FUE or FUT: Which is the Right Hair Transplant for You?

Balding men (and women) have much to rejoice these days. Innovations are being made constantly regarding hair loss treatments and those who are suffering from hair loss can choose between non-surgical methods (topical and ingested treatment) and hair transplant. If you want a faster permanent hair loss solution and you’re willing to spend for surgical measures, then hair transplantation is the right way to go.

man with thick hair
A full head of hair is every man’s dream.
Photo by MorkiRo via Flickr, Creative Commons

However, you have to choose between the two methods – the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and the Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT). Both hair loss treatments have its benefits and drawbacks so it’s important that you take note of all the factors involved before you make a decision. Seeking the advice of a well-respected hair surgeon will certainly help in your decision-making.

What is FUE?
Follicular Unit Extraction involves extracting the patient’s hair one by one using a very small circular instrument. This is a long procedure and can take a couple of days to finish. The extracted hair will be harvested and then re-inserted back into the head. The rejuvenated hairs are expected to grow abundantly.

What’s so good about it?
Those who don’t want to have linear scars can breathe easy with the benefits of FUE method. Since hair is extracted one by one and not removed by strips, the scars are limited to small non-pigmented dots on the back area of the head. The scars are so small that it’s barely noticeable unless one really takes a closer inspection of the patient’s head. This allows FUE patients to don short hairstyles without shame. Patients also claim to have minimal discomfort during the procedure. Recovery time is also shorter compared to FUT.

What are the possible drawbacks?
The time required to complete the procedure can be an issue for some because it can take several days to complete severe cases. There’s also lower chance that the hair grafted will survive and grow to its fullest because of the manner hair was extracted and harvested. The typical hair transplant cost for FUE is also known to be more than the other procedure.

Who will benefit the most from the procedure?
FUE is advisable for younger patients, who are more likely to seek hairstyle changes as they grow older. Since FUE scars are minimal and can be disguised even with shorter hairstyles, this gives the younger ones more freedom to experiment with their hair. Those who have undergone FUT in the past are advised to go for FUE if they decide to have another transplant. Due to existing strip scarring from FUT, it’s not advisable to go for another procedure that will add another layer of linear scars. FUE will be less obtrusive and the scars less obvious.

What is FUT?
Follicular Unit Transplant, also known as traditional hair transplant, involves removing strips of tissue from scalp in portions where hair is most abundant. It’s considered a less complicated procedure since hair doesn’t have to be removed one by one. The strips removed from the scalp will be cut into thousands of follicular units. The surgeon will create holes on portions where the units will be planted and then the strips will be placed on parts of the head where there is hair loss.

What’s so good about it?
The hair being transplanted to bald areas has a higher quality compared to the hairs extracted and harvested through FUE. The chances of hair growing fully are better since the strands planted came from the healthy parts of the head. It’s also better in terms of costs, since FUT is usually more affordable than FUE.

Man concerned with thinning hair
FUT is for those who are concerned about the quality of grafted hair.
Photo by Marquette LaForest via Flickr, Creative Commons

What are the possible drawbacks?
The linear scarring can be a big deal for some. Regardless of skin type, the patient will bear the large strip-like scar of the operation. This is going to be a problem for those who prefer to keep their hair short since the scar can be easily seen with less hair covering it. Although no real pain is to be expected from this transplant, there is more discomfort here compared to the other procedure. Recovery time is longer, since it will take months before scalp is completely healed and total hair growth is expected a year after the operation.

Who will benefit the most from the procedure?
Those who have no plans to maintain a very short hairstyle will not mind the linear scars since it will be easily covered with longer strands. Older patients who don’t plan to experiment with hairstyles are also ideal subjects for FUT. They care more for the quality of hair transplanted, which is something that FUT guarantees.

man long hair bushy beard
FUT will benefit those who plan to keep their hair long.
Photo by sharyn morrow via Flickr, Creative Commons

So which should I choose?
FUE is great for young ones who will still change their minds about hairstyles, as well as for those who would like to take their chances on the quality of harvested hair.FUT is best for patients who consider hair quality as the primary concern and not the scars or comfort level.

If you’re lucky enough to have the luxury of choosing between the two procedures, then you should take your time before making a decision. A great head of hair is a considerable investment – affordable enough for the intended market, but still considerable nonetheless. Aside from the costs, take into consideration the healing time, the possible discomfort, and the hairstyle choices you might have in the future. No procedure is better than the other; the best choice will depend on the budget, patience, and general condition of hair.

No matter which procedure you choose, you should only go to the best hair restoration specialists in the country. Aside from the quality of treatment, a reputable hair surgeon will also be honest with you when it comes to assessing your condition and your options. If you want to know more about hair transplantation methods, make an appointment online and have your concerns addressed with the people who know best.

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