Follicular unit extraction (FUE) transplants are a popular means of rearranging functioning hair follicles on the scalp, taking grafts from a donor site, usually on the back of the head, and implanting them in front of a receding hairline. Where a FUT hair transplant (follicular unit transplant) uses the strip method to ‘punch’ grafts of follicles and their surrounding skin base before dissecting follicles and implanting, FUE entails the extraction of randomly distributed individual follicles.
So which one is better? Each method has its benefits; you may be better suited to one over the other and an experienced trichologist will be able to offer you guidance. Here are some pros and cons of the FUE route.
Advantages of FUE
- Feel better quicker: patients experience less post-op discomfort and, although the scars are more numerous, they are smaller and require less time to heal.
- Wider harvesting options: by extracting each follicle individually, the choice of donor area is increased. With FUE, transplanting hairs from the nape (otherwise considered too fine) is a possibility, as is body or beard hair.
- A more discreet scar: with FUT hair transplants, the strip produces a linear scar that, if you like to wear your hair short, is sometimes evident.
- Better for those more likely to scar: for those for whom the risk of scarring is greater – that’s you if you are young, or particularly muscular, or if your scalp is notably tight or loose – FUE may be the preferred option, leaving fewer scars.
Disadvantages of FUE
- Lesser graft quality: without the protective dermis and fat of the microscopically dissected grafts, the follicles run a greater risk of being traumatised or impaired at the implantation stage. Furthermore, the time they are outside the body tends to be longer than follicular unit transplant grafts and this can be detrimental to their health.
- It all takes that bit longer: FUE is a painstaking process and there is a limit to how much can be done in a single session. Depending on the number of transplants, treatment may run to two consecutive days. This also has an impact on the price.
- Subsequent FUE sessions may be problematic: where repeat FUT sessions simply excise the donor area scar so there is only ever one scar to conceal, FUE donor scars are additive, accumulating additional scars with each treatment.
The Non-Surgical Alternative
If you’re not sure if hair transplant surgery is for you, then it’s probably worth exploring other alternatives. Scalp micropigmentation, known as SMP, is a non-surgical alternative to hair transplant surgery, which involves the insertion of specially designed pigments to create the illusion of a full head of hair.
If you’re interested in learning more about SMP and why you might want to consider it as an alternative to hair transplant surgery, call the experts at HisHair Clinic today and book a consultation.