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What is an FUE hair transplant?

FUE – or Follicular Unit Extraction is a hair transplant process that replaces lost or thinning hair by taking healthy follicles from a donor area of the head (usually the back and sides) and transplanting them to a thinning area of the head, such as the hairline or crown. FUE is a minimally invasive hair restoration option that demands skill and precision and achieves the best and most natural result.

How FUE works

An FUE hair transplant works by extracting naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs, and transplanting these to the area of the scalp – typically the balding area.

Our surgeons will first work to remove a number of grafts typically in groups of between one and four hairs. These groups of hairs are usually extracted from the sides of the head or back of the neck, using a specialised extraction instrument less than 1mm in diameter. These follicles are then transferred to the recipient area of the scalp and implanted using a powerful stereo microscope.

We take great care to implant the hairs at the correct angle to mimic the old hair, just as it would naturally grow to ensure the newly transplanted hair blends perfectly and resembles a natural hair pattern.

What is the difference between FUE and FUT?

The difference between FUE and FUT is that during follicular unit transplantation (FUT) the surgeon removes an entire strip of donor skin from the back of the head and extracts the hair follicles from this strip. However, in FUE, the individual follicles are taken directly from the scalp.

In FUT, the entire strip of the hair is harvested in one go and then dissected into individual follicles later. This leaves a very distinctive and noticeable linear scar along the back of the head.

During FUE, groups of between one and four hairs are individually extracted from the scalp and transplanted to the new area of the scalp, trying to mimic the pattern of the hair that used to grow there. This leaves little to no noticeable scarring on the scalp.

When it comes to recovery time, there is also a noticeable difference between FUE and FUT. In FUE hair transplants, there is minimal bleeding, and recovery is usually complete within seven days with almost no side effects. However, during FUT, as an entire strip of the scalp has been excised, it often takes weeks for the scars to heal over.

The FUE hair transplant results far outweigh the results of FUT hair transplants, leaving a high-quality, natural finish to the hair.

Is FUE right for me?

It can be hard to know if an FUE hair transplant is right for you, or even if you are a good candidate for FUE hair transplantation. One of the things that you need is healthy hair growth at the back and sides of the head, to serve as a donor area for follicles to be harvested from. Other factors, such as hair colour, texture and waviness or curliness, may also affect the cosmetic result.

The quickest way to find out if FUE is right for you is to book a consultation at our hair transplant clinic in London. We can help you with any questions and determine whether or not you would be a good candidate for FUE. During your consultation we’ll also be able to tell you the specifics of your surgery such as the amount of grafts you’ll need, how long the surgery will take and the cost of your treatment.

Does FUE hurt?

FUE is a minimally invasive hair surgery procedure that is administered under local anaesthetic, pain is minimised, and most patients do not feel anything at all. You will be conscious for the entire time that the hair transplant procedure is administered.

There will be some mild discomfort during the recovery process, but this only lasts around seven days. The risk of complications because of FUE is also extremely low.

The hair transplantation technique has advanced so much over the last 10 years and it’s important to remember that FUE is minimally invasive in comparison to older techniques such as FUT, FUE is considered to be almost pain free in comparison to older techniques.

How much does FUE cost?

There is no one price fits all when it comes to hair transplants, and they can be an expensive procedure – depending on how extensive the work is. The cost can vary depending on many factors.

For moderate hair loss, the cost would be between £3,000 and £8,000 and more extensive cases the cost would be between £5,000 and £12,000 with the average cost being around £7,000.

At the Harley Street Hair Clinic, we factor in the overall complexity of the transplant, the type of hair loss you are experiencing, the likeliness of future hair loss and individual characteristics such as the amount of grafts needed and hair colour and texture. Some of these factors will alter the amount of time a transplant could take as well as the cosmetic result and this all needs to be taken into account.

When we plan your procedure, we also review each patient for the risk of future hair loss, this allows us to ensure we’re using the available donor hair as best as possible. We’ll not only plan to transplant to areas that we expect to thin over the next few years, but we’ll also ensure your donor area isn’t over-harvested, just in case you need a top-up transplant in the future. These personalised factors all alter what the cost of a hair transplant could be.

The results of an FUE hair transplant

FUE treatments are widely known as one of the best hair transplant techniques and the results speak for themselves. What makes FUE so remarkable is the way hairs are implanted. Experienced specialists carefully map your hair growth before implantation, so they know where and on what angle to place each follicle.

It is an exacting process that takes a lot of experience and expertise. Still, we believe the result is worth it. With a successful FUE transplant, donor hair grows, moves, and feels the way it used to. This is the highest-quality hair transplant available which results in the most natural and realistic result making it the most popular hair restoration solution.

As this is your natural hair, just moved from place to place, it will grow exactly as normal hair and is permanent. There is no need for pills and potions, just enjoy your natural hair.

FUE hair transplant FAQs

FUE – or Follicular Unit Extraction is a type of hair restoration that works by taking healthy individual hair follicles from a donor area of the scalp (This area is selected by the health and abundance of hair and is often taken from the back of the head to ensure the best hair transplant results) and implanting them to a different area on the head – this will make the hair in the new area look thicker and fuller.

FUE is an advanced surgery that has been perfected over time to replace traditional methods of hair restoration such as FUT, where an entire piece of skin is removed from the back of the scalp in order to harvest grafts.

FUE is the most popular form of hair restoration due to the advanced technology used giving the most natural looking result, minimal scaring and minimal recover time in comparison to other methods.

A hair transplant surgeon will use anaesthetic before your transplant, so there is a small amount of pain when this is administered. However, after the anaesthetic, you should not feel any pain at all. The procedure can feel slightly uncomfortable at first, but you won’t feel any pain. This will vary from person to person, but our surgeons will do what they can to make your procedure as comfortable as possible.

FUE hair transplant surgery is a safe procedure with minor side effects if performed by a qualified and experienced doctor at a reputable clinic.

At the Harley Street Hair Clinic, we only use doctors registered with the General Medical Council to perform our hair transplants and our clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission board, this gives our clients an automatic element of safety. Not all clinics, especially those abroad are registered with such boards, which can make it harder to research a clinic or a doctor to ensure they are reputable.

The cost of a hair transplant varies between each patient and is dependent on different individual factors. For moderate hair loss, the cost would be between £3,000 and £8,000 and more extensive cases the cost would be between £5,000 and £12,000 with the average cost being around £7,000.

The modern approach to hair restoration leaves minimal scarring, and 98% of people will have a successful hair transplant treatment.

FUE hair transplantation is the most revolutionary hair restoration treatment on the market which has the most successful and natural looking results in comparison to all other treatments. The transplanted hair will continue to grow for years to come, some people may experience further hair loss as the age which can result in a top-up transplant being needed to add more density to these newly lost areas.

A few nights after your procedure you should sleep with you your head elevated with a towel underneath.

This depends on the type of work you do – if you do not have a physical job, medically you can return to work after just a couple of days if you’re feeling ok in yourself. For those with more physical jobs it is recommended you take at least 7 days off work.

It is important to consider the that you will have some redness and scabs on your scalp for a couple of weeks, you can wear a hat straight after surgery, but I you would rather people not know about your surgery you will need to take a little longer off work to account for the cosmetic appearance of your scalp post-surgery.

The level of pain after a hair transplant will vary for patient to patient. In general, most people will feel soreness for only a few days after the procedure, however, the discomfort can last for up to a week. The level of pain can also very depending on the number of grafts you have transplanted – for larger surgeries it can take longer to heal, meaning discomfort can last longer.

The short answer is no, not everyone is suitable for FUE. In our experience most patients are suitable for a hair transplant to some degree. However, a number of factors come into play when it comes to a good hair transplant. You must have enough good donor hair for a successful transplant. We ensure you have enough donor hair to not only give you amazing results, but also ensure you have the option to have further hair transplanted, should you need it in the future.

Once your hair is transplanted it continues the characteristics it had before it was transplanted, the hair is typically taken from the back and sides of the scalp due to hair from this area of the head remaining in the natural hair growth cycle for much longer than at the front and crown. This means the hair will last a lifetime for most, or at least into old age.

If done currently by an experienced doctor in a reputable clinic, the appearance of scaring after an FUE hair transplant will be almost invisible to the naked eye. The art of a good hair transplant not only means producing the appearance of natural and realistic hair growth by also considers concealing scaring.

The recipient area scaring will only be detected though examination, the donor area will however have very fine scaring, which for most is covered by your hair. Unlike older strip methods, FUE is almost undetectable if done properly.

No, this can be very dangerous because your body will begin to reject the foreign tissue, which, will not only result in a failed transplant but can also cause scarring and infection.

Results will differ from patient to patient but for most you’ll see around an inch of hair growth 6 months after your procedure date with full results taking up to 12 months.

An FUE hair transplant only redistributes the hair you already have into thinning areas. There is no way to create new hair growth which means after experiencing hair loss you will never have the same amount of hair you once did. However, our surgeons have years of experience and are experts in working with what they have. Your hair will be transplanted in a way to look natural and realistic and mimic the natural hair growth you have in order to restore the appearance of fullness.

Yes, if you have the donor hair. Any reputable clinic will plan your hair transplant with the consideration that you might wish to have another transplant in the future to account for any further hair loss that may have happened.

Unfortunately, some hair transplant clinics over harvest the donor area during the first hair transplant which makes it very difficult to have a second transplant.

The extraction is carried out by one of our experienced doctors, whilst this is being done one of our nurses will prepare the extracted follicles under a microscope ready to be transplanted.

Your doctor will also prepare your recipient site for the follicles, this is where your doctor will be able to show their skill in creating a natural looking hair transplant. It is important that the hair follicles are transplanted at the correct angle and density to match the direction of the hair in the recipient area – this is what results in a natural and almost undetectable hair transplant.

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