Medically reviewed by Dr. John Rosdeutscher – Written by Sine Thieme
Modern hair transplant methods first emerged in the U.S. about 60 years ago, allowing men (and some women) to fight back against hair loss and balding. Over the years, we’ve seen a few popular hair transplant methods become available. Two of these methods have remained strong over the years: follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT). Both methods are used primarily to treat male pattern baldness, and both move hair follicles from a donor site to a balding site.
But that’s where the similarities end. To highlight the differences, here’s a brief comparison of these two widely-used hair transplant methods.
|FUT (Strip) Method
|How it works
|With a wand using pneumatic pressure, hair follicles are extracted in groups of 1-4 called follicular units. The follicular units are then transplanted in the same fashion under reverse pressure.
|A strip of hair is surgically removed from the back of the head and dissected into follicular units. The follicular units are then individually transplanted.
|Marks or scarring
|None. The tiny punch marks from hair extraction scab over and heal within 10 days.
|A linear scar results from the removal of the hair strip and the subsequent stitching or stapling.
|Recovery and exercise post-procedure
|Patients can return to work and regular activity including exercise the next day.
|Doctor recommend limited exercise for a minimum of 2 weeks to allow for healing of the scar.
How Does FUE Work?
Similarly to the FUT procedure, Follicular Unit Extraction works by taking hair follicles from a donor site and re-implanting them in the recipient sites. However, instead of cutting out a strip of hair and tissue, the FUE technique allows technicians to extract individual hairs directly from the scalp. Once a sufficient amount of hair is harvested, the follicles are inserted one by one into the recipient sites.
Advantages of the FUE Method
The FUE method has been available as a hair transplant procedure since the early 2000s. Notable advantages of the FUE method over the FUT method include:
- No Linear Scar
- Decreased Recovery Time
- Less Discomfort After Procedure
- More Natural-Looking Results
How Does FUT Work?
The first step in a follicular unit transplantation procedure is to surgically remove a strip of hair from a donor site—typically the back of the head, as the hair follicles in this area are resistant to hair loss. Because of the way the hair is extracted, this method is also called the Strip Method.
The strip of hair contains tissue, which is then cut into tiny groups, each containing a small number of hairs. Then, after making microscopic holes in the scalp (recipient sites), the tissue pieces with hairs (called grafts) are placed into their new positions.
Advantages of the FUT Method
The FUT method has been around for more than 20 years and was a breakthrough method during the 1990s. Advantages of this method include:
- Can Be Less Time Consuming
- Donor Hair is of High Quality
- Procedure Can Be Done in One Session
- Can Cost Less Because Often Faster
Why We Prefer Follicular Unit Extraction
When weighing the benefits of each method, the FUE technique comes out on top. Though the process may take a little longer than FUT, FUE transplant patients get to enjoy a fuller head of hair without unsightly scarring—plus more natural-looking results. With FUT, many patients don’t have the luxury of wearing their hair short over the donor site, because the scar, which can extend all the way from one ear to the other, will be visible under short hair.
FUE totally eliminates that problem. In addition, it requires much less downtime as there is not surgical incision/trauma that needs to heal. The small punctures from the extraction and transplantation scab over and fall off in just 7-10 days, and there never is any “wound” as there is for the extracted strip of scalp.
NeoGraft: The Most Effective FUE Hair Transplant Method
NeoGraft is a form of FUE that uses an advanced tool to minimize discomfort and increase the success of the procedure. As early adopters, our team at Nashville Hair Doctor has perfected the NeoGraft technique over many years. We are a leading hair transplant provider in the Southeast, with many out of town patients traveling to our Nashville-based plastic surgery center from all over the United States. We also have practices in Memphis and Louisville, KY.
Don’t know if you are a candidate or how much a hair transplant wold cost? Simply upload your pictures today and get a next-day FREE hair transplant quote.