Dilators were first invented by a Colorado-based practitioner named Dr. Emanual Marritt in 1988, who needed a way to keep track of where to place hairs during a transplant. These thin, elongated instruments were placed throughout the scalp as markers during hair transplant surgery.
During a hair transplant procedure, the patient must have their hair relocated from one area of the scalp to another area experiencing hair loss. The hair that is being transplanted is called the donor hair, and the area that is receiving the hair is called the recipient site.
The recipient site is a tiny incision, and hair transplants can involve hundreds of them. Dr. Marritt inserted dilators into the recipient sites as a way to keep track of each one. This way, no recipient site would go overlooked and unused.
The medical community largely considers dilators to be outdated for three reasons.
While it is not illegal to use this method, it is considered by many to be barbaric and unnecessary. If a clinic still uses these instruments, it is a damning indication that they are not up-to-date on current hair restoration techniques and strategies. There are many safer alternatives. In some clinics, the doctors are set in outdated methods such as using dilators. In these offices, it is cheaper to continue a potentially harmful practice than it is to reequip the facility with modern amenities and retrain the staff. Any hair doctor who wants to use this method should be approached with caution – most doctors do not need the assistance of dilators to replace hair. Always be sure to thoroughly question your hair doctor before making a selection in order to prevent any complications from arising during your hair restoration procedure.