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Everything You Need To Know About Direct Hair Implantations

Do you want the surgeon at your hair transplant clinic to use a Choi implanter pen, Lion implanter pen or create incisions in the recipient site? This can be a key question when you are looking to have a hair transplant. It is important you know the difference between implanter pens and recipient site creation when it comes to FUE hair transplant surgery. In this blog we will give you everything you need to know about implanter pens! We will cover the following points:

  1. What are implanter pens?
  2. How do implanter pens work?
  3. Are implanter pen hair transplants better?
  4. Should you choose to have a hair transplant with implanter pens?

At The Treatment Rooms London we offer both Implanter Pen FUE hair transplants as well as recipient site/ placing methods of hair transplantation. If you wanted to find out more and view our results then please navigate the following links:

  1. FUE Hair Transplants
  2. Are You A Candidate For Hair Transplant Surgery?
  3. Who We’ve Helped
  4. Before & After Hair Transplantation

What Are Implanter Pens?

In a hair transplant, grafts are extracted by Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) or Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). The grafts will then need to be re-implanted into recipient sites (holes where hair grafts are put into) and this can be done by 2 main methods.

Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) Using Implanter Pens

Implanter pens re-insert grafts into the scalp at the same time a recipient site is created. This is also called Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) as hairs are “directly implanted” at the same time you hair transplant surgeon makes a hole with a needle/ implanter pen. There are two types- Choi Implanter Pens and Lion Implanter Pens- both are very similar and don’t appear to make a difference to the outcome of a hair transplant (1).

Pre-Made Recipient Sites & Placing of Grafts

Grafts can be reinserted into the scalp with “pre-made” holes or recipient sites created by a needle. This technique generally occurs 2 stages. The first stage requires the surgeon to create holes or “recipient sites” using a needle. A nurse or a hair technician then comes and places the extracted grafts into each of these sites in the second stage.

How Do Implanter Pens Work?

Implanter Pen DHI hair transplant
Lion Implanter- By Hans Biomed

The image above shows what a Lion implanter pen looks like. They come in different sizes depending on the size of the hair being implanted. Your hair transplant surgeon will decide which size is best for you on your surgery day.

Implanter pens have a needle with a hollow tip. The graft can be placed into this hollow tip, and when the needle is inserted into the scalp to create a hole, the pen (at the same time) places the graft into the hole. This means the hole is created and the graft placed into it simultaneously- this is demonstrated in the infographic below.

DHI implanter pen hair transplant information graphic
Implanter pen hair transplantation infographic

Are Implanter Pen Hair Transplants Better?

Surgeon-Led Care

In order for your hair transplant to be carried out using implanter pens, you will require both a nurse and a hair transplant surgeon to operate on your scalp throughout your operation. Using implanter pens requires a high degree of skill and experience so only registered Surgeons should be performing this technique. This means you can be assured that you have someone who is a qualified Surgeon performing your hair transplant at all times- giving you the best possible chance of a result you are happy with.

Depth, Angulation and Density of Hair Transplantation

A Surgeon will be able to control the depth, angulation and density of the implantation meticulously using an implanter pen. This also leads to natural results for a patient.

Increased Survival Rate of the Graft during Hair Transplantation

As the graft spends less time outside the body and is handled less there is an increase rate of its survival (1). This means the transplanted follicle is given every chance to survive the operation.

Better Healing Times after Hair Transplantation

As the implanter pens are small (0.8mm-1mm) they recovery required for healing is quicker compared to pre-made incisions. This is of obvious benefit to the patient and the overall hair transplant result.

Implantation Between Hairs

As the implanter pen allows a surgeon to be precise in his placement of the graft, if you wanted transplantation into a zone of thinning hair this can be achieved. This allows for even better coverage and precision when it comes to hair transplantation.

However, there are some disadvantages you should be aware of:

  • Higher price for the patient
  • Longer surgery time

Hair transplant surgery using implanter pens is more expensive. This is because the surgery requires the presence of 1 or 2 surgeons at all times. Each hair is also being re-implanted individually by each surgeon and this can be time- consuming. Whilst you have extra assurance that your transplant is being given every chance to be natural and successful, these two factors mean the surgery comes at an increased price and can take longer to complete.

Should you choose to have a hair transplant with implanter pens?

At The Treatment Rooms London we have historically used Lion Implanter Pens for our transplants. This has resulted in dense, natural results for our patients with better recovery times. We have an open conversation with each of our patients around the different techniques of hair transplant surgery. Some have even benefited from pre-made incision sites over implanter pens. Below you will see an example of a hair transplant result by using implanter pens.

DHI implanter pen hair transplant result
10 months post DHI, implanter pen, hair transplant

As a guide for patients looking to choose between the two techniques, one of the main considerations is the size of transplantation. As implanter pens transfer each graft individually into the recipient site the surgery takes longer. As a result, if you require a large area to be transplanted, using implanter pens might not be the best option for you, unless you are willing to have your transplant over 2 sessions.

You will need to have an open and honest conversation with your hair transplant surgeon around what you would like. You may not be a good candidate for hair transplant surgery using implanter pens and you might need to opt for other techniques such as recipient site incision making.

Choosing to undergo a hair transplant should be based on a number of considerations. You can find out more by reading our page on whether you are a candidate for an FUE hair transplant or, for more information about costs, take a look at our hair transplant cost page.

If you wanted to book a consultation with our hair transplant surgeon, please feel free to contact us today.


  1. Marwah and Mysore, 2018. Recipient Area, J Cutan Aesthet Surg 11 (4): 202-210

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