Types of hair transplant
There are two categories in which a hair transplant procedure fall into; both are highly effective but use different techniques to extract the DHT resistant follicles from the donor area which covers the back and sides of the head. Extraction of follicles from the donor site is commonly known as ‘Harvesting’ and this can be carried out in two ways, via FUT or FUE:
The FUT hair transplant procedure also known as Strip is more suitable to those who have more extensive hair loss as up to 3000 grafts can be transplanted at one time, depending on the patient’s density and scalp elasticity. With this procedure a very thin, linear scar is left across the scalp in the donor area which can be hidden by longer hair (grade 2 or above).
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Is FUT or FUE better for me?
As a rule patients who require large scale implantation in one sitting must elect for FUT. This is because there is a confidence in the FUT extraction technique that a yield of between 2500 and 3000 will be possible in a single sitting. Yields of over 3000 follicles are not unheard of if scalp elasticity is high as the availability of excess scalp tissue material is the determining factor in FUT yield. Conversely it is possible that a patient with a tight scalp may only achieve a yield of up to 2200 follicles, scalp elasticity will be checked at your consultation before this procedure is recommended.
If it is determined that you are suitable for the other technique you should be aware FUE extraction takes longer to ensure integrity and optimise successful growth. The follicles are extracted 1 by 1 and are picked based on how healthy they look. As we are taking from the back we have to ensure each graft we take has at least 5-6 grafts left surrounding it otherwise it can start to thin, this is why less grafts can be taken with FUE in one sitting. The FUE option is viable to patients who require generally no more than 2200 – 3000 grafts. Cases towards the end of this scale may require 2 seperate treatments 6 months apart.
Patients should exercise extreme caution when dealing with clinics who promise to extract and implant above 3000 follicles in one treatment, irrespective of whether the proposed treatment is FUE or FUT. With FUT there is no guarantees the strip density will provide over 3000 and with FUE if they promise a graft count that high they are risking “over-harvesting” which leaves the donor area looking thin and depleted.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The most important hair transplant information you need to know is what the procedure is. A hair transplant is a procedure to move hair from an area unaffected by hair loss to an area of thinning or baldness. It is a permanent procedure which can drastically affect the way you look. As different people have varying degrees of hair loss every procedure is different and the amount of hair to be moved will be different.
With Hair Transplants the hair is often moved from a donor area at the back of the head. This area often has healthy hair which can be used to replace the hair in other areas of the head. Whilst some people may think that you can use body hair for a hair transplant, this is frowned upon by specialists as it produces poor results.
A Hair Transplant is carried out as a one day surgery under local anesthetic. These procedures are carried out in specialist hair transplant clinics rather than at local hospitals so it may be the case that you need to travel for a procedure. It’s worth bearing in mind that you will be unable to drive after your surgery due to a sedative being administered. Most providers will look to supply a hotel close to the clinic to help with this problem.
The final part of Hair Transplant information that is worth bearing in mind is the cost of a procedure. The NHS do not offer hair transplants as they are considered a cosmetic procedure. This means that you will have to consider the price of surgery when thinking about a hair transplant.
Prices in the UK can vary from between £1000 to over £20000 for a hair transplant. There will be a number of factors determining the price of your procedure including the number of hairs that need moving, the type of surgery and the reputation of the surgeon carrying out the surgery.
Generally it is recommended that you don’t use price as a determining factor when looking for a hair transplant provider. A low price can often mask a poor service, so be sure of the service a provider offers before booking a procedure with them.
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT, or strip method)
- A strip of hair-bearing skin is removed from the back and sides of the head and divided into individual hair grafts. Each graft contains about two hairs.
- The grafts are then placed into tiny cuts (incisions) made in the scalp.
- The wound at the back of the head is closed with stitches.
- The head does not need to be shaved – only the area to be removed is trimmed.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE)
- The entire head is usually shaved.
- A special punch device is used to directly remove individual grafts of hair one by one.
- The grafts are placed into tiny incisions made in the scalp.
The two procedures both have great success rates and the procedure used will be dependent on the number of hairs that need to be moved and the procedure the surgeon you are allocated is most comfortable with. There is a slight variation in cost between the two procedures, with FUT being slightly cheaper as it is less labour intensive.
Both procedures have the same recovery times. The time spent recovering after a hair transplant is just as important as the procedure itself. We recommend avoiding any physical excursion for two weeks after surgery to reduce the of a poor transplant.
One key area of hair transplant information is that it will take 12-18 months to see the results from your surgery. Some people expect to see results within weeks of a procedure, but a little patience is required!
If you are interested in getting some more hair transplant information then we recommend coming to one of our free hair loss consultations.
The first step towards a hair transplant is a free, no obligation and fully confidential consultation with one of our experts. If you are suffering from hair loss then our experts will be able to recommend a treatment plan to prevent further hair loss and to restore your hair back to it’s former glory.
To book a free consultation simply fill in the form below and one of our team will be in touch to confirm a consultation date with you.
Remember, the purpose of this consultation is to better inform you about the options ahead of a hair transplant. It may be that you don’t need a hair transplant and we can offer advice on what alternative hair loss prevention methods there are.
Whatever you choose to do, we wish you the best on your hair transplant journey.