FUE Hair Transplant
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplants are done by taking individual hair follicles out of your skin and implanting them elsewhere on your body. This will make the hair in the new area look thicker.
FUE was meant to replace the “classic” follicular unit transplantation (FUT) technique. This procedure was done by taking an entire piece of skin or scalp along with the follicles and transplanting the skin on the target area.
FUE has become more popular than FUT because it’s less likely to lead to a “hair plug” look, where sections of skin or hair don’t match the surrounding areas. It also won’t leave a large scar like FUT does.
The best candidate for a FUE hair transplant is someone with thinning hair or balding who still has enough hair nearby to use for a transplant.
You may not be eligible for a FUE hair transplant if you don’t have enough healthy or thick hair to transplant to the thinning or balding area.
As you get older, the three-phase cycle of hair growth and regrowth shortens until follicles no longer regrow hairs.
This process is different for everyone. Some people start balding in their 20s, while others bald much later in life.
FUE hair transplants restore hair by replacing these old follicles with new follicles that are still able to grow hair.
After the transplant, the follicles will be nourished by blood vessels and begin growing hair in the area that previously had thin hair or balding.
Here’s how the FUE procedure works:
- Your surgeon will shave down the hair in the area where follicles will be removed as well as around the transplant area.
- Using a micropunch tool, they will remove follicles from your skin.
- Your surgeon will then make a series of tiny incisions with a needle or other small, sharp tool where the extracted follicles will be inserted.
- They’ll insert the follicles into the incisions.
- Your surgeon will clean and bandage the area for recovery.
FUE hair transplants are most commonly performed on the scalp.
They can also be done elsewhere on your body where hair is thin or absent. FUE can be done on your arms, legs, and even your genital area.
You won’t experience any scars from a FUE hair transplant other than tiny white dots where follicles were taken out. These may fade over time.
See your doctor if you notice any of the following rare side effects:
- infection symptoms
- drainage or crust where the surgery was done
- pain or swelling around the surgery site
- follicle swelling (folliculitis)
- bleeding from the surgery site
- numbness or tingling near the surgery site
- transplanted hair that doesn’t look like the hair around it
- balding or thinning continues even after the transplant
Recovery from FUE is quick. You may have some swelling or discomfort for about 3 days.
Here are some aftercare instructions your doctor may give you:
- Don’t wash your hair or shower for at least 3 days.
- Use gentle, unscented shampoos for a few weeks once you start washing your hair.
- Take a couple of days off work to help speed up healing.
- Don’t comb or brush your new hair for at least 3 weeks.
- Don’t wear hats, beanies, or other clothing that goes over your head until your doctor says it’s OK.
- Don’t do any strenuous physical activity for at least a week.
Some hairs may fall out during the healing process. This is normal. You’ll probably start to notice a difference after 3 to 4 months.
Depending on the health of your transplanted hair, your hair may not grow back as thick as expected.