Non-shave FUE, also known as Long hair transplant, is a hair transplant procedure that does not require the head to be shaved before the procedure. In a traditional Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant, the hair on the head has to be partially or completely shaved off for the procedure.
This is a notable concern for some because not everyone is comfortable with shaving their hair, especially female patients. With non-shave FUE however, the entire hair shaft is extracted with the roots. This allows for long hair transplantation, which has almost no downtime at all – perfect for the busy lifestyles in Singapore.
How does non-shave FUE long hair transplant work?
The FUE hair transplant is a popular procedure in Singapore to help tackle hair loss. The hair grafts are extracted using small hair punches which involves making a circular incision around each follicular unit before the entire unit is extracted. These punches are very sharp and can easily damage the hair shaft, and possibly even the follicles if the head is not shaved. Hence, to protect the hair grafts, the donor area is usually shaved before the grafts are extracted.
At The Clifford Clinic, however, we utilise a specialised hair punch cleverly designed to make incisions around the follicular unit without damaging the hair shaft. The punch has sharp cutting edges that are similar to regular punches, but there are also small notches/grooves along the rim which has a blunt edge. These blunt grooves protect the hair shaft when the incision is being made, allowing the entire hair to be extracted intact for transplantation later.
How does non-shave FUE compare to regular FUE?
As compared to regular FUE hair transplant, non-shave FUE requires more skill and experience from the doctors and hair technicians performing the case, and it is usually more time-consuming. This is because of the following:
- During extraction, extra care is needed to extract the follicular unit with the entire length of the hair shaft(s) intact when the long hair is transplanted.
- Because the head is not shaved, it takes more effort to find suitable spots on the scalp to plant the hair grafts.
- The shaft of the hair is usually curved in one direction, so the hair technician has to ensure that extracted grafts are planted in the correct direction to match the flow of the existing hair.
Despite the above, the advantages of long hair transplantation are immediately apparent:
- There is almost no downtime as compared to regular FUE. Patients are typically able to return to sedentary activities within 1 to 2 days.
- Any scars from the procedure will be well-concealed by your existing hair.
- Others might not even notice that you went for a hair transplant because there are usually no visible signs of any procedure done, except your thicker, transplanted hair.
Non-shave FUE transplant of long hair is very similar to regular FUE, except your head is not shaved before the procedure.
Our doctors and hair technicians will first assess your existing hair and condition before marking out the donor and transplant areas on your head. Next, they will use a specialised punch to make incisions on your donor area to extract the hair grafts, without damaging the hair shaft. The grafts are then carefully examined before they are planted into the target areas. Our doctors and hair technicians will plant each graft in the most suitable position and orientation for natural-looking results.
The entire procedure will take about 4 to 8 hours, depending on the amount of grafts transplanted.
What is the downtime?
There is minimal downtime for non-shave FUE. Most patients are able to return to sedentary activities within 1 to 2 days after the procedure. Any scars and incisions from the transplant will be well-concealed by your existing hair.
Will I see the results immediately?
Yes and no. Firstly, because long hair is transplanted, you may immediately see increased hair density on the target areas after the procedure. However, these hairs may shed in the next few weeks due to the shock of the transplantation. Following that, new hair will grow from the transplanted follicles and thicken over the next 2 to 4 months. Usually, the best results can be seen starting anytime between 6 to 12 months after the procedure.
Are there any side effects or complications?
Side effects and complications from a hair transplant are usually mild and easily manageable. Some of them include:
- Bleeding and bruising of the scalp
- Inflammation or infection of the hair follicles (folliculitis)
Most of these are of little concern and can be easily addressed with the antibiotics and creams prescribed by our doctors. However, if the bleeding, itching or inflammation persists for several days, please contact our clinic immediately for our doctors to assess your condition.
What should I take note of after the procedure?
The most important thing to note after a long hair transplant is to avoid combing it after the procedure, because you may accidentally dislodge the transplanted long hairs.
You are advised to sleep with your head elevated, at a 45-degree angle for 3 or more nights following the transplant. This will help alleviate any swelling that might occur.
Alcohol should be avoided for at least 7 days, and strenuous activities like sports should be avoided for about 14 days.
You should not wash your hair for the first 3 days after the procedure. Our staff will give you specific instructions on how to clean and take care of your hair and scalp to facilitate your recovery.
Can I transplant hair from someone else?
No. Unfortunately, hair follicles are delicate structures which will not survive transplantation into another person.