What is FUE hair transplantation?
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is one of two modern methods of hair transplantation. FUE is a minimally invasive hair repair technique that requires skill and precision to achieve the best results.
How does FUE hair transplantation work?
In FUE, one to four natural hairs are removed and transplanted into the scalp area, usually the bald spot. First, the surgeon removes groups of one to four hairs. These hair follicles are taken from the side of the head or the back of the head using a special removal tool with a diameter of less than 1 mm, transferred to the recipient area of the scalp and implanted under a powerful stereo microscope. Rectangular hairs can imitate old, naturally growing hairs.
How long does an FUE hair transplant take?
FUE hair transplantation can be performed for one long session or several times. Usually this takes more time than the peeling operation, but it does not leave the obvious and typical scars that appear after the peeling operation. It varies, but mostly depends on the number of grafts needed. The smaller procedure requires only about 200 grafts and can be completed in a few hours. However, a larger operation with 2500 to 3000 grafts requires two days of treatment.
How long does it take to recover?
Compared to surgical hair removal procedures, the FUE method of hair transplantation does not require extensive removal of the scalp.
There is no linear incision at the back of the head and no linear scar. Because only a single hair follicle is removed, there are only small scars that are barely visible to the naked eye.
There is almost no pain or discomfort after the operation and the average recovery time is less than 7 days.
How long do the results last?
Once the FUE is completed, the result will be permanent. Although the first hair transplant will fall out within a few weeks after the treatment, it will become strong and healthy again.
What is the difference between FUE and FUT?
The difference between FUE and FUT is that with FUT, the surgeon removes the entire strip of donor skin from the back of the head and takes the hair follicles from this strip.
With FUE, on the other hand, a single follicle is taken directly from the scalp. With FUT, the entire hair is removed at once and then broken down into individual hair follicles, leaving a very prominent and obvious scar on the back of the head.
With FUE hair transplant technology, one to four hairs are divided into groups. These are transplanted to a new area of the scalp to mimic the hair structure that once grew there, leaving little or no scarring on the scalp.
The difference between FUE and FUT: With FUE hair transplantation, bleeding is minimal and recovery is usually within 7 days. With FUT, on the other hand, the scar usually takes several weeks to heal because the entire scalp strip has been removed. The results of FUE hair transplantation are far superior to those of FUT hair transplantation, giving the hair a high quality, natural appearance.
Am I a good candidate for an FUE hair transplant?
In general, if the hair loss behaviour is stable, men with male pattern hair loss of grade 3 or higher (on the Hamilton–Norwood scale) are ideal candidates for hair transplantation.
More about the Hamilton–Norwood scale
Remember that you should carefully consider your expectations and discuss these expectations with the surgeon before deciding to have surgery.
- Hair colour
Hair colour is one of the biggest elements in deciding how strong the end result is. This is due to the evaluation between hair colour and scalp colour. The greater the difference between the two, the more obvious balding will appear.
Those who have comparable hair and skin colour (e.g. dark skin and dark hair or light skin and light hair) are less 'noticeable' than those who have an excessive contrast between the two. In this way, they can usually be top candidates for hair transplantation.
- Hair density
Hair density is one of the most important factors in determining suitable transplant candidates.
People with high hair density are usually ideal candidates for hair transplantation.
The surgeon specifically checks for good density of the hair follicles around the hair.
Donor hair follicles are taken from the donor area of the scalp, i.e. the back and side of the scalp, which are then used to cover the bald spot.
Low density hair follicles are not ideal for hair transplantation. To perform a donor hair follicle transplant through the scalp, you must have medium to high hair density.
- Hair texture
When it comes to hair texture, people with curly or frizzy hair usually expect the use of follicular units to be reduced for better results.
Hair from Africa and the Caribbean is a good example. Although the density of hair follicles in Africa and the Caribbean is generally lower than Caucasians or Asians (0.6 FU/mm2 vs. 1 FU/mm2), the fact that the curls are dense gives the impression that more of the scalp is covered. You get the best results.
- Hair thickness
Similar to the texture of the hair, the thickness of the hair also determines the success of the hair transplant.
People with thick hair need fewer procedures to achieve the same beauty effect.
This is because the appearance of baldness is due to the penetration of light. It passes through the hair and is then reflected on the scalp.
The thick hair can prevent more light from reflecting off the scalp, resulting in better cosmetic results.
- Scalp flexibility
When determining the suitability of hair transplant candidates, the flexibility of the calf (also known as scalp sagging) should also be considered.
If the scalp sags slightly (e.g. a hard scalp), it will be more difficult to remove the follicles.
It is important to consider all these factors together to determine if someone is a good candidate.
Is an FUE hair transplant painful?
FUE transplantation is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed under local anaesthesia.
The pain is minimal and most patients do not feel anything at all.
You will remain awake throughout the process. There may be slight discomfort during the recovery process, but after about 7 days it should all be over.
The risk of complications from FUE is also extremely low.
If you are considering hair transplantation, you should also consider the post-operative course of the hair transplant, which can be one of the most important factors in your decision to have a hair transplant.
Patients are usually given full post-operative guidance to ensure they get the best results from the surgery.
After your hair transplant, you will also be given medications such as mild steroids (anti-inflammatory), painkillers and antibiotics (anti-inflammatory). You will also be told when and how often to take these.
FUE is a minimally invasive hair repair method. However, you should expect to experience redness in both the recipient and recipient areas. These will disappear after a few days, depending on the person's skin tone and healing process.
There is usually no pain after the operation, but excessive contact and sweating in the recipient area should be avoided. Therefore, it is best to relax for the first few days after the operation.
What does an FUE hair transplant cost?
When it comes to hair transplantation, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and depending on the work involved, it can be expensive. Costs can vary due to many factors.
The cost of a hair transplant usually starts at €3,000 and can even go up to €15,000, but it depends on the unique characteristics of your hair. The results of the transplant will last a lifetime.
News about FUE hair transplantation
FUE extraction technology has developed rapidly over the last decade, both in terms of the learning curve for instruments and for surgeons.
Initially, a maximum of 1000 "hair follicle units" can be transplanted in one graft, but today conditions are at their best, with high hair density patients can transplant up to 2500 or more "hair follicle units".
A hair robot is also used today to remove the "hair follicle units", this way the surgeon is not overworked and gets less of a fatigue.
However, it should be cautioned to increase the number of grafts to "immeasurable" because the area of donor hair is limited and the density of donor hair varies from person to person. Only after a precise analysis of the size of the donor area and the density of the hair follicle cluster can a conclusion be drawn about the total number of hair roots that can be transplanted.
Visible scars can also be the result of isolated removal, for example by using inappropriate tools or "trained surgeons".
If the resection time is too short and the number of grafts too large, scars are left all over the back of the head and it is difficult for hair to grow back and the patient is considered "harvested".
With sustainable removal techniques, the wound heals very quickly, the healing is imperceptible and then completely or almost imperceptible.
Conclusion on FUE hair transplantation
FUE is recognised as the best hair transplant method currently available.
What makes FUE so great is the way the hair is implanted.
Experienced professionals carefully plan the growth of the hair before implantation, so they know where and at what angle to place each follicle.
This is a complicated process that requires a lot of experience and knowledge.
After a successful FUE transplant, the donor hair grows, moves and feels the same as before. This is the highest quality hair transplant.
It is your natural hair and can only be transferred from one place to another.
It grows like normal hair and can last forever. You do not need any medicines or other additional preparations. Just enjoy your natural hair.