Hair Transplant incision and scaring?

What kind of donor site incision wound can I expect from my upcoming hair transplant? What can I do to minimize scarring or prepare for the procedure?

Doctor Answers 6

Hair Transplant Surgery

Scarring depends on what hair transplant technique the surgeon is using on your transplant. Follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) leaves a lineal scar at the donor area on the side or back of the head, known as a strip scar. Elliptical-shaped strips are removed from the donor area, typically along a line 1-centimeter above the ears or above the occipital bump. However, scarring complications decrease if the incision width is less than 1 millimeter. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is a less invasive hair transplantation surgery with minimal scarring. If scarring does occur, the round holes are typically not cosmetically significant. Currently, surgeons use a handheld tool that “punches” each follicular unit in the scalp donor area, with punches only 0.8 to 1.2 millimeters in size. The downside is the technique is more difficult and time consuming, and some surgeons do not offer it.

Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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Strip versus FUE

If you are having a traditional strip procedure you will have an incision with sutures. FUE or follicular unit extraction removes each hair follicle which is transplanted into the recipient site.  The FUE method usually has less recovery time and discomfort. Your question should be addressed with your operating surgeon.

David V. Martini, MD
Elkton Facial Plastic Surgeon

Hair transplant incision

In our office and we do 5-10 proceedures a week the options are a simple donor strip proceedure  which usually heals excellent or an FUE proceedure (Follicular unit extraction). The FUE proceedure is excellent for anyone who wants to wear their hair short. The donor hairs are removed one by one without any incision. The process is longer and more expensive but leaves no evidence of a donor site.

Hair transplant scar for a virgin

Most strip harvesting scars for hair transplant naive patients are quite minimal and are easily camouflaged with the remaining donor hair.  Any type of surgical cut leaves a scar, including follicular unit extraction and automated techniques mentioned in the other surgeon's answer. 

Kevin Ende, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Hair Transplant incision and scaring

If you would like to avoid the severity, risk and scarring associated with conventional strip harvesting, you should seek an experienced surgeon who performs automated fue.



Dr. Malouf

Peter Malouf, DO
Dallas Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Hair transplant scarring

The donor site is usually a fine linear scar or multiple fine pin point scars when the FUE method is used. The  fringe hair covers these scars similar to the disguise of the scars of a facelift.

There is nothing you can do beforehand  that would affect the outcome of a hair transplant surgery. I assume you are concerned with donor harvest scarring . There is usually little concern for the recipient areas.

If scarring , of any degree concerns you, try a shaved head style first to see if you like the look as any hair transplant will interfere with the look of a shaved head.

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD
Oakland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 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.