Your Top 3 Questions About FUE, Answered

fue procedureAbout two-thirds of men experience some hair loss by the time they’re 35, and 90% of balding men say that hair loss is their top concern. With numbers like those, it’s no surprise that 800,000 people seek hair loss treatments every year.

There are many treatment types, including hair replacement options done via surgery, scalp pigmentation, laser hair growth stimulation and even topical applications. Some are more successful than others, and not all patients are good candidates for all methods. But if you’re investigating any or all of your hair restoration options, one term you’re likely to come across is FUE.

How Do FUE Procedures Work?

FUE stands for follicular unit extraction, and is one method used to harvest hair from a donor site on the patient’s body and then transplant it to the desired hair (often the front of the hairline). Usually, donor hair is located at the back and sides of the scalp, although beard and torso hair can be used under certain circumstances. As opposed to the strip harvesting method used in traditional transplants, in FUE procedures the surgeon makes a circular incision around each follicular unit and extracts it, which leaves a small hole in the scalp. These donor follicular units are then grafted into what are called “recipient sites” that have been prepared with a small, needle-like instruments. These grafts continue to grow and produce hair. Some of the best doctors offering the procedure actually use robotic systems in order to deliver a more precise result.

What Are the Benefits of FUE?

The greatest benefit of FUE over other hair restoration methods is that the results aren’t simply an illusion, as in pigmentation options or even high-end custom wigs; it’s your own hair, growing naturally. The results of hair transplantation are basically the same regardless of the harvesting method, but FUE causes fewer concerns at the donor site than strip harvesting. The wounds at each extraction site are only 1 millimeter in diameter and generally heal completely in a little over a week. The scars are tiny, covered by surrounding hair and therefore virtually invisible.

Who Is a Good Candidate for FUE? 

Because of the discreet nature of the scarring left on the donor area, FUE is a good option for men who want to be able to wear their hair short in the back. A shorter recovery time may also appeal to men who need to get back to strenuous activities in a short period of time (it’s important to note, however, that the procedure requires the area to be shaved, which might be a cosmetic concern for men with high-profile jobs). FUE procedures are also commonly recommended for patients who have had trouble healing from a previous hair transplant using traditional strip harvesting, or to disguise scars from previous surgeries.

What other questions do you have about FUE? Ask in the comments.