Seen as the leading method for restoring the hairline with natural, permanent growth, FUE hair transplants are a premium option that produce wonderful results.
In this post, we outline all the key information – looking at what FUE transplants are, the method used and how this differs from other forms of hair transplant.
We also answer common questions, such as who they are suitable for and the pros and cons vs other methods.
If you have any further queries or would like to discuss your suitability for an FUE hair transplant or any form of hair transplant – please contact us at Doctor Nyla’s MediSpa clinics – recognised as leading clinics in the UK.
What is an FUE Hair transplant – The Quick Answer
FUE – short for Follicular Unit Extraction – is a form of hair transplant whereby follicles are taken from a donor site – often the back of the head – to then be used in the area where hair growth is desired.
The techniques deliver permanent regrowth, and care is even taken to ensure that the growth perfectly matches the natural hairline and flow of existing hair.
Where FUE differs from any other option is in the minimal impact it has on the donor area.
Follicles are selected individually and with great care from small patches, this leading to no more than small circular scars that are barely visible even from the moment of the extraction.
This is very different from other options, whereby a strip of hair may be taken, leading to much more visible scarring and also the need to wear a bandage for a period.
FUE delivers unmatched long-term results, but in a way that also does not limit the short term.
A further benefit of FUE is that it does not limit future hairstyle choices – because there is no visible scarring at the donor site, the hair can be worn short, or even deliberately shaved as desired.
Other options may only truly work with longer hairstyles where the donor area can be hidden under hair.
Suitability for FUE Hair Transplants
Broadly speaking, most potential clients who have hair loss or bald areas they wish to be treated will be suitable for an FUE hair transplant, the exceptions would be those who have no hair in any donor site from which healthy grafts can be taken.
Suitability would always be discussed at a detailed consultation, and other options could be discussed too – it is impossible on a web page to say whether anyone person would be suitable for any particular treatment.
What should reassure you is that a range of options is likely to exist, these also covering a range of budgets. Among these choices, FUE hair transplants have advantages, but that is not to say other options are flawed.
FUE Hair Transplant vs Other Options
The purpose of a hair transplant is obvious – why, though, opt for FUE?
We should start by saying that FUE does not exist because all other options are inherently flawed.
We also administered FUT hair transplants (where a more visible area is taken at the donor site) and also use the Artas IX Machine for automated gathering of follicles.
The most common choice is between FUE and FUT – FUT being Follicular Unit Transplant.
With FUT, a strip of hair is taken at the donor site, with FUE individual follicular units are extracted.
The hair growth achieved is the same with both options – permanent, healthy regrowth. It is the donor site where the difference is apparent. With FUT, a clear strip is taken, this will have a very obvious short-term impact, and it is common for a bandage to be required. Longer-term, the scarring can make it impractical to have certain shorter hairstyles.
For FUE, the short term impact is minimal – if noticeable at all – and the long term results do not rule out any common hairstyle.
An FUE transplant takes longer to administer – this because the extraction process is more labour intensive – and it is also an option with a higher cost.
All these are for the potential client to factor in – depending on how they expect to have their hair in future, it might be that the scarring of FUT is of no consequence, it will always be hidden.
They might also deem it worthwhile to put up with the shorter-term issue of the very visible strip of hair having been taken given the savings of this method. Indeed, FUE is an option not all will be able to afford.
The difference can be compared to comparing car brands. A Ford Mondeo is a wonderfully reliable car, it is also good to drive. It is a fine choice that offers good value for money. However, it is not a Mercedes.
FUE is the Mercedes.
What Results Can Be Achieved Through A FUE Transplant
An FUE hair transplant will create natural hair regrowth that leads to densely packed hair that looks entirely natural.
The hair regrowth created is permanent, this is 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 (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.
However, words are a poor way of describing results – please instead head to our main treatment page to see examples of before and after photos for FUE hair transplant patients.
FAQs Relating to FUE Hair Transplants
Will my hair regrowth be permanent?
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.
Will a FUE hair transplant hurt?
A local anaesthetic would be applied and the procedure is then typically pain-free, indeed it is so relaxing that many patients doze off; others will relax and read a book or watch a film. While an 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.
How do I prepare for an FUE procedure?
You would be given full details of how to prepare for the procedure during the 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.
How Long Does A FUE Procedure Take?
In most cases, an 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 refreshments 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.
What AfterCare Is Required?
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 onto 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.
We remain with you throughout the journey to full hair regrowth.
When Will I See Results?
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.