While some cultures and groups see absolutely no issues in being bald, for others it is their worst nightmare. Fortunately, just like with practically every medical condition thinkable, there are procedures that are capable of combating baldness.
Admittedly, such procedures are not available via general NHS means and you will have to make a considerable investment to undergo a hair transplant. However, the fact they are available is encouraging, although once you have made the plunge and decided to go for such treatment you must then make the choice on which type to undergo.
In today’s day and age there are two very common types of hair transplant; FUE and FUT. They are abbreviated in such a way due to the complexity of their standard names, with the former coined as follicular unit extraction and the latter as follicular unit transplant. It would be fair to say that each contains benefits and drawbacks and it’s not usually down to a patient’s personal preference, with circumstances generally dictating which option is the most practical. Taking this into account, this article will now look at both in detail in order to help you choose your hair transplant method.
With the abbreviation for FUE containing the term ‘extraction’, most people probably have a good idea of what this form of transplant entails. In simple terms, this involves all remaining hair on a patient being extracted using a small, circular instrument. This process is repeated until the surgeon deems necessary and in some cases, this can mean that a patient is undergoing the procedure over the course of a couple of days.
As you may expect, this is by no means the end of the operation and the patient then has to wait for the extracted hair to be harvested and then being re-inserted back into recipient sites, which are able to receive the rejuvenated hair and allow it to grow completely naturally.
It’s worth mentioning that many hair transplant clinics claim that the main benefit of FUE treatment is that scars will not be left. Unfortunately, this is very rarely the case and any establishment making such declarations could land themselves in hot water with the relevant medical authorities.
In the vast majority of cases, any individual who undergoes FUE treatment will be left with many small non-pigmented dots that are located around the back of the head. However, due to the small size of the scars, very few people will be able to see them. In fact, it’s generally stated that unless the patient decides to completely shave their head, these scars will not be noticeable.
While on the subject of the possible disadvantages of FUE, the effectiveness of this treatment should be discussed. Due to the expense that is associated with hair transplants, it’s generally assumed that every patient that pays for such a treatment will be greeted with a full head of hair by the end of it. Unfortunately, this is not the case and particularly with FUE, the results can be indifferent.
The way in which FUE works is by extracting and harvesting hair from all over the head – with this including the upper and lower regions. It’s generally thought that any hair situated in such places is not as permanent as hair that can be found in the middle portion of the head and thus, when it is harvested there is less of a chance of it living for a long period of time. Of course, in some cases it is perfectly fine, but in others patients will suffer loss of their transplanted hair due to it originating from these positions on the head.
While there are disadvantages associated with FUE, there are benefits which have led many industry experts to conclude that it is the best treatment out of the two options. Even though the scarring of FUE has been discussed, it is still nothing to the scars which can be left as part of FUT treatment. Anybody that undergoes FUT will unfortunately be left with a large scar on their head and while FUE patients are subject to thousands of tiny dimple-like scars, these can be disguised with the new head of hair.
Similarly, the recovery time associated with FUE is much less than FUT. This also correlates with the pain threshold, with FUE patients claiming that they are subject to a minimal amount of pain following the procedure. As you may expect, such advantages are only likely to be taken into consideration by those individuals who have strict circumstances immediately after their hair transplant operation.
Taking the above about FUE into consideration, the practice is usually aimed at various target audiences by practitioners. Providing advice on the correct hair transplant treatment can be a difficult issue for some medics, as there can be a conflict of interest in some cases. However, the industry is generally starting to recommend the FUE process to the following markets:
- · Young people – Any individual who is still based in their 20s is likely to be advised to take advantage of FUE. One of the main reasons behind this advice is the fact that such patients may change their mind about their hair style in the future. Due to the nature of the treatments, FUE permits much shorter hair styles and this means that young people have slightly more options in this regard as they age. The scarring is less prevalent and this could also lead to another reason why this target market is advised to take FUE, as they are most probably going to receive a self-esteem boost by having less scarring prevalent on their head.
- · Individuals who have a short hair style – Little needs to be said about this following the last paragraph. It’s been commented how FUE treatments tend to favour those with shorter hair styles, due to the limited scarring that arises. Bearing this in mind, it really is an obvious choice for a short-haired person to select FUE.
- · Patients who have had a previous hair transplant – Any patient that has been the subject to a previous transplant, which has most likely been conducted via the FUT method, is advised to use the FUE approach. This is because there will already be large amounts of strip scarring, which would double in severity through another FUT operation. By using FUE, the scars are less obvious and the result will be less intrusive.
FUT goes against many of the operative principles that have been explained previously for FUE, although it is worth mentioning that it is regarded as a compliment to existing hair transplant procedures, not a rival. FUT can probably be described as a simpler operation, with hair being transplanted from the scalp to areas of the head which do not include as much hair.
This transplant takes place through rather intrusive means, with the doctor cutting a strip of tissue from the scalp, before cutting it into thousands of follicular units. These units are then strategically placed around the head, after the doctor has created holes with recipient sites around the affected, bald areas.
As one can probably assume from the above, FUT is a very complicated technique although there is the potential for some very fulfilling results. Nevertheless, the issue of scarring is regularly discussed, as the process in which FUT uses means that all patients, no matter what their body or skin type, will have a large strip-like scar on their head. For those individuals that crave a full head of hair this probably isn’t going to be a problem, yet for those that like their style to be slightly shorter there could be several aesthetic factors to consider.
It would be fair to say that the scarring is the main problem associated with FUT, with this being the main reason why people decide to take the FUE approach. However, while the scars may be a turn-off for a lot of patients, some will place more emphasis on the advantages of FUT whilst making their decision.
Unquestionably, the main benefit behind FUT is the quality of the hair that is being transplanted, with this usually of a much better standard than the matter that is extracted and harvested with FUE. As all of the hair is originating from the “healthy” area of the head, patients are unlikely to see any future problems with their new hair. This is in comparison to FUE, where cases have been heard in which the replacement hair has started to fall out again due to the fact it arises from areas of poor quality.
A summary on the comparisons between hair transplants with FUE and FUT
For anybody that has little knowledge of the hair transplant industry, the similarities between the names of FUE and FUT might be misleading. In reality, both are very different forms of treatment and while some individuals will have the luxury of casting a decision based on their own research and personal preference, others will have to let their own circumstances dictate which procedure they utilise.
In summarising the procedures, it can be concluded that FUE is certainly the option for those individuals who might consider a shorter hair style in the future, if they are not planning one immediately. FUT on the other hand is a more general form of treatment and is designed for those patients that would rather have better quality hair – even if it means keeping it that bit longer to hide the nasty scarring that can occur with the treatment. Bearing this in mind, there really is no right or wrong answer when selecting between FUE and FUT.