Follicular Unit Extraction FUE Hair Transplantation

Follicular Unit Extraction FUE

Follicular Unit Extraction FUE is a hair transplantation technique in which hair is removed directly from the donor area with a punch in follicular units in the same manner that hair grows. These follicular units are then inserted into areas of hair loss.

Hair grows from the scalp in groupings called follicular units (FU) that contain 1 to 5 hairs.  The average FU contains 2.5 hairs.  The isolated removal of follicular units is known as Follicular Unit Extraction.  FUE is performed with small punches usually 0.8 mm – 1.0 mm in diameter.

Donar area

These punches heal without suturing.  The follicular units are then inserted into about 1 mm incisions in areas of hair loss.  The donor area is usually located in back and sides of the scalp.  There is also less discomfort post-operatively in the donor area after a FUE compared to the strip method of hair transplantation.  The healing process is usually quicker in the donor area compared to the strip method.  The recipient area where hair is implanted heals at the same rate for both methods as the insertion technique is the same.

Follicular-Unit-Extraction FUE

The FUE scars are less obvious after healing compared to the strip method as long as the scalp is not shaved.  Every time an FUE graft is extracted from the scalp, it produces about a 1 mm scar.   So if a 1,000 graft FUE hair transplant session is performed, you will be left with 1,000 round 1 mm scars giving a shotgun blast effect.  If the scalp is shaved, the scar is more unusual appearing than the linear scar produced from the strip method. 

FUE vs the Strip Method

The hair can be worn shorter to cover up scar compared to the linear scar from the strip method.  The hair usually has to be clipped no shorter than a #2.  And no shorter than a #3 for the linear scar strip method.  For military personnel who must wear their hair clipped very short, the Follicular Unit Extraction method is ideal. On the morning of the extraction, the donor hair area must be clipped less than 1 mm long.  So the thousands or more punches will be noticeable after the procedure for a few days.  Even though there are no sutures to be removed, Dr. Zacco routinely re-checks patients at no additional cost; the next day, 10 days, 6 months, and 12 months after the procedure to assure optimal results.