FUE is heralded by some in the hair restoration business as a scarless hair transplant technique. Is this really possible or true?
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a surgical hair transplant procedure. It uses a small cylindrical tool that breaks the skin around a group of hairs. The hair group is called a follicular unit. Once it is punched it is then removed. As a result, a small wound is formed on the skin. The number of wounds depends on how may grafts/follicular units are removed. To achieve the desired result.
The size of the cylindrical punch used can vary. It often depends on the Doctor´s preference and also the natural hair characteristics, be they coarse curly hairs opposed to straight fine hair. The diameter of the punch affects the size of the wound that is created, as well as what is left when fully healed. The skill of the Doctor will allow for a smaller punch.
Even if a small punch is used scarring will occur. Dependent on the number of grafts removed and the pattern of extraction they may impact more or less on the look of your hair around the back and sides of your head. The more grafts removed risks over-harvesting the safe donor area, leaving more obvious signs of hair loss and scarring. A “moth-eaten” look.
Don´t take too much hair … it doesn´t grow back
There must be a limit to what is removed. To the number of hair units taken. If not damage can be caused to the existing hair and skin. The amount removed is ultimately down to the Doctor and Clinic. They decide on their protocols. It is a decision to remain within safe parameters as well as to overharvest. There are no real grey areas as the maths cannot mislead or distort the facts. There is a starting number, subtract the amount removed. Deduct more due to damage caused and that is the total remaining left in the donor.
Removing much more than 30% per cm² will noticeably thin the donor area. Potentially cause obviously visible scarring over a large area. A greater chance of permanent shock loss.
Advanced hair loss can be treated with FUE. But only well on the right candidate. Large sessions with FUE become harder to control quality. Meaning, smaller sessions will produce better results. Assuming the quality of hair characteristics in the donor can sustain advanced hair loss restoration with FUE in the first place.
Consider your options
When you consider a hair transplant it is common to only think of the immediate result. Not consider future hair loss. As genetic hair loss is progressive. Ignoring the need to treat hair loss in the future will only lead to concerns and problems. Removing too much hair for a single hair transplant procedure can damage the donor area to a point future hair loss cannot be treated and leaving an unnatural pattern of growth over the top of your head as well as visible obvious scarring and patchy hair growth around the sides and back.
A full hair transplant consultation is important to your short and long-term happiness, ensure you have the opinion of a varied group of Clinics and experienced Doctors before making any decision.