A Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant is a form of hair restoration that involves the taking of individual hair follicles from an area of healthy growth to then be used to stimulate regrowth in an area to be treated.
The technique was first developed in the 1990s by Australian doctors Dr. Angela Campbell and her brother Dr. Ray Woods and further developed in the early 2000s as an alternative to treatments whereby a strip of hair had to be taken to provide the donor follicles.
It is considered the gold standard because Follicular Unit Extraction hair transplants can deliver the very best results due to minimal scarring at the donor site.
Unlike some other approaches, a FUE hair transplant does not limit the recipient to a reduced range of hair styles, the scarring is often virtually invisible and so the hair can be worn short or closely cropped.
The FUE technique, when administered by an experienced, skilled surgeon, also greatly reduces the shorter term impact of a hair transplant. Rather than there being a clearly visible donor site of shaved hair, the areas where are follicles are drawn from can be subtly incorporated into your hairstyle.
This is a procedure where huge care is taken and follicles selected from the donor site with extreme precision.
A FUE hair transplant is not the cheapest option, it is more labour intensive and a more precise process with each follicle group taken individually rather than a large strip of hair.
The grafts for the hair transplant have to be carefully sorted and analysed in great detail under magnification by experienced technicians before the implanting procedure can be undertaken. It cannot compete on price with a trip abroad to a budget clinic.
Instead, it is the option for people who want a premium service with ongoing after care.
The service is for those who desire the benefit of a life enhancing hair transplant surgery, delivering permanent, natural regrowth but do not want the negatives associated with other techniques.
The FUE process ensures minimal scarring from the donor site and also removes the need to wear a bandage for a period of days, there is also little impact on your existing hair style, in skilled hands it will typically not be noticeable. Previously when FUT surgery was the preference, the visibility of the linear scar would be the main concern for most clients.
Other techniques can also deliver excellent results and will be suitable in many instances.
We encourage those seeking a premium service to consider FUE not because other options are sub optimal, but instead because this is a technique that will deliver the best results without the need for compromise.
You may have heard of a FUE hair transplant but be a little unclear as to what this method involves, or how it differs from other techniques.
At a consultation, the differences between each hair transplant option would be explained fully and reasoning given as to why one option may be the best choice for your individual case of hair loss.
FUE involves taking individual follicular units from the donor area at the back of the head and then, after they have been carefully examined and sorted, transplanting these into the area to be treated.
The extraction itself leaves almost no visible trace that hair has been removed from the donor site.
This is very different from the other common approach, FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant) whereby a strip of scalp tissue is taken from the donor area.
Once the extraction has occurred, the processes are then broadly similar, although FUE requires more labour intensive examination of the extracted follicles.
Your surgeon will create individual implantation sites by using a fine needle where the follicles are to be implanted.
The expected hair growth would be the same for either process, both techniques delivering hair regrowth that would be permanent once established.
FUE does however have two key benefits.
A FUE extraction will produce less scarring in the donor region, this a result of the hair follicles being removed individually rather than a strip of hair being removed, as would be the case in a FUT process.
The impact of this difference will vary by patient, for those who prefer a slightly longer hairstyle, whereby any scarring would always be hidden, this may be a benefit of little consequence.
At a consultation, example hair transplant images would be provided to demonstrate the differences between the extraction site following both approaches, your consultant would also make a recommendation based on how you like to wear your hair, including your current style.
A FUE hair transplant creates very small, circular scars and these will often be invisible to the naked eye. At most, the scarring will be visible if the hair is worn in a very close crop (typically grades one and two) or completely shaved.
Those able to opt for the FUE technique also benefit from there being no short to medium term impact of a visible donor extraction site.
Following an extraction using the FUT technique, the recipient will be required to wear a bandage for a few days. There will be a bald patch, but in many cases this can be concealed by longer hair or styled into a consistent haircut.
By way of a contrast, the FUE technique creates only small circular patches around 0.8-1mm and scars that are often well concealed from a week after surgery. There is no need to wear a supporting bandage and the donor area can often be incorporated into a subtle fade hairstyle, or hidden entirely by longer hair.
There are other options too, including the fully automated Artas IX machine, we are currently the only clinic in the UK that provide the most-advanced robotic hair transplant system in the world. This could also be discussed in consultation.
What anyone with hair loss can be certain of is that there now exists a range of superb hair transplant options and all deliver wonderful results.
However, for certain clients, FUE will deliver the greatest benefit.
Broadly speaking, anyone who has concerns over hair loss could be suitable for hair transplant.
The majority of clients are men who are experiencing pattern baldness, but the procedures are also suitable for woman who may be suffering hair loss, so too those who have hair loss linked to stress, disease or other cause.
There are some exceptions, for instance those who have no donor site of hair (i.e. are completely bald) as it is necessary to take hair follicles from elsewhere to then be grafted into the area being treated.
Suitability specifically for a FUE hair transplant procedure is more a question of personal situation.
The FUE method only has advantages, the long term hair growth matches that of any other technique and it does not create clearly visible scarring.
However, these benefits occur because the grafting process is so much more labour intensive, individual spots selected and then carefully removed one at a time, rather than a strip taken as a relatively quick process.
There is, therefore, greater expense to this procedure and a full procedure is likely to cost from around £9,000.
You may compare this to buying a car. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a Ford Mondeo, it is safe, reliable and looks good. However, it is not a Porsche.
People who opt for FUE hair transplants do so because they value quality and are able to choose the best treatment, not because the other options are inherently bad.
Anyone researching the topic of hair transplant will be inundated with adverts and offers and numerous special offers with appealingly low ‘special offer’ prices.
Why should you consider our services?
We believe that there is little point opting for a hair transplant unless you are going to choose a top class clinic and a truly skilled and experienced surgeon. Those who don’t apply this degree of vigilance can spend thousands for results that leave their hair looking worse than pre-surgery, with little growth and a very visible scar.
By entrusting us to restore your hair growth, you will benefit from a clinic that has won an award as the best in the UK and has a huge number of positive, verified reviews. For hair transplants, we use highly qualified specialists who are experts in all forms of hair transplantation and can advise as to the most suitable option.
We have clinics across England, each one in a relaxing setting and with every elements designed to ensure patient relaxation.
Our Liverpool clinic is the largest outside London and the only Diamond Clinic outside the capital; our Cheshire Clinic won Top Cosmetic Clinic Award in the UK for 2019. Other locations in Birmingham and London’s Harley Street are equipped to the same high standards.
Please take the time to read testimonials, they demonstrate the degree of care we employ with each and every patient.
We understand that considering having any form of cosmetic procedure is not undertaken lightly. We treat everyone with respect and understanding, we take time to listen and we only recommend a procedure when it is genuinely in that person’s best interest.
FUE hair transplants are a premium option. There is little point paying for this level of service but then opting for a clinic that is not of the highest of standards, or a surgeon who is not a true specialist with extensive medical training.
A FUE hair transplant will create natural hair regrowth that leads to densely packed hair that looks entirely natural.
The hair regrowth will be permanent, this because the hair follicles are drawn from the back of the neck, an area where hair lacks the genetic conditions that can lead to problems such as Androgenetic Alopecia – known as male pattern baldness.
The hair follicles will be implanted in the direction your hair would naturally grow, thus ensuring a consistent hairline where there is no visible indicator to show which hair is the result of the procedure.
The results also come without the short-term complications of visible donor site, or the ongoing problem of having to hide the scar that accompanies the FUT technique.
Words, however, will always struggle to do justice to the results created and so we would recommend you browse the before and after images below. These demonstrate results achieved, these to address varying degrees of hair loss for patients of all ages.
A detailed consultation must be held prior to any procedure such as a hair transplant, we provide consultations that are pressure free, they are the chance for you to tell us your journey, why you are seeking a hair transplant and for us to recommend a course of best action.
You would be given all relevant information and we would detail the results achievable and the nature of the surgery and after care. A full, detailed quote would also be produced, if requested.
It is then usual to have a follow-up consultation, this allowing you time to cool down and decide whether a procedure truly is for you. You will also have time to think of any follow-up questions and further research any information we have provided you with.
It is common for people to feel apprehensive prior to a consultation, we are all concerned with our own appearance and it is a big step to seek professional help for any cause for concern.
Please be reassured that we are very sensitive to the requirements of our clients, endeavouring to put everyone at ease and treating all clients with the utmost respect and understanding regardless of whether or not they ultimately choose to have a procedure with us.
The aim of a consultation is not to ‘sell’ a procedure but to find the right solution for that person.
Yes, the follicles used to stimulate the regrowth are healthy, growing hair taken from the back of the head - these are hairs that are not susceptible to issues such as male pattern baldness.
The results that can be expected would be outlined in a detailed consultation.
It is also worth noting that the same level of regrowth would apply with a FUT procedure, it is only the method for acquiring the donor follicles that is different across the two techniques.
A local anaesthetic would be applied and the procedure is then typically pain free, indeed it so relaxing that many patients doze off; others will relax and read a book or watch a film. While a FUE procedure does take longer than the FUT equivalent, the time can be considered relaxing ‘me’ time. Patients enjoy their session, it is a chance to unwind and watch a good movie while having a cause for concern professionally treated.
Post surgery, there may be some swelling, redness and a feeling of tightness in the scalp, these all passing within a few days. Symptoms can be managed with over the counter painkillers.
You would be given full details of how to prepare for the procedure during consultation, but there are no special steps that need to be taken.
There is no need to have a haircut prior to the procedure, or for the donor region to be pre-shaved. We will do it on the day, shaving a small area from the back of the neck and acquiring the follicles from this region.
In most cases, a FUE procedure would be performed in one day, taking between 6 and 8 hours - this encompassing the extraction of the hair follicles and then the implanting of these into the area being treated.
We would ensure your comfort at all stages and there would be regular breaks, these including for refreshment and a light lunch.
In some instances, depending on the quantity of hair to be implanted, it may be that the procedure is split over two days. This would be discussed at consultation.
After the surgery, you will be discharged and can then return home, although we recommend you don’t drive yourself.
It is common to then take a couple of days off work and also limit some forms of physical activity for around two weeks, full details would be provided and we would be happy to answer any specific questions.
You will be provided with a saline spray, this should be sprayed on to your hair at regular intervals for the first few days.
We would be on hand at every stage to help with your recovery. Patients are contacted the day after surgery to check they are feeling comfortable and then at regular intervals throughout the following year.
Our team are also always available to answer any questions and you will have scheduled follow-up appointments at three, six and 12 months.
We remain with you throughout the journey to full hair regrowth.
Results from any hair transplant are not instantaneous and so the patient should not worry that it takes a period of time before any regrowth becomes apparent. This is quite normal.
Hair regrowth will be seen over the months following surgery and full results should be visible after around a year.