A hair transplant can help men and women suffering from hair loss and baldness restore their hair and confidence. If you’re looking to get a hair transplant and have enough healthy donor hair follicles, you may be a candidate for hair restoration. There are two hair transplant
techniques that Dr. Keene uses to restore your natural hair: Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). In this article, we’ll explain how each technique works, their advantages, and which technique is best for you.
Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)
Follicular Unit Excision (FUE), formerly known as Follicular Unit Extraction, is a hair transplant method that involves the extraction of follicular units from a donor area and transplanting them to the recipient area. The donor hairs are usually taken from the sides and back of the head, where growth is usually stable and permanent. Unlike Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), which involves removing a strip of hair-bearing scalp from the donor area, FUE extracts follicular units of 1 to 4 hairs one by one (not single follicles)
One of the main advantages of FUE is that it doesn’t create a linear scar. With FUE, tiny incisions are made in the donor area, resulting in minimal scarring that is hardly noticeable. Additionally, It’s important to understand that although FUE may be more comfortable for some patients during the first week after surgery, it’s not necessarily faster in terms of healing the grafted area, which is the primary concern post-surgery. The recipient sites, where the hair follicles have been transplanted, heal at the same rate regardless of whether FUE or another technique is used.
FUE can be used for a wide range of hair types and for smaller areas of hair loss. This is because the FUE technique can extract individual follicular units from any area, including the beard and eyebrows. However, areas where hair is thinning are not used as donor hair since it may not be permanent when transplanted. FUE is also useful when donor hair has been previously harvested using FUT, resulting in too much tension to allow further FUT harvesting. Additionally, FUE is also preferred to extract donor hairs from non-scalp areas like the beard, where FUE is the only option. For eyebrow and beard transplant, it doesn’t matter if FUE or FUT is used to extract the donor hairs as long as the donor hairs are taken from the eyebrows or beard only.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), also known as the “strip method,” is a hair transplant technique that involves removing a strip of donor scalp and transplanting individual follicular units to the recipient area. Your surgeon will remove a strip of hair-bearing scalp from the back or sides of the head, where hair growth is typically denser. The size of the strip will depend on the number of grafts needed and the extent of the hair loss.
FUT has a high success rate, with transplanted hair typically growing permanently in the recipient area. It may be a more effective option for patients who have extensive hair loss and require a large number of grafts.
The reason for this is because more hair can be harvested from the zone where we know hair is permanent with FUT. Only about 10-15 grafts per sq cm can be taken with FUE in one session, and even with more sessions permanent donor hair is more limited with FUE. With the FUT procedure, all of the approximately 70 follicular units per sq cm are available to be harvested.
This matters because, for example, with 4,000 grafts using FUE, we would need 270 to 400 sq cm to obtain them at 10 – 15 FUE per sq cm. But that’s unlikely to be available in the permanent zone. Whereas at 70 follicular units per sq cm for FUT (based on average donor hair density), we would only need about 58 sq cm – which is likely to be available in the permanent zone. If that’s not enough, we can use FUE to extract additional hair grafts from either side of the FUT excision.
While FUT is better for those who need a large number of grafts, you don’t need to have advanced hair loss to qualify for FUT. You can discuss FUE and FUT with your physician to determine what’s right for you.
What Is the Best Hair Transplant Method?
The best method for hair restoration is the one that meets your needs. A consultation with Dr. Keene at Physician’s Hair Institute will help you know whether FUE or FUT is best for you. Dr. Keene uses both FUT and FUE with excellent results. A combination of the two donor removal techniques can help patients with extensive hair loss maximize the number of grafts done in a single surgery session.
FUE may also be an option when donor hair is depleted, as donor hair can be taken from areas like under the chin in some cases. In general, FUE may be preferred if you wear your hair buzz cut, and have sufficient donor hairs, whereas FUT may be preferred if you require more donor hair from the permanent zone.
Combining the techniques enhances our ability to obtain even more donor hairs from the permanent zone, and from areas where we wouldn’t want to use the FUT donor method, like beard hair. Regardless of the technique used, Dr. Keene transplants individual follicular units carefully into the recipient sites, taking care to ensure proper angle, direction, and density for a natural-looking result.
Choose Dr. Keene for Your Hair Restoration Journey.
Dr. Keene is a board-certified surgeon with more than 20 years of experience in hair restoration surgery. She offers private assessments to evaluate your hair restoration needs and is involved in all aspects of the surgery, including donor harvesting and graft placement.
Take the first step to restoring your hair and confidence today. Contact us at Physician’s Hair Institute to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Scottsdale and Tucson, Arizona, and surrounding areas including Flowing Wells, Oro Valley, Florence, Coolidge, Safford, and Drexel Heights.