FUE Hair Transplantation in 2022
FUE hair transplantation is considered a revolution in hair transplantation field. Thanks to this method, in recent years we have seen significant progress in field of hair transplantation, and now new methods of hair transplantation in 2022 that give good results to applicants, with least complications and pain and the highest level of satisfaction, are all based on FUE method .
The FUE method was able to remove wounds, sutures, and bleeding from hair transplantation and soon became the most popular method of hair transplantation in world. In this article, we have told you everything you need to know about FUE method, and at the end you will get to know this method and its steps, advantages, disadvantages, complications and cost of hair transplantation.
What is FUE hair transplantation?
The term FUE stands for “Follicular Unit Extraction“. In order to understand difference between this method and other methods, we need to see what of follicular units extraction means.
Follicles are structures inside our skin that consist of several parts and are responsible for making hair strands. In hair transplantation, we take follicles from one place and place them in another place inside skin. The follicular units that are harvested and implanted are called hair grafts, which usually contain 1 to 5 hairs.
In older hair transplant methods, the surgeon would harvest and transplant several follicular units at same time. These bundles of hair containing 10 to 12 strands of hair and more than 5 follicles were called plugs. The operation of harvesting and planting these plugs left big holes on head and ultimately created a very unnatural and ugly result. The appearance created by implantation of hair plugs was called a doll appearance.
About two decades before start of FUE hair transplantation, another method was invented, which is known today as FUT method and is still popular. In this method, instead of using plugs, follicular units are used. Each follicular unit contains 1 to 5 hairs. In natural state, the hairs on our head are in form of follicular units. That is, if you look carefully at your scalp, you will see that hair strands grow in single bundles up to 5.
The results of FUT method are very natural and it is still one of best hair transplant methods, but it has one big problem. In this method, we have to cut and remove a part of skin to extract the follicular units. Then extract the follicular units under microscope. This method, which is associated with wounds and bleeding, has limitations.
FUE hair transplantation was the next development in hair transplantation. In this method, not only planting stage was done using follicular units, but also harvesting and extraction of hair was done as a unit. It means that there was no need to cut skin anymore, and subsequently there was no more wound, bleeding, and need for sutures. Today, the latest hair transplant methods, from Super FUE to ultra-advanced robotic methods, are all based on FUE method.
The difference between FUE method and FIT and other methods
There are many methods of hair transplantation, but all of them are based on one basic principle: hair transplantation using follicular units (FUE).
Now, if the harvesting of follicular units is in form of strips or flaps, method name is: FUT or strip hair transplant. But if the extraction of follicular units is in unit or granular form, the story is a little different. In this case, depending on tool and hair transplant technique, different names are considered for hair transplant methods. Some of these methods are:
FIT method: Although “FIT” is commonly known for the follicular isolation technique, guidelines issued in 2018 from ISHRS recommended that this method should be renamed as “follicular unit incision (FUE)”. So, FUE is the new official name for FIT hair transplant. Basically, these two methods are same, but in different clinics, depending on plan and surgical technique, they may distinguish between these two methods.
SUT method: It is the same FUE method in which a semi-automatic device is used. The special capabilities of this device help to improve hair transplant results, increase density and accelerate hair transplant.
Micrograft method: The best hair transplant method based on FUE method, in which most advanced and up-to-date hair transplant devices and tools are used. By using the micrograft method, highest density and best hair transplant results were achieved.
Note: Different clinics may invent different names for hair transplant methods, and these names indicate technical and instrumental differences in hair transplant.
Advantages and disadvantages of FUE hair transplant
Each hair transplant method has advantages and disadvantages. But you should consider two points about advantages and disadvantages:
- The first is that the advantages and disadvantages are compared to other methods, otherwise all new methods of hair transplantation that are performed end up with best possible results for hair transplant applicants.
- Second, a skilled and experienced hair transplant surgeon can minimize the disadvantages and limitations of a hair transplant method with his skill in surgery.
In the following, we have mentioned some of general advantages and disadvantages of FUE method:
Advantages of FUE hair transplantation
- Minimally invasive and without wounds and bleeding: the most important advantage of FUE method and other methods based on it, such as SUT, is this point. FUE hair transplantation is so minimally invasive that it has become known as a non-surgical method of hair transplantation. Because the wounds created for hair transplantation are less than one centimeter and there is almost no bleeding. Also, in this method, no sutures are placed on skin and there is no need for a dressing.
- The possibility of reaching high densities: in strip hair transplantation or FUT method, only the hairs in flap or skin strip can be used, which are limited. But in FUE method, more grafts can be extracted in one session. The main limitation in extracting and implanting grafts in FUE method is time, but in FUT method, it is the grafts in skin flap.
- The possibility of harvesting fine hairs: in FUE hair transplantation, we can extract finer hairs or grafts with a small number of hairs (1-2 pieces) without restrictions. The number of these grafts and hairs in skin strip of FUT method is limited. These types of grafts are very important in beautifying and naturalizing new growth line.
- No scars effect: Because in this method, the incisions made on skin are less than one centimeter, the possibility of scarring is very low.
- Post-operative discomfort: Unlike FUT method, there will be almost no post-operative discomfort in donor area or recipient areas.
- The possibility of harvesting hair from body: In FUT method, it is not possible to use chest or neck hair for hair transplantation, but in FUE method, this can be done.
Disadvantages of FUE hair transplantation
- The quality of the grafts: because in FUE method, the grafts are extracted directly from skin, the quality of the grafts will be variable. In this method, surgeon’s skill in extracting grafts is very important. If the surgeon is skilled, quality of grafts is not much different from FUT method, but if surgeon does not have enough precision and skill, the probability of harvesting low-quality and inappropriate grafts is very high.
- How long the grafts stay out of skin: One of success factors of transplanting or implanting grafts is how long they stay out of skin. In FUE method, this time is longer. For this reason, the probability of hair transplantation not being successful in this method is between 2 and 5%, and less than 2% for FUT method.
- The need to shave hair of donor area: in this method, unlike FUT method, hair of donor area must also be shaved.
- Slower speed: Due to time-consuming process of extracting grafts in FUE hair transplantation, hair transplantation sessions are usually longer and sometimes more than one session is needed to reach high densities.
- More cost: FUE methods cost more than FUT method for the same number of grafts.
Who is good candidate for FUE hair transplantation ?
You may have wondered if you can grow hair using FUE method or not. The list below will help you figure this out.
- Age over 27 years.
- The cause and pattern of hair loss should be suitable for hair transplantation. For example, hair transplantation is not possible for scattered hair loss without a pattern (DUPA). If hair loss is due to skin diseases, first disease must be completely treated and disabled. Hair can be transplanted in areas that are bald due to injuries.
- The donor area should have minimum density. If your donor area is thin and weak, hair transplantation is not recommended for you.
- Good general health.
- Having reasonable expectations from hair transplantation.
- Those who have a stiff scalp can grow hair with FUE method, but it is not possible to grow hair with FUT method.
In general, determining right candidate for hair transplantation is a specialized matter and should be done by a specialist doctor.
Steps of hair transplant by FUE method
Before hair transplant
- Consultation session: Before hair transplantation, it should be determined whether you are a good candidate for hair transplantation or not. Then it should be seen which method is better for you according to your conditions and achieves better results. In consultation session, your hair loss condition and physical condition will be checked, and according to number of grafts required, one of hair transplant methods will be selected with your help and opinion. Also, necessary examinations and pre-operative tests are prescribed for you.
- Hair transplant plan and program: At this stage, the plan of new growth line is drawn on head, and according to that, the number of grafts needed to reach desired density and also number of sessions required for hair transplant are determined.
During hair transplant
- Hair transplant session: In most cases, one hair transplant session is enough to reach the target density. This meeting takes between 4 and 8 hours and sometimes more time, in which there are breaks for rest.
- Local anesthesia: General anesthesia is not required for FUE hair transplantation, and you receive local anesthesia in form of multiple injections in donor area and recipient areas. Your doctor may advise you to take painkillers or sedatives in the morning before going to clinic for more comfort during hair transplant.
- Harvesting of grafts: Harvesting of grafts in FUE method is done using very fine surgical blades that are less than 1 cm (usually 7 to 9 mm) thick. After extraction, each graft is placed in a holding liquid.
- Preparation: The hair transplant team checks the grafts to ensure their quality and prepares them if necessary.
- Implantation of grafts: In this step, the surgeon creates holes with a thickness of less than 1 cm using fine surgical blades and then places grafts in these holes.
Recovery period of FUE and results
- After FUE hair transplant, you will not feel any pain or discomfort in donor area or recipient area, or you will experience very mild discomfort. Usually pain is not so bad that painkillers are needed.
- Small clots are formed at place of harvesting and planting of grafts, which fall after a few days. In this period, it is very important to follow hygiene recommendations and wash your head. Usually no dressing is needed or a light dressing is placed on head only to prevent contamination of skin.
- The recovery period after hair transplant is about 2 weeks, and during this time you should pay a lot of attention to the health of your head, do not expose your scalp to direct sunlight and avoid sports and heavy activities.
- To put on a hat and exercise, be sure to ask your doctor’s opinion and get his approval.
Your hair grows at a rate of one centimeter per month. Also, the existing hair in many grafts fall out after being placed in a new place, and you need to wait until the follicles of that graft start making new hair. Therefore, you must be patient to see the final result of hair transplant. The initial result can be seen about 6 months after hair transplantation and the final result about 12 months later.
Care before hair transplantation
Hair transplantation is a very complicated process. This operation is successful when you take care of hair transplant before and after operation properly. In order to have a better result of hair transplant, you should start your care two weeks before transplant. Usually, during consultation, the doctor will give you enough information about this course. Try to follow all the rules.
- Taking medicine: It is better not to take thinners, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, painkillers and even some supplements and vitamins without a doctor’s prescription. These drugs increase the possibility of bleeding during operation and recovery period will be longer.
- Smoking ban: Smoking plays an essential role in narrowing blood vessels and reducing oxygen delivery to different tissues of body. Its main consequence is slowing down of wound healing process. On other hand, the strengthening of hair follicles depends on transport of nutrients through oxygen molecule to different parts of body. Smoking disrupts the transfer of nutrients to hair roots and the probability of successful hair transplantation will decrease.
- Prohibition of alcoholic beverages: Alcoholic beverages increase the possibility of bleeding during operation by diluting blood. Bleeding will make it difficult to extract and transplant hair. In order to facilitate the transplant process and help speed up recovery, experts advise beauty seekers to refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages a week before transplant.
- Dye white hair: White hair is one of the natural stages of aging. However, some hereditary problems or certain diseases can accelerate the process of graying hair. As a result, there is a possibility of gray hair at a young age. White hair can cause problems for the doctor. In this case, it is difficult to separate bald areas and white hairs. In hair transplant care, it is recommended to dye your hair to make transplant process simple and easy.
- Using loose and buttoned clothing: One of the things that can cause serious damage to hair follicles is putting pressure on them. You must have experienced how much pressure is put on your hair while taking off your clothes. It is better to use loose and buttoned clothes for transplant day.
- Don’t forget to take a bath before hair transplant: After hair transplant is done, it is not possible to take a bath for a few days. Be sure to wash your hair with your usual mild shampoo on the day of visiting clinic. Do not use any additional substances such as gels or sprays after bathing. For hair transplantation, the hair must be completely clean and free of any additional substances.
- Do not use caffeine on the day of transplantation: Another important part of hair transplant care is to avoid consuming caffeinated substances and drinks on the day of operation. That is, eat a rich breakfast without tea, coffee, Nescafe or any substance containing caffeine. Consumption of caffeinated substances increases the possibility of bleeding during surgery.
Complications of FUE hair transplant
The FUE method is very minimally invasive and rarely has complications. Pain, bleeding and numbness of skin are very rare and almost invisible. Swelling, redness and itching are among the natural side effects seen during skin healing. These resolve within a few days and do not require special treatment.
Folliculitis and infection are very rare and dangerous complications of hair transplantation that can cause hair transplantation to fail. Inflammation of hair follicles is seen after hair transplantation and is in form of red pimples. If these pimples are less than 3-5, it is normal and there is no problem, but more of them is alarming.
If you notice a large number of pimples on scalp after hair transplantation, or if these pimples are accompanied by pain, redness, discharge of pus, and fever, you should contact your clinic or doctor quickly to receive appropriate treatment.
- To prevent swelling in the hair transplant area, use an ice compress on forehead night before transplant. It is forbidden to perform this operation for people with sinusitis. Try to put an ice pack on your forehead every 20 minutes. The maximum time ice should be on your scalp is about one minute.
- After planting, use two pillows to sleep more comfortably. The head should be at an angle of 30 degrees. It is better that your chest and stomach are facing up. Adequate sleep is vital to reduce recovery time and help accelerate wound healing and strengthen hair follicles.
- To wash hair after planting, use a suitable sponge, dip the sponge in shampoo and wash hair vertically twice a day. There should be no pressure or impact on hair. Avoid massaging, rotating movements and rinsing hair in shower. This procedure will continue for two weeks after removing the bandage. From third week, washing in this way will be done once a day.
- Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen for some time after operation. People suffering from chronic pain or heart disease who are forced to take such drugs must consult their doctor to get a new program.
- After planting, have absolute rest for two to three days. Postpone work or study activities until after this period.
- Never touch donor area or transplant site. If touching these places is necessary, be sure to sterilize and disinfect your hands.
- Contact your doctor if you notice any swelling, redness or bruising at the hair extraction and transplant site.
- Avoid sexual activity for one week after implantation.
- If you are fond of sauna or steam bath, it is better to avoid doing these activities for three weeks after transplant.
- Avoid exposure to sunlight in first week after hair transplantation.
FUE hair transplant cost in 2022
The cost of hair transplant in 2022 depends on various factors and it is not possible to give an exact price. Factors influencing the price of hair transplant are:
- The chosen method for hair transplantation
- The amount of hair loss and the number of grafts needed to cover bald areas
- The level of experience of the medical team
- Equipment and tools used in hair transplantation
The more hair loss you have, the more grafts you need to cover bald areas. This number of grafts will cost more. Also, different methods of hair transplantation have different prices, because different tools and different costs are used in each method.
The experienced medical team will definitely charge more for doing the work from clinic, which will be effective in the final cost of hair transplant.
FAQ about FUE Hair Transplantation
Is FUE method the best hair transplant method?
In general, none of the hair transplant methods can be introduced as the best method. Each hair transplant method has its own advantages and disadvantages and should be weighed according to your circumstances. But the situation may be such that FUE method is the best method for you.
Can you use body hair for FUE?
Yes, in FUE hair transplant, you can also use hair under neck and chest for hair transplant.
Does FUE require a shaved head?
Yes, the hair in donor area and recipient area must be shaved. Of course, hair transplantation can be done without shaving, but in this case you should consult your surgeon.