For those who equate more hair with more happiness, meet Follicle Unit Extraction (FUE).
It’s a non-invasive procedure that gives you a fuller head of hair – using your own hair!
How does it work? Very simply, a skilled hair restoration surgeon harvests hundreds of hair follicles from the chosen “donor” area, typically at the back of the scalp. The doctor then uses precision equipment to implant the follicles in the front, or wherever needed.
Benefits of FUE
Unlike other types of hair restoration, the FUE procedure leaves no linear scar and does not require the patient to receive stitches. So within a few days, the donor area looks completely natural again.
Once grown in, the transplanted hair appears just as natural as the patient’s remaining hair.
Although the procedure takes longer than other types of hair transplants, the recovery period is fast, and most people can return to work the following day. Results take just a few months to show, and improvement continues throughout the year.
What Happens During FUE?
Once arriving at the office and a brief preparation period, trimming the hair short, in advance of the procedure, makes it easier for the doctor to work.
During the procedure, a hair restoration professional first removes hair follicles from the donor area using an instrument that is less than one millimeter in diameter. Small incisions are made are around each follicle unit so the doctor can isolate and extract them.
Next, the extracted follicles are sorted by number of hairs (from one to four). Each follicle is then carefully transplanted into its new position on the patient’s scalp, re-creating the patient’s inherent hairline. The transplanted follicles appear entirely natural and the tiny circles where the doctor removed hair heal within just a few days.
The new hair typically falls out within a few weeks of FUE. Natural hair growth is noticeable around the three-month mark. By six months, the increase of new hair is significant and should continue to fill out for the remainder of the year.
Check out this video by British video blogger, Adam Hymash, chronicling a six month journey from FUE hair transplant to a fuller head of hair.
Pros and Cons of FUE
For some people, the fact that doctors recommend shaving the whole head before surgery can be a downside. The duration of the procedure can also be a concern.
On the plus side, however, FUE patients appreciate that it is less invasive than other types of hair transplant surgery and that scars are minimal.
Patients can resume their regular routines almost immediately, though strenuous workouts are prohibited for a short period.
FUE is also versatile, and can be used in areas other than the scalp, including the eyebrows and facial hair.
If you want to consider FUE as a permanent hair replacement solution, schedule a consultation with a hair restoration specialist. He or she can lay out the pros and cons, and also discuss treatment alternatives, should FUE not be recommended. Do it soon!