Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) is an implantation technique where follicular unit grafts are implanted directly into the scalp with a surgical pen. The surgical pen creates the site and implants the graft simultaneously.
Traditionally, hair transplant surgeons make the recipient sites before harvesting the follicular units. This method is called pre-made slits.
When surgeons make pre-made slits they must store the grafts in a holding solution until they transplant them into the scalp. The idea behind DHI is to eliminate storing the grafts while reducing the time the grafts are outside of the body. Surgeons can extract and implant the follicular units simultaneously using the DHI method.
DHI - Important Advancement or Marketing Hype?
DHI has been heavily promoted online as a groundbreaking discovery. Hair restoration centers have even used the DHI acronym in their name as a badge or sign of quality. The DHI technique, when done right, can produce excellent results. When done wrong, the grafts won't grow. The same is true with the traditional graft implanting into pre-made slits using forceps. Follicular unit grafts can survive outside of the body for almost twenty-four hours if stored in the proper holding solution. While minimizing the time grafts are outside of the body reduces the chances of the grafts drying or dying, it doesn't guarantee good results. The DHI technique has been hyped and promoted by some clinics as a fail-proof miracle technique, which isn't true. Some of the world's best and elite hair transplant surgeons don't use this DHI technique, and they continue to produce dense, ultra-refined, and natural results.