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Types of Hair Transplants

If you’re considering a hair transplant, this article looks at the type of procedures available so you can get an idea of your options.

What Hair Transplant Options are Available?

There are two primary types of hair transplants that you will commonly hear about when doing your research; follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplant and follicular unit transplantation (FUT) hair transplant. The latter is also known as strip surgery. 

Both of these procedures largely involve a lot of the same steps. They both achieve the same type of natural results and they both implant the grafts into your head using the same method. The key difference is how the grafts are taken from the donor area.

FUE procedures involve extracting the donor hairs individually and the process can take a considerable amount of time if you require lots of grafts. FUT procedures involves extracting a strip of skin from the scalp which is then dissected into thousands of individual grafts. This tends to be a quicker process but will still take several hours.

Pros & Cons of FUE Hair Transplants

Advantages of FUE

  • As the grafts are taken individually you won’t be left with a large amount of scarring after the procedure. You may get pin prick sized scarring in several places but they will be barely noticeable.
  • If you like to wear your hair short, for example, a number 1 or 2 haircut, there isn’t a reason why you can’t still wear this cut immediately afterwards.
  • FUE may be a better option for people who don’t need as much coverage and as a result don’t require as many grafts. 
  • Painless procedure.
  • Long lasting natural results. 
  • Faster recovery process as the holes are small after extraction. FUT is a larger area that requires more time to heal. 
  • Due to scarring with FUT, exercise and activities are limited whereas you can do more following an FUE procedure. 
  • Can harvest hair from elsewhere on the body with the FUE procedure, such as chest or beard hair. 
  • If the scalp is too tight or loose, FUE is the preferred option to limit scarring.

Disadvantages of FUE

  • Hair transplants do involve surgery.
  • FUT is able to yield more and better quality grafts.
  • Repeated FUE procedures lead to increased scars whereas with FUT you’ll only ever have one scar regardless if you have further future procedures.
  • You will be required to shave your head or at least the donor area for the FUE procedure. 
  • It may involve more than one session as it takes a while to harvest the grafts individually. 
  • It’s a more expensive procedure

Pros & Cons of FUT Hair Transplants

Advantages of FUT

  • FUT extraction produces the highest yield of hair so if you’re looking for more coverage this procedure may be better suited for you.
  • Due to the scar from the strip, it is better not to shave your head as long hair will cover it, whereas in FUE you tend to need to shave your head. 
  • Less time is generally required for performing FUT procedures. 
  • FUE procedures charge per follicle so FUT procedures tend to be cheaper.
  • Painless procedure with a straightforward recovery. 
  • Long lasting natural results. 
  • Less scarring should you require further procedures. 

Disadvantages of FUT

  • Hair transplants do involve surgery. 
  • You will have a noticeable scar but this tends to be at the back of the head and coverable with hair.
  • Recovery process is longer for FUT procedures.
  • You will have to limit activities and exercises after a FUT procedure and there is more of an aftercare policy you need to follow if you want to minimise scarring. 
  • It may not be a viable option if your scalp is too loose or tight.

What Hair Transplant Method is Best?

FUE and FUT hair transplants are both modern procedures that have a high success rate and achieve natural looking results. Compared to other hair loss restoration methods, hair transplants tend to be the most favourable solution for results, if they are a viable option for the candidate. That being said, when you compare the two methods against each other, FUE and FUT both have factors that make them better than each other. FUT produces better hair graft results and is cheaper but you get more scarring and there is more of a recovery process. FUE procedures limit scarring and speed up the recovery process, they also work on tighter and looser scalps where FUT might not be recommended. FUE hair transplant procedures are more expensive however, produce less grafts and take longer if you require higher levels of coverage.  It is also important to note that there is a third combined option that we offer. It is a revolutionary treatment that takes the benefits from both procedures and combines them to present you with the best results. Which hair transplant procedure is best for you however depends on the patient and the consultation results. Your surgeon will discuss the options with you beforehand and make recommendations personal to your hair loss. 

Hair Transplant Options for Men

90% of men experience male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia which makes them ideal candidates for a hair transplant. They tend to have good donor areas on the sides and back of their head which isn’t affected by DHT in the same way that other areas of the head is. Both FUE and FUT transplants are options for men. The type of procedure recommended would depend on the strength of the donor areas, the amount of hair on the head and their lifestyle. 

Hair Transplant Options for Women

Women are not as common hair transplant candidates as hair loss works differently. Their donor areas tend to be more likely to be affected by DHT and hair tends to be thinning from all regions of the head not just on the top. With men, hair restoration tends to be more about restoring the hairline and fixing areas of baldness whereas with women the main issue is that they are losing the volume of hair rather than patches on the scalp or their hairline.

Hair transplants can be an option for women in some cases but this will be discussed at your consultation. It’s always best to discuss options first with a specialist to make sure you get the right advice for your situation. 

FUT procedures tend to be more advantageous for women, although both FUE and FUT are viable options. One of the benefits of having a FUT hair transplant is that the scar can be covered by longer hair and you get a higher amount of quality grafts from the procedure. Careful skill and precision is needed for female hair transplants so it’s important to ensure you choose your surgeon and clinic carefully.