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DHI Hair Transplant

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Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) is an approach to hair restoration. A specialised device – called a Choi implanter pen – is used to meticulously extract hair follicles from the donor area and precisely implant them into the balding or thinning areas.

What is the difference between DHI and FUE hair transplants?

The key distinction lies in how the hair extraction and implantation process is carried out. In the FUE technique, the surgeon manually creates incisions in the scalp before implanting the donor hairs. 

With DHI, the specialised pen tool makes the incisions in the recipient area and plants the grafts at the same time. Hence, the name 'direct hair implantation' – it accomplishes both tasks simultaneously.

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The DHI hair transplant process

1. Consultation 

The process starts with a consultation to assess your current hair situation. The surgeon will help determine if you're the right candidate for a hair transplant and provide guidance on your next steps.

Your surgeon will take into account factors like: 

  • The extent of your hair loss
  • The number of grafts needed to achieve your desired results
  • The availability of healthy donor hair
  • How long you've been experiencing hair loss
  • The cause of your hair loss

2. Procedure 

Knowing what to expect on the day of your DHI hair transplant can help ease any worries. While each surgery is tailored to fit your unique needs, here's a general idea of what the procedure will be like:

  1. Anaesthesia – Before surgery, you'll be given either local anaesthesia with sedation or general anaesthesia to ensure your comfort.
  2. Extraction – Healthy hair follicles are extracted from the donor area using the FUE or FUT method. If you have a FUT transplant, the surgeon will then skillfully close and stitch up the incision.
  3. Loading the implanter pen – After extraction, the grafts are added to the implanter pen.
  4. Implantation – The implanter pen creates the incision in the recipient area and plants the graft in one seamless motion.

The entire process typically takes around 3 to 8 hours, though the exact time can vary depending on your surgical plan.

Keep in mind that you won't see the final results until your scalp has fully healed, which usually takes about 12 months.

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DHI recovery and aftercare

Hair transplant aftercare for DHI is similar to any other restoration method. To achieve the best results, it's essential to allow your scalp to heal properly during the vulnerable post-surgery period.

During this recovery phase, you'll need to steer clear of certain activities, like: 

  • Hair washing – For the initial five days post-procedure, it's best to skip washing your hair. This allows the follicles to settle and heal without disturbance.
  • Physical activity – Engaging in strenuous exercises can increase your blood pressure, which might lead to bleeding at the transplant site. To ensure a smooth healing process, it's wise to avoid any vigorous activities for at least 14 days after the procedure.
  • Putting pressure on the head during sleep – During the first two weeks, it's a good idea to keep your head elevated using pillows while sleeping. This helps prevent any pressure on the newly transplanted hairs.
  • Excessive sun exposure – Overexposure to direct sunlight can lead to complications. It's recommended to avoid intense sunlight for at least a month after the procedure.
  • Wearing a hat – While the urge to cover scabs with a hat is understandable, it's best to resist for about a week after your procedure. Wearing a hat can create friction or tightness in the transplanted area, potentially disrupting the healing process or causing infection.

Your surgeon will send you home with aftercare information and painkillers to ensure the first few days of recovery are as comfortable as possible.

What are the alternatives to DHI hair transplants?

Direct hair transplants can be more expensive and time-consuming than other restoration methods. However, there are alternatives available.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) methods offer effective solutions for restoring your hair to its former glory. The only difference to DHI is the use of the implanter pen during the procedure. 

These well-established methods have a track record of proven success.

Get in touch today for a free, no-obligation consultation, where our experts can evaluate which procedure is most suitable.



  • Efficiency – Direct hair transplantation is an advanced method known for its efficiency. It's all thanks to the specialised implanter pen tool that does both the incisions and implantation at the same time.
  • Control – As incision and implantation occur simultaneously, the surgeon has significant control over the angle and direction of the newly transplanted hairs.
  • Quicker healing time – This efficient process can reduce trauma to the scalp, minimising bleeding and scabbing in the recipient area.

Increased graft survival rate – As the grafts are handled less and spend minimal time outside of the body, a study found there may also be a potential increase in follicle survival rate.

Direct hair implantations tend to cost more than other restoration methods. The cost can vary depending on factors like the number of grafts and procedures needed, surgery complexity and your desired results.

Specialist clinics, like FUE, will provide a tailored price estimate during your consultation. For more information on the cost of your hair transplant, visit our pricing page.

  • Higher cost – DHI hair transplants can be more expensive compared to other methods. The use of specialised equipment, advanced techniques and the need for a doctor with DHI training and experience can contribute to the overall cost.
  • Longer surgery time – Although the surgeon has more control over the direction and angle when implanting follicles, this calls for more precision. This can, therefore, be more time-consuming.

Your surgeon will determine if a hair transplant is suitable for you during your initial consultation. 

As DHI is a time-consuming procedure, it might not be suitable if you have significant hair loss and you may require multiple procedures. FUE can cover a larger area in less time, so it could be the better option.

To learn more, read our guide on the best candidate for a hair transplant.

A hair transplant is a permanent solution to hair loss. Your direct hair implantation results should last a lifetime!

Hair transplants are typically performed under local anaesthesia, ensuring your comfort during surgery.

You might experience some soreness in the first couple of weeks after the procedure, but this can be managed with prescribed pain medication.

You can typically expect to see the full results of your hair transplant at around 12 months. However, in certain cases, it may take up to 18 months for the transplanted hair to fully mature and thicken.

Regular follow-up appointments at FUE Clinics will allow us to monitor your progress closely and offer any necessary assistance to ensure you're on the right track.

DHI hair transplants often have a quicker healing process than other restoration methods. This is due to the efficient nature of the procedure, which can reduce trauma to the scalp, minimise bleeding, and decrease scabbing in the recipient area. 

However, individual healing experiences may vary, so it's essential to follow post-operative care instructions provided by your surgeon for the best results.


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