The Neograft is the first automated follicular unit extraction (FUE) systems to ever hit the market. Its fierce marketing campaign has had so much success that some people mistake it for a new technique altogether – however, this is incorrect. The Neograft is a simply a tool for an existing hair plant procedure called FUE.
With a typical FUE procedure, the physician uses a circular punch device to manually extract the healthy hair groupings one at a time. These donor hairs are then transplanted one by one into the areas of the scalp that are bald or contain thinning areas still populated by lesser and finer hairs (known as recipient sites). A NeoGraft follows the same procedure, but with some motorized and automated upgrades:
An automated hair transplant system relieves the physician of a large amount of repetitive work. Placing the individual follicular units can be taxing on the physician due to the extreme mental and physical focus involved, which is why they may sometimes periodically rest during the procedure. Maintaining the same posture can be difficult and extracting and transplanting each follicular unit can cause eye strain. A NeoGraft, however, will reduce the need to take breaks. The reduced need to rest, coupled with the ability to extract and transplant follicular units in rapid succession, means that the FUE procedure can be quicker when using a Neograft or similar system.
This partially automated assistance, however, can sometimes come at a price. The machine uses air pressure to extract the donor hairs and inject them into the recipient sites. Dehydration or desiccation is one of the biggest threats to follicular units once outside the body, and using air pressure exposes the grafts to dry air twice during the procedure.
In addition, some doctors worry that the suction can dissect the follicular units, rendering them unusable. These doctors modify the machine so as to disable the vacuum feature. Thus, the NeoGraft will still score the donor hair, but the physician will perform the extraction with standard biceps so as to spare the hair.
Finally, the instantaneous and almost violent injection of the follicular unit into the recipient site using air pressure does not allow for the same level of careful placement that a physician can achieve manually. No matter how advanced an automated air pressure transplantation device may be it always lacks the same finesse and understanding of hair geometry as a properly trained hair transplant doctor.