FUE Hair Transplant
What is the FUE hair transplant?
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplants are done by taking individual hair follicles out of your skin and implanting them elsewhere in 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 to 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 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 FUE hair transplant if you don’t have enough healthy or thick hair to transplant to the thinning or balding area.
How does the FUE hair transplant work?
As you get older, the three-phase cycle of hair growth and regrowth shortens until follicles no longer regrow hair.
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 areas that previously had thin hair or balding.
Procedure for FUE hair transplant
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.
Targeted areas for treatment
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.
What to expect after the FUE hair transplant?
Recovery from FUE is quick. You may have some swelling or discomfort for about 3 days.
Some aftercare instructions your doctor may give you:
- Don’t wash your hair or shower for at least 3 days.
- Use gentle, unscented shampoo 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.
Preparing for the FUE hair transplant
- Don’t smoke for at least a day before your surgery.
- Don’t drink alcohol for at least 3 days before your surgery.
- Don’t take aspirin or blood thinners for about 2 weeks before your surgery.
- Don’t take any vitamins or dietary supplements for 2 weeks before your surgery.
- Try to avoid taking antidepressants for about 2 weeks before surgery.
- Don’t get your hair cut before the surgery.
- Do a scalp massage for 10 to 30 minutes every day for a few weeks to increase blood flow to your scalp.
- Take any medication, such as minoxidil, that your surgeon asks you to take.
- Have an electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood tests done before surgery.