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What is a DHI hair transplant? Advantages & Disadvantages of the Direct Hair Transplant explained.

Man with hairloss needing a FUE hair transplant procedure

If you are considering a hair transplant, chances are that you have come across different methods and are not sure which method is right for you. That's totally normal as each method has its own pros and cons and is not equally suitable for everyone.

In this blog, we inform you about the FUE method, what it means, how it works, what the pros and cons are and for whom it is suitable.

You can also have a look at our FUT VS. FUE VS. DHI blog. Here all three techniques are discussed and compared given their advantages and disadvantages, and for whom it is suitable.

Start your treatment? See our hair transplant services!

What is a hair transplant / hair implant?

In order to better understand the FUE method it is best to first look at what a hair transplant itself entails.

Hair restoration surgery or hair transplant is a type of surgery that extracts (removes) hairs you already have in the form of grafts and implants them in a different place. A graft is a very small piece of living tissue containing healthy hair follicles. The grafts are harvested from the donor area and then implanted in the recipient area (the balding area). This means that you are your own donor. When the transplanted grafts heal up, they are fully incorporated in the recipient area and can from then on produce hair.

What is a DHI hair transplant (Direct Hair Implant)?

The Direct Hair Implant method is a hair transplant method in which grafts are extracted individually from the donor area and then directly implanted in the recipient area with a Choi Implanter Pen (without opening channels beforehand). Although it is a treatment that requires a lot of expertise, the principle behind it is surprisingly simple.

The DHI method is one of the newest methods in the hair transplant world. Like the FUE treatment, grafts are individually extracted from the donor area and then implanted in the recipient area. The first part of both treatments is done via an FUE method (individual extraction of grafts). However, there are some differences in the way the grafts are implanted. After the extraction, the hairs are directly implanted in the recipient area with a unique and patented implantation pen called a ''Choi Implanter Pen''. The idea behind this is that by using a Choi Implanter Pen the hairs can be implanted without opening any channels beforehand, this makes this method less invasive and aids in the healing process. The angle and depth of the hair can also be better determined via this method and a greater density can be obtained compared to an FUE method. A disadvantage is that this method is less suitable for filling larger surfaces. As a result, this method is ussually recommended for younger patients with relatively little hair loss.

DHI technique explained. All steps in the DHI hair transplant process illustrated.

How does a DHI hair transplant work?

The DHI method can be divided in to three steps.

Step 1: Extraction

Step 1 of DHI hair transplant: Follicular unit extraction from donor area with rounded blade instrument.

First, the scalp is numbed with an anaesthetic cream and then grafts from the donor area (a small piece of tissue with 1-4 hair follicles) are extracted one by one using an instrument with a rounded blade that makes small punctures around the hair follicles (diameter of 0,6-1mm). After the punctures are made, the grafts are collected from the donor area.

Step 2: Preparation

The collected grafts are preserved with a specific plasma solution that ensures the vitality of the grafts. The grafts are then viewed under a microscope, sorted, and loaded into the Choi Implanter Pen.

Step 2 and 3 of DHI hair transplant: Extraction of the grafts and pretreatment of the grafts for the DHI hair transplant procedure.
Left: Graft extraction Right: Pre-treatment grafts

Step 3: Implantation

Step 4 of DHI hair transplant: Implantation of the graft into the recipient area with a choi implanter pen.

Using the Choi Implanter Pen, the grafts are placed in the recipient area taking into account the depth and angle of the implant. After all grafts have been implanted, the treatment is finished and the focus is on the aftercare, which is at least just as important!


DHI hair transplant without shaving hair possible?

With a DHI hair transplant it is possible to undergo a hair transplant without shaving your hair. Because a Choi Implanter Pen is used, no channels need to be opened in advance for the implantation of the grafts, as the incision and implantation take place at the same time. This makes it possible to perform implants in the receiving area without shaving the hair. It is also possible to extract donor hairs without shaving the donor area, the hairs are carefully removed by means of follicular unit extraction.

This is an option for those who want to undergo a hair transplant without having their daily life affected too much by the recovery process, so an ideal solution for those with long hair!

Please note, although it is possible to perform transplants without shaving the hair, this does not mean that this is desirable or even an option for everyone. A hair transplant without shaving takes more time and money, and often only a maximum of 1500 grafts can be transplanted per session (depending on whether the donor part is also not shaved).

Advantages and disadvantages of the DHI technique

Advantages of the DHI technique

  • More hair density possible compared to FUE (80-90 vs 45-60 Grafts per cm²)

  • Faster recovery | Least invasive method

  • More control over the angle and depth of implantation

  • The possibility for a hair transplant without shaving the hair

Disadvantages of the DHI technique

  • Often the DHI method is the most expensive

  • Usually less coverage is possible through this method

  • It is time consuming

For whom is the DHI hair transplant suitable?

DHI is suitable for almost every person. However, since DHI is the most expensive technique and often offers limited coverage compared to other techniques, it usually recommended for people with relatively little hair loss, for those who do not want to shave their hair, or as a second (or even third) treatment to increase hair density.

Do you want to take the right step towards your hair transplant? Your Mediqle healthcare coach will help you on your way. Well-organized and completely free from start to finish!

At Mediqle we work together with only the best clinics/hospitals, both at home and abroad, and offer a lowest price guarantee. Therefore you are assured that you are not paying too much for the proper care. The Mediqle service is completely FREE for you from start to finish for contracted clinics and hospitals.

Would you like more information about hair transplants, the pros and cons of all treatments, how to start your medical journey and how to save money with our handy tips? See our hair transplant page, and perhaps we can help you too! #Mediqle

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