Surgeon washing his hands before artificial hair transplant surgery

Artificial Hair Transplants: Are They Still Performed?

When people hear artificial hair transplant, they think about the unnatural looking plugs from the 80s and 90s. These early techniques in the hair transplant industry did not provide satisfactory results for many patients and have coloured some people’s perception of the treatment as a whole. Below, we will look at what an artificial hair transplant is and how the technique has changed over the years.


  1. What is an Artificial Hair Transplant?
  2. What are the Benefits of an Artificial Hair Transplant
  3. Are there Disadvantages to an Artificial Hair Transplant
  4. Conclusion

What is an Artificial Hair Transplant?

An artificial hair transplant involves using synthetic hairs as the donor grafts to be implanted into the balding areas of your scalp. The procedure is a little more invasive than a typical hair transplant. To begin with, your scalp will be anaesthetised in order to minimise any discomfort. 

The synthetic fibres need to be transplanted deeper into the scalp, as there is no follicle at the root of these strands. A surgeon will use a hook in order to insert synthetic hairs individually under the scalp. The fibre needs to be embedded further under the skin in order to prevent excessive hair shedding.

What are the Benefits of an Artificial Hair Transplant?

The more modern artificial hair transplants provide an option for those who do not have sufficient or healthy donor hairs, they can use for a traditional treatment. This includes those who suffer from severe pattern baldness, retrograde alopecia and scarring alopecia. An artificial hair transplant typically takes less time than a traditional hair transplant, as grafts do not need to be removed from a donor area. 

The artificial hair implants are rooted deeper into the scalp and therefore provide immediate results. Your new hair fibres will take between 20–30 days to attach properly. Now artificial hair fibres can be created to suit your individual hair type, style, density, and colour providing a range of options. They can be tailored to different textures such as curly, afro and straight to create a natural appearance and provide aesthetic results.

Back of mans head with hands over head checking for baldness

Are there Disadvantages to an Artificial Hair Transplant?

While the procedure is much safer than it used to be, it is more invasive than a traditional hair transplant and requires further aftercare precautions. The procedure is more of an implant than a transplant. This is because it is uses foreign bodies as the donor hairs and not your own follicles. Due to this, there are people who may not be considered for an artificial transplant. These include those who have scalp diseases and autoimmune conditions. 

Following the procedure, you will need to be on a course of antibiotics for a week in order to prevent infection. A tolerance test will need to be done before the procedure to ensure that your body will not reject the synthetic fibres. If the fibres cause a reaction, they can lead to infection. However, studies have shown that intolerance was only found in 2% of patients. 

The technology has moved forward in the past few decades. However, the synthetic hairs usually only last 7–8 years, with shedding of about 10% per year. This means they are not a permanent solution. Unlike a traditional hair transplant, and you will need regular top up treatments. 

There are further restrictions, such as the limitation of styling options. This is because you cannot bleach your hair, use chemical treatments or cut the synthetic fibres. They will also not be a perfect match for your natural hair when it comes to colour and texture.

Bald spot being examined for treatment


Artificial hair transplants have come a long way in the last 40 years to become much more safe and effective. The technology available now allows for more natural looking results for those suffering from hair loss. Particularly for those who may not be a candidate for a natural hair transplant. If you are a match for a traditional hair transplant, there are much more advantages compared to an artificial hair transplant, however. 

If you’d like to find out more about hair restoration treatments and if you are a suitable candidate, contact one of our experts today. We can provide you with a free consultation in order to help you start your journey towards full hair today.