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Is FUE Hair Transplant the Best Harvesting Technique?

my understanding of Follicular Unit Extraction vs FUT, is that each is a differing technique to produce hair grafts for hair transplantation surgery. FUE is best for someone--like me--who likes to have short hair.  Otherwise, the medical literature is over whelmingly complex. Can a doctor help explain FUE and when it's the best technique?

Doctor Answers (13)

Is FUE the best technique?

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FUE is not necessarily the 'best' technique - it's just different. It's critical that patients considering hair transplant surgery understand the unique differences in these two procedures.

With FUE (follicular unit extraction) there is no 'linear scar'  but contrary to popular belief there is a scar! However, it's just a tiny tiny circular "microscar". It's hard to see and that's the great thing about FUE. But it is a scar nevertheless. Because the area heals with a microscar, it is often possible for one to wear their hair very very short.

What are the downsides of FUE? 

If an individual is likely to go on to develop more significant balding in advanced ages, then it's possible that with FUE surgery will involve taking hairs from an area in the donor region that might not truly be permanent hairs.

Take two men at age 29 with thinning in the front of the scalp. Both are destined to go on to develop a Norwood VI pattern without surgery. One gets 2500 grafts with strip and one gets 2500 grafts with FUE. Both look great one year after their surgery and both look good 10 years after. But do both look good 30 years after their surgery? There is a slightly greater chance that the man who had strip will have "fuller" hair at age 57. 

It's important for all men consider hair transplant to understand this concept. There are unique benefits to both strip and FUE. 


Toronto Dermatologist

Is there a best technique for hair transplantation.

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FUE technique involves individual extraction of  hair unit of 1-4 hairs using tiny punches.  The advantage is that there is no linear scar but multiple tiny scars which are generally not visible.  This is great for individuals who want to wear their hair short. The down side to this technique, when compared with strip grafting methods  is that the viability of the grafts can be slightly more compromised when harvested in this manner, and the number of grafts that can be harvested in one session is less

Arthur N. Falk, MD
Albany Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Strip method versus follicular unit extraction

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Both methods yield very good results for the transplanted hairs. The follicular unit extraction has the advantage of minimizing a donor scar. The one downside of the follicular unit extraction is that one must shave the area where the donor graphs are being harvested from. The strip method leaves a long linear and possibly visible scar, however one does not need to shave down the hair so that one can be more conspicuous during the procedure period.  The follicular unit extraction can mimic this, if one already has long hair in the donar area, and we shave a portion of the posterior scalp where were borrowing hair.  Thus the  remaining longer hairs are suitable for to hide the donor area until it grows out.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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Fue or FUT

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Both methods give wonderful results if you are in professional hands and its just a matter of having a less invasive surgery or not.Nowadays FUE method has more increasing demand than FUT Method but FUT is still necessary to harvest more grafts.

Ilker Apaydin, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

FUT vs strip vs FUE hair transplants

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Terminology may not be important to some people, but if its a matter of a large scar on your scalp it may matter to you.  However, i agree that it does not stop at terminology.  Once you decide if you are ok with one method vs the other(my thought is they both produce good growth but its the side effects and costs that make the difference) THEN the key thing is finding a dedicated center that is good at it.  Do you want to go to a place that mixes FUE and FUT, or just dedicated to one or the other?  Do you want to go to a place that also does Lipo and botox and hormone therapy or to a dedicated center?  It depends on how much you value specialization. 

Rashid M. Rashid, PhD, MD
Houston Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Sounds like FUE is much better choice for you

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Both procedures will potentially provide great results if you are in great hands.  I think part of the answer you all ready gave to yourself. The F.U.E technique will be better for you because you like to have short hair style. F.U.E (Follicular Unit Extraction) will not  create visible linear scar.  In the future you would be able to shave your head and nobody would know you had surgery.
       Definitely  with Neograft or ARTAS robotic hair transplantation surgery is more convenient for the patient.  And as always it is good to have a detailed consultation with the clinic of your choice.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Is FUE the best harvesting technique for Hair Transplant?

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The most important event in considering a hair transplant is not how the donor hair is harvested...it is the creation of a natural and attractive hairline leading to an excellent result.  No machine or piece of technology can replace the artistic skills of the surgeon doing a tranplant.  Individuals who like to wear their hair very short may find some benefit of FUE.  However, you can also wind up with lots of little white dots because of your skin color which can be very noticeable after an FUE procedure. 

Jack Fisher, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Defining Follicular Unit Extraction

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Follicular transplantation:  Hair tends to grow in small clumps or follicular units made up of 1 to 4 hairs.  FUT refers to the placement of hairs into the bald area.  It looks very natural because smaller units (1-2 hairs) can be placed in the front which is very natural looking and has really transformed hair transplantation.

Follicular Extraction:  The hair can be obtained or taken out in 2 basic ways.  One is to take a strip of hair and cut it into follicular units.  The other is to take the hair out in follicular units (FUE).  Most hair transplants are done by the strip method.  You will have a scar that may be visible if you plane to wear your hair short.  FUE is described as a scar free surgery but to be fair there are still small scars or circles that also may be visible if your hair is short.  You could ask your provider to try a small area (perhaps 10) of FUE.  This would allow you to see if this amount of scarring would be acceptable to you before committing to a large area.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Hannah Vargas, MD
Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Is FUE Hair Transplant the Best Harvesting Technique?

+1

I will answer this question just like it did the last one:)

Both procedures produce excellent results. It basically comes down to personal preference.

The strip method has been around longer and is the most common method of hair transplantation.

The benefits are you can move more hair per procedure at a lower cost and the outcome is remarkable. The only negative I see is you are left with a linear scar in the donor site, which is typically not recognizable unless you shave your head.

Benefits of FUE's would be in the donor site. Instead of having a linear scar it would leave tiny little "dots." But again these are not visible unless you were to shave your head.

The only negatives with FUE's would be the fact that it takes longer so therefore the cost will be higher.

With the addition of Neograft however, the time factor will not be as much of a factor.

Jon E. Mendelsohn, MD
Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

FUE is the best HT option for shorter hair cuts

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Conventional hair transplantation methods, known as Strip, involve the removal of strips of flesh from the back and sides of the head that result in linear scars that wrap around the back of the head from ear to ear, which looks like a "smiley face", as it is known. FUE is a newer form of hair transplantation, the process by which we perform hair restoration surgery. Each hair is extracted, without leaving major scarring as Strip is known to do.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.