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According to the American Hair Loss Association, by the age of 50, approximately 85% of men and 50% of women will experience some degree of hair loss. This post will explore FUT vs. FUE hair transplants, two safe and effective hair transplant procedures we offer at The Hair Transplant Center – New Jersey.
It’s normal to lose 100 or more hairs a day. However, if you are experiencing noticeable shedding day in and day out and are starting to recognize the tell-tale characteristics of male or female pattern baldness forming on your head, you are not at a complete loss.
Two popular hair transplant techniques available—FUT and FUE—are safe and effective. Both hair transplant methods have advantages and disadvantages, so weighing the pros and cons is important before deciding which is best for you.
Want to speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon about these cosmetic procedures? Book a free consultation with Dr. Dominick Golio at The Hair Transplant Center – New Jersey.
Let’s dig in.
Before we dive into the specifics of FUT and FUE hair transplants, it’s important to understand that both methods are safe and effective. Both FUT and FUE hair transplants involve the removal of healthy hair follicles from a donor area on the scalp and transplanting them to the area of the scalp affected by hair loss.
The key difference between FUT and FUE lies in the techniques used to extract and implant hair follicles.
FUT stands for Follicular Unit Transplantation, and it’s a hair transplant method that involves removing a strip of scalp from the donor area, usually at the back of the head, where the hair is genetically resistant to balding.
The strip of scalp is then dissected under a microscope into individual follicular units, each containing one to four hair follicles. This donor hair is then transplanted into the recipient area, where the hair is thinning or balding.
The donor area is then sutured or stapled closed, leaving a linear scar on the scalp where the strip of scalp was removed. The scar is usually long and thin and can be visible if the hair is cut short, which is a concern for some patients. Therefore, those who opt for a FUT hair transplant typically have to keep their hair longer to cover the scar.
The FUT procedure is ideal for patients with a large area of balding to cover, as the cosmetic procedure allows for transplanting a larger quantity of donor hair.
Additionally, the FUT procedure is a good option for patients with a tight scalp, as the strip of scalp can be easily removed. The surgeon will evaluate the donor area to determine if there are enough healthy hair follicles for donor hair transplantation.
The cost of a FUT procedure varies depending on the size of the area to be treated, the number of hair follicles to be transplanted, and the surgeon’s experience. On average, FUT hair transplants can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000.
There are three main advantages to choosing a FUT procedure over an FUE procedure:
The FUT procedure produces greater coverage than FUE hair transplants because the technique allows the transplantation of many hair follicles at once. The FUE transplant procedure uses individual follicles.
The strip of scalp removed from the donor area during a FUT transplant contains more hair follicles than the individual follicular units used in FUE.
The FUT procedure is generally less expensive than the FUE procedure, as the technique is less time-consuming. It would be more costly to use FUE to cover the same surface area of the balding scalp because there is more labor involved with the individual follicular extraction and implantation.
One of the major advantages of the FUT procedure is that the technique is relatively fast. This is because the surgeon can harvest many hair follicles at once from the strip of scalp removed from the donor area. Once the strip of scalp is removed, it is dissected into individual follicular units, which are then transplanted into the recipient area.
The surgeon and their team can work simultaneously to separate the follicular units from the strip and create recipient sites in the recipient area, which helps to speed up the process. Technicians can complete the process of separating the follicular units under the surgeon’s supervision, which also helps reduce the overall time of the procedure.
While FUT procedures have several advantages, there are also three main disadvantages:
One of the main disadvantages of FUT procedures is that they leave a linear scar on the scalp where the strip of scalp was removed. This scar can be visible if the hair is cut short, so patients must keep it longer if they wish to cover it.
One of the main disadvantages of the FUT method is that the recovery time is longer than FUE procedures. This is because the FUT technique involves the removal of a strip of scalp from the donor area, which requires more extensive incisions and a longer healing time.
FUT hair transplantation requires stitches to close the incision made to remove the strip of scalp, which can cause discomfort during recovery. The incision site will need time to heal, which typically takes several days. During the healing process, patients may experience some discomfort, swelling, and tenderness around the incision site.
FUE stands for Follicular Unit Extraction, a hair transplant procedure that involves harvesting individual hair follicles from the donor area, typically at the back of the head, and transplanting them into the recipient area, where the hair is thinning or balding.
The process involves a microsurgical technique that removes individual hair follicles rather than a strip of scalp, as in the FUT technique. The surgeon uses a tiny, sharp punch tool to extract individual hair follicles from the donor area, one at a time.
Once the hair follicles are removed, they are transplanted into the recipient area, where the surgeon makes tiny incisions to receive the grafts. The hair follicles are then carefully placed into these incisions, which allows them to grow and develop new blood supply in their new location.
FUE transplants are ideal for patients with a smaller area of balding to cover or for people who are experiencing mild thinning hair, as the technique is better suited for transplanting smaller numbers of hair follicles. Additionally, FUE transplants are a good option for patients who prefer to keep their hair short, as there is no linear scar left on the scalp.
It’s important to note that not all patients are good candidates for FUE surgery. The surgeon will evaluate the donor area to determine if there are enough healthy hair follicles for transplantation. The patient’s hair type, texture, and density will also be considered.
The cost of FUE surgery varies depending on several factors, such as the size of the area to be treated, the number of hair follicles to be transplanted, and the surgeon’s experience. On average, FUE surgery can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000.
There are three advantages to choosing an FUE hair transplant:
FUE hair transplants are known for leaving minimal scarring on the scalp. This is because individual hair follicles are removed from the donor area using a punch tool, creating small, circular incisions typically less than 1 mm in size. The tiny incisions can heal quickly and are usually not visible to the naked eye, even with shorter haircuts.
It’s important to note that in some cases, small circular scars may form on the scalp after an FUE hair transplant. However, these scars are typically not visible and can be easily covered with short hair. The surgeon can also use a technique called “scarless FUE,” which involves a specialized punch tool that creates even smaller, less visible scars.
FUE hair transplants require a shorter recovery time than FUT hair transplants, as there is no long incision to remove a scalp strip. Instead, there are tiny puncture wounds that heal quickly on their own.
FUE hair transplants are less uncomfortable than FUT hair transplants, as no stitches are required, and the scalp heals more quickly. However, there will still likely be redness, swelling, and tenderness on the scalp for a few days—just less than if you received a FUT hair transplant.
While FUE transplantation has several advantages, it also has three disadvantages:
The FUE technique is generally more expensive than FUT surgery. This is because the FUE technique requires greater skill and precision to extract individual hair follicles, which can make the procedure more time-consuming.
Additionally, the equipment and technology used during an FUE procedure can be more expensive than the equipment used during FUT surgery. Not to mention, the procedure takes more of the plastic surgeon’s time.
FUE takes more time to perform than FUT. This is because each hair follicle must be individually harvested and transplanted, which can be time-consuming, especially compared to FUT. The amount of time required for FUE can vary depending on the number of hair follicles needed to be transplanted and the surgeon’s skill level.
FUE can be more challenging to create coverage with single follicular grafts because individual hair follicles are more difficult to manipulate. The surgeon must carefully place each hair follicle in the recipient area to create a natural-looking hairline, correct noticeable thinning, and avoid leaving empty spaces. This can require a high level of skill and experience.
It’s important to remember that while FUE has some disadvantages, it may still be a good option for certain patients, depending on their individual needs and preferences. The surgeon will evaluate the patient’s hair loss and overall health to determine the best treatment option.
Choosing between FUT and FUE ultimately depends on how advanced your hair loss is and your individual needs and preferences. If you have a larger balding area to cover and are comfortable keeping your hair longer, FUT may be a better option for you. On the other hand, if you have a smaller balding area to cover and prefer to keep your hair short, FUE may be the way to go.
If you’re considering which hair transplant method is right for you, schedule your free consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in FUT and FUE hair transplants.
During your consultation at The Hair Transplant Center – New Jersey, our plastic surgeon, Dr. Dominick Golio, will assess your individual needs and make a recommendation based on how advanced your level of baldness is and your hair transplant goals.