Hair transplants has been around since the 1950s, and has since been the go-to solution for those seeking a more permanent solution to restore their crowning glory.
Thankfully, the “pluggy” appearance of hair transplants in the past has now been taken over by much more efficient and natural techniques. These two methods are called the Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), otherwise also known as the strip method; and the Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) hair transplant.
While they are both very similar in terms of hair restoration objectives – both the FUT and FUE hair transplants different have many differing characteristics, which ultimately affects the process and overall results of the surgery.
The basics of a hair transplant are the same: extracting healthy hair grafts from the part of the donor’s head that is not experiencing hair loss, and transferring it to the areas that require it most.
While doing your research and deciding which method is best for you – it is absolutely vital to know the differences between the two in order to maximize your recovery and results.
FUT vs FUE: The Key Difference
The main difference between the two procedures is how the hair grafts are extracted from the patient.
While FUT removes an entire strip of donor skin to extract individual hair grafts – FUE requires the doctor to manually extract the individual hair grafts directly from the scalp to be later transferred to the affected areas.
Because the extraction of the hair grafts are different, this then affects the way that the procedure is performed, as well as the following steps and results that patients can achieve with each method.
While FUT has been considered the gold standard for hair transplants for the past 25 years, FUE is the more common and chosen technique to date. In fact, FUE was designed to overcome the challenges faced with the FUT transplant, such as the scarring experienced during the extraction, and the possibility of hair grafts growing sideways.
Below is a simple chart highlighting the differences between the two:
|Place where hair graft is taken||Back of the head within the safe donor area*||Outside the safe donor area* in a calculated, precise action
Ability to also remove hair from the body in certain cases
|Graft yield||Higher yield||Lower yield|
|Ideal candidate||– More flexible scalp
– More prominent hair loss
– Want to increase hair density
– Need a large number of hair grafts
– Don’t mind wearing a longer hairstyle
|– Less flexible scalp
– Want to quickly return to sports, strenuous activities
– Don’t need a large number of hair grafts (<2500)
– Want to wear their hair short
– Younger patients
|Time required||Shorter||Longer, may take up to a day or several sessions|
|Scarring||Larger, linear scarring that is obvious with short hairstyles||Small, multiple dots that are hardly visible|
|Healing||More painful, longer recovery time, within 10 – 15 days||Less painful, shorter recovery team, within 5 – 7 days|
|Side Effects||– Significant scabbing and major soreness for the first week
– Bleeding, itching and swelling of the scalp
– Possibility of infection
|– Bleeding, itching and swelling of the scalp
– Possibility of infection
– Possibility of hair grafts thinning out
*The area of hair that is resistant to hair thinning and eventual pattern hair loss. Harvesting hair grafts from outside the safe donor area is more likely to be lost over time.
An important factor in whether or not your hair transplant is successful is the quality and survival rate of the hair grafts that is harvested. There are several studies reporting a lower survival rate of FUE hair grafts compared to FUT; largely due to the manual punching tool that can accidentally transect (cut) away the protective tissues needed to nourish and support the growth of the transplanted hair grafts.
Despite their differences, both methods still bring excellent results – although FUE is often the preferred choice because it provides less noticeable scarring and faster healing times.
The most important determinant: the technician
Since individual hair grafts needs to be carefully extracted, handled, stored, and then positioned to ensure they blend seamlessly with the patient’s existing hair – an FUE hair transplant should be seen as a work of art that doctors are able to adapt according to each individual’s needs and goals.
The skills, knowledge, and experience of the doctor handling the hair grafts can significantly lower the chances of hair grafts being damaged and optimize graft survival – which lends itself to a successful transplant. With a competent doctor, the possibility of increasing the graft survival rate and graft yield can definitely match up to those seen in an FUT surgery.
At our clinic, we enjoy using FUE as it is a minimally-invasive method for hair restoration that boasts a 92 – 98% success rate. Given that it is a highly manual surgery, our doctors are able to adapt and optimize the different steps of hair transplantation in order to give you the best results you deserve.
In addition, we offer several unique advantages to our patients, including the use of micro-tips and the most advanced bio-technology solutions to preserve the hair grafts, as well as the skills needed to achieve the highest density possible in a single session.
Both our doctors have decades of experience treating hair loss, and together with a dedicated, well-organized surgical team – consult us today and let us get you on the road to regaining a full bed of hair! We also offer a range of other services, including the best stretch mark removal treatment and acne laser treatment!
1. Robotic or Manual FUE?
At our clinic, we offer both manual and robotic FUE – and are the first to bring in the FDA-approved ARTAS hair transplantation robot in Singapore.
With the support of intelligent algorithms and advanced digital imaging – our doctors are able to accurately identify and harvest the best hair grafts, removing many of the disadvantages commonly seen with manual FUE.
Even though the ARTAS improves the efficiency and consistency of the hair grafts harvested; it is important to note that an experienced doctor is still very much needed in order to account for all the variables seen in any exceptional hair transplant.
2. Do I still need topical and oral medications after a hair transplant?
It is important to note that hair transplants DO NOT stop continued thinning and hair loss. Your post-procedure care is just as important in maintaining your results and preventing further hair loss overall.
Thus, we often recommend our patients to complement their hair transplant with topical and oral medication that may include finasteride and minoxidil, as well as laser treatments as part of a comprehensive plan at the best hair loss treatment price.
3. Is it normal for my transplanted hair to fall out?
A lot of patients may be worried when they first notice their transplanted hair falling out; however, this is completely normal.
You should notice new hairs growing out after 3 – 4 months, and where majority of patients continue to see hair growth in the succeeding months.