Hair Transplant Question: Will FUE hair transplant on a black scalp create visible scars? (photo)

I am considering getting a hair transplant, but I like to keep my hair short. In addition, if the growth of the new hair is not adequate, as a back up plan, I wish to shave my head. Will an FUE transplant create visible scars on the back of my head (donor area)? Also, is it possible to avoid scarring the back of my head by using donor hairs entirely from the body?

Doctor Answers 9

FUE and scars

Any time an incision is made on the human body, a scar will result. FUE does create scars, and they are usually small and round and hidden within the hair. 

Changes in pigmentation can occur with FUE. The changes can be lighter or darker skin. This can occur regardless of where the hair is taken (back of scalp vs body hair). 

Will FUE produce scars

You are an African American and as such, you may be a poor candidate for FUE. FUE always produces punctate scars as shown in the Web reference below

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

FUE in Dark Skin

FUE should not cause scarring if it is done correctly.  Like any other procedure, FUE has been improved in the last few years.  These are the reasons that modern FUE does not cause scarring:

  • Smaller punch sizes
  • Better distribution of donor area
  • Shallower depth of extraction

Of course the FUE transplant is done with a variety of different techniques.  We do not even see hypo pigmentation (small lighter dots on donor area) any more due to the technique improvement in the last few years.

Parsa Mohebi, MD
Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


The punches for FUE are very small, sometimes under a mm.  However, any time there is injury through the skin there is potential for a scar.  Very small punches yield very small scar which are often not visible (unless you keloid or form hypertrophic scars). 

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Fue and Scars

FUE surgery is like any surgery, this means whenever skin is broken there is a subsequent scar.
FUE leaves behind small dot or circular scars. The size, shape and colour depends on many factors such as the punch size, angle of extraction and healing characteristics of the patient.

Dark skin (Black) is more susceptible to keloid formation which means thicker scars. Scars will be visible in most people but how visible will vary slightly between people.
Your surgeon should be able to assess this during your consultation. One should remember that the skills of the Surgeon is one of the most important factors to be taken into consideration.

Dr. Hassan Nurein, MD
London Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

FUE Scars

Hi jakemartin,

If you do prefer to keep your hair short, FUE hair transplants are a great option for you.

It is possible to avoid scarring on the back of your head by using donor hairs from other parts of your body. You will need to seek a qualified FUE transplant doctor for a physical consultation to confirm that this will apply to your unique situation. 

Best of luck,
Dr. Broadway

FUE on black patients

FUE is an excellent option for black patients. It leaves almost no visible scars on the donor site and you can wear very short hair. This is not the case with strip method. You can always see a horizontal scar line and with black patients, hypertrophic scars or keloids can also form.

Kyle S. Choe, MD
Virginia Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

FUE is still the best option for African American

I have been doing exclusively FUE hair transplants using Neograft and ARTAS robot for several years. We have performed the procedure on a number of African American patients and I have never encountered keloidal or even visible scar. However, there is of course a chance for developing bad scar. It beats however strip scar any time! Check out our before and after photos and also watch an interview with myself about FUE hair transplantation! As for the body hair we do that as well but it is always a secondary choice in cases when you run out of donor sites on the scalp

FUE for darker skin

One of the many great things about the FUE procedure is the imperceptible harvest site.  The size of the punch used for extraction of follicles in Neograft is just slightly larger than the diameter of the hair follicle itself (.9-1mm) and only a small percentage of the hair is extracted from an area so the removal of those follicles is actually not noticed by the human eye.  Removing only a certain percentage is key, so it is important to have a consultation and determine in advance if you are a good candidate for the procedure. If there is insufficient donor hair to achieve the results you desire it is crucial that you know this before undergoing a procedure. Though harvesting from the body is possible, I wouldn't rely on body hair to make up the majority of transplanted hair. 

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 86 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.