter. This method was observed until the 90s and is even partly found today. The methods of Okuda and Orentreich were standard in hair transplant surgery for over 30 years. In the 80’s minigrafts were developed, which already contained less hair like 4 mm cylinders, in order to make the hairline more natural. After minigrafts came micrografts, which then contained only 1 – 4 hair roots.


Prof. Dr. Carlos Uebel can be described as one of the pioneers of strip removal with mini/micrografts. He took a coherent larger area from the permanent area (donor area) and divided it into medium large skin parts with hair roots, so-called minigrafts, which contained 4-8 hair roots and small skin parts with hair roots, so-called micrografts, which contained 1-4 hairs. Thus, he enormously enhanced a more natural look of the hairline.


In 1988, Dr. Bob Limmer began using high-resolution microscopes for his own hair transplants. Actually, to be able to preperate micrografts better and to reduce the risks of hair transplantation so that no more follicles are damaged unnecessarily. He noticed that hairs do not grow individually, but in natural bundles of one to four hair follicles. He referred to these as follicular units, a term that has endured to this day. In 1991 he published an article in the hair transplant magazine “Hairtransplant Forum” describing exactly what is now commonly known as Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT hair transplantation).


The newest method, the Follicular Unit Extraction = FUE hair transplantation, was, according to Ray Woods and Angela Woods-Campbell, already carried out by them in the early 90s. No one can say exactly who was the first to perform this technique. However, it can be assumed that it was Ray and Angela Woods. Dr. Inaba described a similar method of removing individual hair follicles in a text published in 1996. It is not known since when exactly Dr. Inaba has performed this technique before and unfortunately we will never know. Ray Woods and Angela Woods-Campbell are considered the pioneers with this technique.


It must have been sometime in early 2002 when Dr. Jones first started hair transplantation with FUE. In the beginning, of course, only with very small attempts. How did he get started? It was reported that Dr. Jones had heard about the Woods method several times and was seriously interested in it. But since Dr. Woods did not allow any insight into his work, Jones decided to work on his own FUE method. In August 2002, Dr Jones then officially offered his method. It must have been around spring 2002 when Dr. Cole heard about Dr. Jones’ meanwhile very positive developments and also started working on his own FUE technique. It seems that he really started a short time later, just like Dr. Jones. From then on, Dr. Jones and Dr. Cole did their best to pass on this special hair operation, the FUE technique, to the rest of the world. They trained several doctors in the meantime. So today we are fortunate that several doctors have mastered this technique. Dr. Cole was also one of the first doctors in the world to offer FUE hair transplantation without shaving the recipient hair

Read more current information about hair transplantation here.