FUE Hair Transplants

FUE is an abbreviation for the hair transplant technique, follicular unit extraction. This hair transplant technique involves manually extracting the “permanent” hair follicles from the side and back of the head, whereas the FUG / FUT / FUSS hair transplant option involves removing the hair follicles via a strip method.

A major advantage of the FUE Hair Transplant method, is that the patient is not left with a linear scar. On average, FUE can average 750-1250 grafts per day when the doctor is doing it manually, while with micromotor up to 6000 follicular unit grafts can be planted.

Over the years, medical experts have been researching to create hair loss treatments that have minimal impact on patients. Follicular Unit Extraction is one such procedure that has no scalpel and no strips- ensuring it is a minimally invasive hair transplant procedure. Follicular Unit extraction, also referred to as FUE, has become one of the most successful treatments for hair loss.

Follicular Unit Extraction is often chosen as it is less invasive for patients and provides satisfying results.

This relatively new technique enables hair surgeons to extract grafts individually from the scalp. As a small round punch is used to make a small circular incision around the hair follicular unit, patients do not feel any pain.

What is Follicular Unit Extraction?

Follicular Unit Extraction, also recognised as FUE, is a relatively new hair technique that involves the extraction of grafts individually from the scalp. In this hair transplant procedure, a small round punch around 1.00mm in length is used to make a tiny circular incision around the follicular unit. From here, the follicular units are then plucked from the scalp. Because of the techniques used in the Follicular Unit Extraction procedure, the need for a linear incision at the back and sides of the scalp results in an inevitable scar. This scar can be covered by surrounding hairs and will be unnoticeable shortly after the procedure.

Sometimes, Follicular Unit Extraction and Follicular Unit Grafting are viewed as two totally separate procedures but the reality is not so. Follicular Unit Grafting, also referred to as FUG, involves the surgical removal of skin from the back and sides of the scalp. The strip of skin is microscopically dissected into follicular units which are then implanted back into the balding areas.

Follicular Unit Extraction harvests each individual 1,2,3 and 4 hair grafts from the back and sides of the scalp, rather than the strip of follicular units. After being extracted, each follicle is examined under a microscope and further trimmed of non hair bearing skin if required for successful results. The hairs are then re-implanted into the tiny incisions in the balding areas. So effectively, once the hair grafts have been extracted from the scalp, the implantation procedure is much the same as FUG.

In reality, when a comparison is made between Follicular Unit Extraction and Follicular Unit Grafting what is actually being compared is the linear strip extrusion versus the individual graft extraction with Follicular Unit Extraction. As Follicular Unit Extraction doesn’t leave a scar, it is often chosen by those who wish to wear their hair very short at the back and sides.

The Process

The Follicular Unit Extraction procedure is completed by a number of professionals. Before a hair restoration transplant, a patient will undergo an assessment to ensure Follicular Unit Extraction is the right procedure for their needs. After the patient is aware of the advantages, disadvantages and the transplant procedure, the hair loss treatment will go ahead.

The Follicular Unit Extraction process:

  • The donor region is clipped down to 1-2mm at the back and sides of the scalp. This allows the doctor to easily pinpoint which follicular units to extract
  • The area is then anesthetised so the patient feels little pain.
  • The patient lies on a special operating chair face down. This is done to support the head.
  • Using a powerful microscopic magnifier, the doctor extracts each follicular unit from the donor region at the one time, using only a small punch and forceps.
  • Technicians take each follicular unit and trim them under the microscope if required. This is done to ensure the excess skin on the graft is not placed into the smallest incisions.
  • The holes created at the back of the scalp are left to heal, and will do so whilst the procedure continues.
  • After the doctor has extracted the required hair grafts, the patient will sit upright for implantation.
  • The follicular units are then implanted into the balding areas, one at a time.
  • Once each graft has been successfully planted, the patient is allowed to return home.

FUE Hair Transplant Frequently Asked Questions

More details regarding Follicular Unit Extraction

FUE Hair Transplantation; Further Explained

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is the hair restoration process which removes grafts out of the donor region individually as opposed to removing a strip of skin. The primary advantage of this hair loss treatment method is that it does not leave a permanent linear scar at the back of the patient’s scalp which makes FUE very appealing to those who prefer to wear their hair very short.

No Linear Scars!

FUE gives previous hair replacement patients who are unable to have another FUT procedure due to a lack of scalp laxity, the chance to transplant more hair. The FUE method is also a gift to those who have scar on their scalp which they would like to be camouflaged by transplanting hair into it without creating another linear scar in the process.

It is common for balding sufferers to think of hair loss solutions and visit a clinic that specialises in only FUT or FUE. This can be a problem as the hair restoration clinic is likely to be biased when asked whether FUG or FUE would be better option for their particular state of hair loss remedies or hair restoration products. The FUT and FUE methods both have advantages and disadvantages over each other for hair loss solutions. The only way to gain an honest opinion on which is better for your hair loss treatment is to consult with us or a clinic that does offer both.

Is a FUE Hair Transplant permanent?

Yes! The Follicular Unit Extraction aka FUE Hair Transplantation technique, sources the hair follicles from the genetically resistant hairs on the sides and back of the head. These hairs are known to be resistant to the impacts of DHT – Di Hydro Testosterone, this resistance is known as donor dominance. Therefore, once transplanted, and the grafts have recovered, these hairs are considered permanent to the effects of Male Pattern Baldness also known as Andro Genetic Alopecia.

The skills and experience of the hair transplant medical team is essential in ensuring on DHT resistant hair follicles are extracted. If hair that is prone to the impacts of Male Pattern Hair Loss are taken, the hair will sadly not be permanent. As when it is moved, the hair follicle will take with it the genetic characteristics that it originally had.

Can FUE source as much hair as FUT/FUG?

No. Follicular Unit Extraction is a manual process of dissecting the hair follicles from the donor region, whereas the FUG method allows multiple people to dissect the follicles on a flat surface under a microscope. As FUE is a slower process, patients are not able to yield the large graft and hair numbers that FUG hair transplants can offer.

1 Day of manual FUE = Ranges from 100 – 1300 follicular units (grafts)
1 Day of FUG = Averages from 1000 – 6000+ follicular units (grafts)

Do I need to shave my head for FUE?

No! A patient can opt to do the FUE procedure by shaving or not shaving the donor area. Any clinic can perform your FUE procedure without requiring to shave the donor region but most do recommend you to shave the hair because results might be slightly better afterwards as they can actually properly see where to plant the grafts and create a natural looking transition from new hair to existing hair. Especially in the temple regions it is better if you opt for a complete shaving to ensure best results.

Preparing the donor and recipient regions with Platelet Rich Plasma at staged timings have shown to rapidly help the transplanted hair, non-transplanted hair, donor area skin and recipient area skin noticeably.

FUG vs FUE Hair Transplants – is there much difference?

Follicular Unit Grafting and Follicular Unit Extraction are sometimes viewed as being two totally different procedures. Follicular Unit grafting involves surgically removing a strip of skin from the back and sides of the scalp, this strip is then microscopically dissected into follicular units and these are implanted back into the balding areas of scalp.

FUE individually harvests these 1, 2, 3 and 4 hair grafts from the back and sides of the scalp. Each follicle after being extracted is examined under the stereoscopic microscopes and further trimmed of non hair bearing skin if required. And then reimplanted into tiny incisions in the balding area. So effectively once these grafts are out of the scalp the implantation procedure is exactly the same as it is for FUG.

So in effect when a comparison is made between FUE vs. FUG what is really being compared is linear strip excision (FUG) vs. individual graft extraction (FUE). As FUE does net leave a linear scar it is of particular interest for those who wish to wear their hair very short at the back and sides.

What does the FUE Hair Transplant procedure look like?

  • The donor region at the back and sides of the scalp is clippered down to 1-2 mm in length to allow easy identification of which follicular units to extract.
  • The donor area is aneasthetised to ensure a relatively pain free experience.
  • The patient lies face down on a special operating chair that fully supports the head.
  • Follicular units are extracted from the donor region one at a time
  • As each follicular unit is extracted, they are handed to the technicians who under the microscope will trim off any excess skin on the graft so they may be placed into the smallest incisions possible.
  • The many small holes produced at the back of the scalp are then left to heal on their own, to accelerate the healing process.
  • Once the extractions have been completed the patient will change position and sit upright to allow the implantation to begin.
  • The follicular units are then implanted into the scalp one at a time into tiny needlepoint holes.
  • Once all the grafts have been implanted the patient is free to go home the next day.