When it comes to modern hair transplant techniques, there are two primary methods for extracting hair follicles during the transplant procedure:
- Follicular unit extraction (FUE)
- Follicular unit transplantation (FUT)
These two procedures are similar in that they both offer completely natural-looking results. The implantation process is identical: Each follicular graft is placed artistically one by one in the recipient or thinning areas. The primary difference between FUE and FUT is the way in which hair follicles are extracted from the back of your head (also known as the “donor area”). However, there are other differences between the two methods to consider when deciding which method is best for you.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
How Hair Follicles Are Extracted
In the FUE procedure, hairs are extracted individually, using minimally invasive technology. It may take one to four hours for your Bosley care team to complete this meticulous extraction process.
In the FUT procedure, all the hair is removed at once by your Bosley care team in a quick and simple process that takes 15 to 30 minutes. The hair is then prepped for implantation into the recipient area.
Only follicles that are judged to have the highest chance of survival are selected for implantation. This step is crucial for the final outcome.
How Follicles Are Prepared for Implantation
Your follicular grafts are prepped for placement by a team of skilled technicians working with a high-powered stereo microscope. The trained technicians prepare the follicular grafts and ensure that they remain in optimal condition until transplanted.
How Hair Follicles Are Implanted
In both the FUE and FUT procedures, when the follicular grafts are ready, small incisions are made in your thinning areas (recipient areas) that match your natural hair growth pattern.
Based on their experience, your Bosley physician and medical team will strategically place the follicular grafts one by one with great artistry, according to the number of hairs within each follicle, to maximize the naturalness, density, and coverage of the thinning areas, which is especially important for natural hairline re-creation.
What to Expect
Both FUT and FUE are simple office procedures. Your Bosley patient care team makes a great deal of effort to make sure you are comfortable during the procedure. In fact, you can watch TV, check out a movie, or listen to your favorite music while they work. Healing is prompt with both procedures.
Is There Scarring?
FUE procedures don’t require stitches, and the tiny extraction sites leave virtually no detectable scars. These sites are easily concealed with longer, neighboring hair and will heal by themselves, typically within three to seven days. The FUE procedure is preferred by those who want to wear their hair very short.
However, the FUE procedure does require us to shave the recipient site. If you want to avoid a short haircut, the FUT procedure may be a better option. Removing the grafts as a group in the FUT procedure results in a fine scar on the back of the head that is easily concealed with the hair worn at a half-inch or longer.
The time-intensive nature of an FUE procedure typically makes it more expensive than an FUT procedure. While you can find an overview of how hair transplant costs are calculated, you’ll need to speak with a Bosley specialist and physician to get an accurate assessment of your hair loss and an estimated cost for your specific plan.
Deciding on the Best Hair Transplant Method
At the end of the day, the choice between having an FUE and an FUT procedure is up to you and your Bosley physician. Your physician will help you with your decision, based on hair loss classification, the size of the thinning area, and the quality and quantity of your available donor hair.
No one technique is right for everyone. Bosley surgeons have extensive training in both techniques and are therefore able to offer you either one in an unbiased fashion. See a Bosley surgeon to discuss which might be better for your particular situation.
To learn more about your hair restoration options, download Bosley’s FREE guidebook, The Complete Book on Hair Restoration, to see how great your hair can look. Or schedule a free consultation with a Bosley specialist today.