Fashion & Beauty

What are Hair Plugs, and Are They Still Used for Hair Transplant?

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Hair plugs are a type of hair transplant performed from the 1950s till a couple of decades ago, the early 2000s, to be more precise. During this hair plug procedure, a surgeon will punch out large areas of skin and hair from the back of your head and transplant them into the balding area, front and sides in most cases. Hair plugs have become outdated and are no longer performed. Instead of hair plus, two techniques like follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT) are the most common.

Some people misunderstand and used them for ant hair plants, including FUE and FUT procedures. In this article, we will discuss what are hair plugs and will compare them with modern techniques.

What is a Hair Plug?

Hair plugs for men are a type of hair transplant. New York dermatologist Dr. Norman Orentreich was the first person who performed a hair transplant in the 1950s. During these early procedures, doctors used to punch out hair from the back of your scalp and use them insides, front and any other balding area. This plug’s hair was about 0.16 inches across. As compared to modern techniques like FUE or FUT, early men’s hair plugs were not sophisticated. Due to them, many people experienced unnatural hairline implants or a doll-like appearance.

The hair transplant plugs were of primitive quality at that time. With passing time, hair still and hair plugs become more natural. These were used till the early 2000s when they were replaced by FUT and FUE techniques. During these modern techniques, individual follicles are extracted, unlike plug hair men and plug hair women. After this, these follicles are transplanted to the thinner part of your head. These new techniques are the most commonly used hair transplants.

Is Hair Plus Still in Usage?

It has already been said that hair plugs were a primitive technique, so newer techniques like FUT and FUE phased out hair plugs. Newer procedures are of more advantages as they look more natural and have a lower risk of scarring. Moreover, early hair plug procedure too much time than FUT and FUE. Hair implants for receding hairline took 16 weeks to complete, as described by a study from 1971. But now, modern techniques take about 4 to 8 hours. Such is an appeal of modern techniques.

Hair Plugs vs. Transplant (Modern Techniques):

FUE and FUT phased hair plug, and the first two are most commonly used. The later section will differentiate between hair plugs and transplants.

Hair Plugs vs. FUT:

First appearing in the scientific literature in 1995, FUT took over plug hair in the early 2000s. During this technique, a surgeon will take hair from the back of your head and extract the individual follicles. Then these individual follicles will be transplanted into the balding area of your head. Individual follicles make it possible to create a more natural look and avoiding scares. Individual follicles contain 1 to 4 hair each. If you need a large number of follicles grafted, FUE is performed before FUT, and the latter is performed over the former. This technique also takes much lesser time as compared to good hair plugs. This technique is also cheap.

Hair Plugs vs. FUE:

In both new techniques, FUE is newer. Instead of cutting a strip of skin from your head, this process involves removing individual follicles. FUE is the most commonly performed and new hair transplant technology. It has more benefits than both FUT and hair plugs. These are the following:

  • Less pain and scarring
  • Faster recovery
  • Effective more people with lower hair densities.

Usually, you need to shave at least part of your hair in hair transplant surgery. However, a hair transplant can be performed on the non-shaven head in the most state-of-the-art FUE technique.

Hair Plugs vs. Stem Cell Hair Transplant:

Taking a small sample of your head and replicating it in the lab is involved in the stem cell hair transplant. As of 2021, researchers are still investigating the potential benefits, effectiveness and safety of these procedures. However, they may replace FUT and FUE in the future.


Traditional hair plugs revolutionized the fashion market at that time. But with time and the advancement of technology, this procedure has been replaced by modern techniques. Modern techniques are less costly and more beneficial as compared to traditional hair plugs.


Being primitive procedures, they have many side effects. They took much time to be performed. Moreover, hair plugs produce scars and a doll-like appearance in many cases. They were also costly. Unlike hair for today, traditional hair plugs were with many risks, which includes:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Scalp Numbness
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Ingrown Hair
  • Temporary Hair Loss
  • Displeasing Results

When you Need a Hair Transplant:

Anyone can get benefit from a hair transplant. However, there are certain conditions when you need a hair transplant which is following:

• Type of Hair Loss:

If you have lost genetic hair by male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness, a hair transplant is a need because it is effective for genetic hairs.

• Area od Baldness:

The area of baldness, especially at the front of your head, also determines whether you do a hair transplant because a hair transplant is more effective in treating baldness at the front of your head.

• Medical History:

Some medical conditions like diabetes, HIV or thyroid disease increase your chance of infection or slow down the healing. So you must be free of medical conditions.

• Medications:

You must not be taking any medication right now because it can affect your hair growth.

• Expectations:

It would help if you were realistic about the results.

• Hair Coverage:

You must have adequate hair coverage.

• Hair Density and Color:

Since hair density decreases when you have a hair transplant, so you must have thicker hair density. Except that, people with dark hair color are good candidates.

Is Switching from a Hair Plug to a Modern Hair Transplant Possible?

Both traditional and modern hair transplant techniques extract hair from the back of your head and use them at the balding parts. If you have enough hair density, you can switch to modern techniques no matter if you have received a hair plug. In the FUT procedure, a strip that has a 0.4 to 0.6-inch width will be used. But if you don’t have enough density, you may have too thin hair or a noticeable scar. Many clinics now offer hair plug reversal if you are happy with the results you get from hair plugs.


Hair plugs are a primitive type of hair transplant. First started in the 1950s, it has been in use till the early 2000s when modern techniques like FUE and FUT replaced it. These are more useful and beneficial as compared to traditional hair plugs. They also give a more natural look. That is why they are the most commonly used hair transplant techniques nowadays.


Hey guys and gals, my name is Jessica Mathew. I am a person who loves to figure out and learn about new and interesting things happening around the globe in the fields of tech, science, politics, space, and tourism. My passion for learning new things coupled with an analytical mindset led to the creation of this blog. Using this platform, I am attempting to share tips and enthusiasm to help motivate you guys to achieve your goals in an efficient manner.

Write A Comment