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 14

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). 

Does FUE cause scar in donor area on darker scalps?

With FUE small punches are made into the scalp to extract hairs one at a time. Every time an incision is made there is possibility of scarring. These scars are usually small white doors firmed for each punch made for harvesting. Since the contrast between the white dots and darker scalps is greater, these scars are more visible on darker skins. 

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Does FUE result in visible scars in dark skin

It is certainly possible that any scar on black or very dark skin to stand out more than white skin. This is due to the higher contrast in colours between the very pigmented dark skin and the almost non-pigmented scars. If you have FUE and then shave your head or have a very cropped hairstyle then the scars may appear like numerous small dots that will make you feel uncomfortable about your appearance. Of course if you have FUT, then you may have to contend with a line type scar that may equally make you self conscious with a very short haircut.
Also take into account that, technically, FUE is much trickier with African American or Afro-caribbean type hair resulting in higher transection rates of the follicles. 
You may want to instead of hair transplant consider scalp micro-pigmentation or SMP. In my opinion, it is probably a better solution in black skin with African type hair. the colour blend is usually very good, and no compication of scarring

Bessam Farjo, MBChB
Manchester Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Dont Go for FUE

Helloo Jakemartin,
Hope You doing fine. I will suggest you to not go for FUE. FUE dont provide results.
There 99.99% success in FUT. No back up plan will be needed. It takes time but yes results are wonderfull

Narendra Kaushik, MCh, MS, MBBS
India Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

It can

FUE is a method of harvesting grafts.  It does NOT always work well on curly African American hair.  You need to have an exam and even a FUE test (we call it FOX Test).  Most doctors may not offer this.  

If are a good candidate for FUE, you need to understand that you will get scarring in the form of pale 1mm dots (thousands of them).  FUE is not a scar-less surgery.  There is no such thing as a scar-less surgery. You generally will not see the FUE scar with short hair.  You WILL see it with the head shaved or hair really short 1mm to 2mm short.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

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 20 reviews

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 24 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 29 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.

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

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.