It is perhaps the best time in the history of medicine to get a hair transplant. Hair transplant techniques used today are advanced, sophisticated, almost painless, and minimally invasive and deliver natural looking results. But there are still people suffering from hair loss who choose to not undergo a transplant because they have so many wrong notions about it. It’s almost like they aren’t able to get over the images of ‘pluggy’ or doll like hair from transplants in the 80s and 90s.
But the truth is hair transplant is just not the same today. One of the best technologies available for transplant today is FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction. It has become the go-to solution for numerous people suffering pattern baldness, the world over. Compared to early days of hair transplant, FUE is non-invasive and usually needs to be done once in a lifetime.
The procedure involves taking healthy hair follicles from a donor area, usually the back and rear of the head where hair growth is resistant to hair loss, and implanting it onto bald or balding spots. The transplanted hair then continues to grow naturally in the new spot.
Here are some advantages of choosing FUE:
1. Natural looking results
In the 1980s and 90s, a hair transplant was basically a scalp lifting procedure involving 4–5 millimetre punch grafts which were implanted on bald spots. These were very unnatural looking, prompting people to call it ‘doll hair’ owing to the resemblance to hair on cheap plastic dolls. Today FUE uses follicular unit grafts, which are about a millimetre in diameter. They are planted close together to create dense and natural looking hair.
Surgeons now design hairlines keeping in mind the shape of the patient’s head and their face, to create an aesthetically pleasing and natural look.
2. FUE vs FUT
The other popular method of hair transplant today is FUT or Follicular Unit Transplantation. Also called the Strip method, FUT involves surgical removal of a strip of scalp from the back or sides of the head, dissecting it into individual grafts, and implanting them on the bald spots.
The donor site is stitched back after the surgery, which leaves a linear scar that can last a long time. FUE on the other hand extracts individual follicles, leaving small dot like scars, which heal very quickly and will be hiddenunder surrounding hair.
3. Body hair transplant
Sometimes in advanced stages of Androgenic Alopecia, or male pattern baldness, there are not enough follicles available for harvesting. In such cases surgeons use Body Hair Transplantation or BHT, which means harvesting hair follicles from the chest, arms, beard, or legs and implanting them onto the scalp.
FUE method is most suitable for BHT, since FUT works better for harvesting from the scalp. The FUE method uses punches to remove individual grafts rather than removing a strip of follicles, which might leave scars on the body. FUE also ensures quick recovery and minimal pain.
4. FUE recoveries are fast
It can be difficultfor people to take a long period of leave from work for a cosmetic procedure. For people like that, FUE presents a great option. You can get the procedure done within a day or in a few sittings depending on the stage of hair loss. You are also free to go home within a few hours and don’t need to stay in the hospital. The small dotty scars caused by FUE extractions heal fast and you will be ready to resume normal work within a few days.
5. For eyebrows, beard, sideburns
If you are looking at a transplant for your beard, eyebrows, or sideburns, FUE is a good choice. Facial transplants usually need a comparatively smaller amount of donor hair, which means follicles can be extracted individually depending on the demand using FUE. FUT doesn’t normally cater to facial hair transplants.
6. Covering FUT scars
FUE can also be used to cover up linear scars caused by FUT. The process remains the same like a normal transplant, which is - hair follicles are extracted from a new donor site and implantedon the scar to fill it in. If there is adequate blood supply to the scar, the new follicles will adapt and produce hair that will cover up the scar.
FUE is undoubtedly an excellent option for people suffering hair loss, but it is also important that you find the right clinic and surgeon.The final result from FUE will depend on the skill and expertise of the surgeon and their team, and their ability to cater to your specific requirements.
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