More than 50% of hair restoration clinics around the world use Normal Saline Solution to preserve follicular units after extracting hair grafts (while they are outside the body system). The Normal Saline Solution (NSS) is sterile salt and water, which has many uses in medicine (one of the application is for tissue preservation). In this case, they use cold NSS to provide moisture to the hair grafts and also lowers the cell metabolism while they are outside the body system. You can think of it this way; people have been using salt and cold temperature for food preservation for a long time. Therefore, it probably does have some preservation properties.
NSS has been used for a very long time for graft preservation until scientists found out that there are better choices to maintain human tissue. They eventually realised that moisture and the rate of cell metabolism are not the only factors to concern anymore. The NSS has a pH of 5.5, which is more acidic than the pH of human blood (pH 7.35-7.45), so it is no longer the most suitable solution as a graft holding solution. Since it only consists of salt and water. It doesn’t contain any nutrients, buffers, antioxidants, or anything to prevent the “Cold Injury”, an injury on the follicular unit caused by low temperature, so NSS becomes the option that we do not pick.
In recent year, there has been a lot of options for graft holding solutions with various beneficial properties which claimed that hair grafts would be able to stay out of the body system for a long time while still maintain good hair cells quality. This solution, therefore, enhances the survival rate of each hair graft and provides better overall result once all the hair grows at one-year post-op. Some solution also can be used at home to make the wound heal faster, which we find quite powerful compared to the NSS.
The graft holding solution that our clinic uses is one of the options that have all the components for hair cells survival; such as nutrients, buffers, antioxidants, etc. It can make the hair grafts survive outside your body for more than two days without the help of any blood supply. This solution makes the hair transplant results on our patient more satisfactory than using an NSS as a graft holding solution.
Now that you know about our secret about graft holding solution, please note that this is not the only factor to a successful hair transplant. There are more into the procedures, the tools we use, and even your health contributes to this success! If you want to know more, please contact us for a FREE consultation with our surgeon.