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FUT VS FUE Hair Transplants

Male pattern hair loss is something you expect to see at a later stage in life.

When it happens in your 20s or 30s, it can be devastating. More than 50% of men experience male pattern hair loss, also known as androgenic alopecia. This condition, determined by both genetics and hormones, can cause hair loss at an alarming rate. The cause is hair sensitivity to an androgen called DHT, which is a product of the male hormone testosterone. Only the hairs at the front and top of the head are affected, never the hair on the back.

While there are many options on the market which claim to treat hair loss, only hair transplants are 100% effective. There are two types of hair transplant procedures: FUT and FUE. These procedures are both suitable options for hair restoration but they come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

The first item that factors into the hair transplant cost is the type of hair transplantation procedure you choose. Two of the most widely-used and widely studied are FUE vs FUT.

As we previously noted, male pattern hair loss only affects the hair on the top or front of the head. The hair on the back and sides of a man’s head is not sensitive to DHT and thus will never be affected by androgenic alopecia. This is why those that are balding will always have hair on the back of their head.

A transplant works by moving this healthy hair from the back of the head to the top or front of the head. The back of the head is called the donor area. When hair from the donor area is transplanted to areas like the crown or hairline, it retains the immunity to the DHT androgen. That is, it becomes permanent hair.

Because men have a high density of hair on the back of their heads, in the donor area, physicians are able to transplant some to thinning areas in patients suffering from male pattern baldness. Physicians use either an FUT or FUE method.

A hair transplant procedure is the only permanent solution to male pattern baldness.

FUE is a hair transplantation method that removes individual follicles from a healthy donor area (back of the head) and implants them in a thinning area. FUE is a hair transplantation method that dates back to 1939. In those days, FUE procedures yielded a very unnatural hair plug aesthetic that made it undesirable. Originally, hair was removed in larger groupings – this is what caused the plug looking effect. Today, the procedure has become much more accurate by removing tiny hair follicles one at a time. Advanced technology, like the ARTAS robot, has also made the FUE hair transplant results far superior to what they once were.

To begin the FUE hair transplant procedure, doctors select a donor area on your scalp to harvest hair follicles. Although surgeons can harvest hair from other areas of your body, using hair from your head ensures a more natural look. Once they select the donor area, they shave it in preparation for the extraction. They then remove individual hair follicles using a micro punch instrument. The hair, follicle, root, and bulb are all kept intact during this extraction process. This can be done by hand or with more advanced technology like the ARTAS robot.

Implantation is the second stage of the FUE process. In this stage, tiny incisions are created in the scalp using a needle. The medical staff carefully implant these donor hairs into each incision. There is minimal pain during this procedure. In fact, most people do not feel anything.

Because this procedure is precise, it can take up to 10 hours to perform. For this reason, some may opt to have multiple FUE hair transplant procedures over the course of a few days. During the healing process, you may develop small white scabs where the surgeon removed each follicle. These will heal and cause no permanent alterations to your scalp. Generally, there is no down time to this procedure. Healing takes a few days and new hair will begin to grow in a few weeks. Full results can take up to six months.

Preparation for the FUE hair transplant procedure is straightforward and follows the standards of most outpatient procedure guidelines. Following these guidelines improves your results and ensures your comfort during and after the FUE procedure:

  • Do not smoke for at least 24 hours before the procedure.
  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours before the procedure.
  • Do not take blood thinners or aspirin before the procedure.
  • Stop taking vitamins or supplements before your procedure.

A physician will provide the specific guidelines for pre-procedure preparations. Always follow your doctors advice as each patient is unique.

You may return to your regular activities shortly after your FUE procedure, although it takes a few days to fully heal the scalp. During the recovery process, refrain from washing your hair. This allows the transplants to anchor in and fuse with surrounding tissues.

Additional instruction may include the following:

  • Use gentle shampoo and conditioner on your hair for up to three weeks.
  • Take time off work for a few days to aid in faster healing.
  • Do not comb or brush your new hair or apply hair products to the transplant or donor areas for a few weeks.
  • Allow your scalp to breathe. Refrain from covering your hair with hats, beanies, or helmets for a few days.
  • Allow the area to stay dry. Prevent excessive perspiration by temporarily avoiding the gym or sports activities for a few days.

A physician will provide the specific guidelines for post-procedure instructions. Always follow your doctors advice as each patient is unique.

Things To Consider
  • FUE is a cosmetic procedure, so major medical insurance providers will not cover it. However, Athens Robotic Hair Restoration has amazing financing options.
  • FUE is best suited for individuals who have thinning hair or bald spots.
  • FUE is suitable for sourcing hair from other donor areas on your body like your neck or arm, and can place hair in other areas like your beard.
  • Use hair growth medications like Minoxidil or (Rogaine) if the doctor suggests it.

FUT hair transplant is known as a strip procedure for hair transplantation. During this procedure, surgeons map out your new hairline. They then remove a strip of scalp to harvest individual follicles. From there, they create tiny incisions in the recipient area where they will implant the donor follicles. This is a painless procedure performed under anesthesia. The procedure is often faster than FUE, but leaves a linear scar across the head.

To begin your FUT hair transplant process, the surgeon selects a strong donor area from the sides or back of your scalp. Once selected, the surgeon removes a strip of your scalp to harvest hair, follicles, fat, and surrounding tissues. This donor area hair is resistant to the hormonal changes that cause male pattern hair loss. Once the strip is removed, area is closed using sutures. A scar will remain after this procedure across the back of the head.

Using a microscope, the medical staff slices each strip into multiple graphs to isolate individual follicles. Much like the FUE procedure, small holes are created in the transplant area of the head where these follicles are then implanted. During this procedure, the surgeon will provide you with an anesthetic.

Some preparation is necessary to have the best experience with hair transplantation surgeries. Although your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions, there are general guidelines you should follow before getting your FUT procedure.

  • Do not smoke for at least 24 hours before the procedure.
  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours before the procedure.
  • Do not take blood thinners or aspirin before the procedure.
  • Stop taking vitamins or supplements before your procedure.
  • Plan for someone to drive you home.

This is an outpatient surgery although it is invasive. The surgeon will provide a local anesthetic along with sedation if necessary to keep you comfortable during the FUT hair transplantation process. Although you will not feel any pain, you will feel gentle tugs at your scalp during the procedure.

The amount of time it takes you to heal will be determined by your surgeon. Following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions can significantly speed up this process. In general, it can take up to five weeks for the donor site to heal. However, the scarring left after a FUT hair transplant could take as long as a year to heal. During this healing process, you may notice your FUT scar widening. This is normal becasue the skin on the scalp is very tight. At times, the scar left after an FUT can be large.

Things To Consider
  • FUT is most suitable for those who have severe thinning.
  • FUT gives a greater yield to older individuals.
  • The procedure will leave a linear FUT scar. This FUT scar could expand or raise.
  • You will have greater discomfort after your treatment due to a prolonged healing process.
  • This procedure is cosmetic and not covered by traditional health insurance.

There are a few major differences between the FUE hair transplant and FUT hair transplant besides the harvesting method. Unlike FUT, FUE causes very minimal scarring. By harvesting follicles with a micro puncher tool, the surgeon can control scarring, making it easier to hide. With advancements in techology like the ARTAS, FUE procedures are becoming the gold stanard for most patients.
For most FUE procedures, a patient will need to shave their hair very short. This allows the medical staff or robot to clear see the hair folicles and thinning areas. For an FUT proceudre, often times only small areas will need to be cut short. Sometimes, in the right scenario, the hair can remain quite long in an FUT procedure. This is one common reason while some still decided to have an FUT hair transplant over an FUE.

Robotic Harvesting of Donor Hair

The FUE hair transplant requires extreme precision. A skilled surgeon will have performed FUE and FUT transplants on a variety of men with varying levels of hair loss. This experience along with s creates an error-free, comfortable, and quick process.

ARTAS is an image-guided s system that removes hair follicles more precisely. Although your surgeon can remove good donor follicles without assistance, s allows greater consistency. Robotics are great for a customized approach to hair transplantation, and it is faster than the traditional approach.

When comparing FUT vs FUE, there are a few advantages and disadvantages to both methods of hair transplantation. Knowing these advantages and disadvantages can help you make the right decision.

FUT advantages:

FUT is often less expensive than FUE.
The operation time for FUT is often shorter.
FUT can sometime work without the need to shave the hair short.

FUT disadvantages:

There is greater discomfort after a FUT procedure.
There is more downtime with an FUT procedure.
The donor area requires stitching after the FUT.
Often there is a noticeable FUT scar.

FUE advantages:

You will have more hairstyle options while healing.
FUE has a shorter recovery time.
There is minimal to no scarring.
No stitches are required.
There is no downtime required.

FUE disadvantages:

FUE often costs more than FUT.
You may need a few sessions to achieve the look you desire.
FUE requires a shaved donor area in most cases.

Long gone are the days of obvious toupees and hair transplants. Today’s FUT and FUE treatments produce a more natural appearance, and surgeons tailor hair transplant treatments to address a range of hair loss issues.

Whether you are experiencing early-stage thinning or diffuse pattern balding, hair transplantation is the solution to help you grow new hair. We invite you to book a free consultation with Athens Hair Transplants to learn more about these procedures, and to ask questions about your hair loss.