Follicular Unit Extraction Vs. Follicular Unit Transplantation

Exploring The Differences

And Similarities

In the realm of hair restoration, there are a number of options available for people experiencing hair loss. For people looking to undergo hair transplantation, however, two techniques are most prevalent in the industry – follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT). While both are incredibly effective when it comes to rebuilding density and coverage where hair was previously lost, due to their differences, each method comes with their own pros and cons.


In both procedures, hair follicles are harvested from donor regions, usually located at the sides or back of the head, and used to relocate to areas of concern. With the FUT method, hair is harvested from a thin strip of the scalp that is excised from the donor area. The size of this strip is carefully considered to ensure that enough grafts are removed for harvesting. Once removed, the wound is closed with small surgical staples. Then, using a 2-stage stereomicroscopic dissection system, the follicular units are harvested from the excised strip.

Follicular Unit Extraction Vs. Follicular Unit Transplantation

The Positives


Conversely, during the FUE technique, each hair graft, containing 1 to 4 hair follicles, is harvested from the donor area using a punch tool. The follicles are harvested from a wider area and transplanted without the use of a scalpel or stitches. Often the FUE procedure will be completed with the help of automated systems that use infrared light to position the punch tool with precise alignment.

Regardless of the technique chosen, the method for transplanting the follicles remains the same. When it comes to FUT procedures, the strip of hair that is to be removed is to be trimmed in length. The surrounding hair, however, can retain its length. This allows patients to return to their regular schedules quite quickly with little evidence that a hair transplant has taken place.

In terms of the FUE method, due to its harvesting techniques, no stitches are required, meaning that the healing process tends to be faster and there is little downtime needed for recovery. As well, scarring, if any, is minimal, but following the procedure, the patient can expect puncture marks approximately 1 mm in size that will scab over and heal within a week’s time.

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Follicular Unit Extraction Vs. Follicular Unit Transplantation

The Negatives

Of Each Method

As can be expected, due to its somewhat invasive nature, the FUT method requires stitches. The patient is generally expected to return to their doctor within 7 to 10 days to have it removed and to review the healing process. Additionally, for people who prefer to wear their hair much shorter, though skilled surgeons will do their best to keep the scars as minimal and hidden as possible, scarring is very likely with this procedure. A very short hairstyle may do a poor job of camouflaging any scars.

For patients who prefer the FUE method, it is important to note that prior to the procedure, in almost all cases, the donor area must be shaved to allow full access to the follicles being harvested. Moreover, as noted above, though it is uncommon, scarring may occur, although it is very negligible.

As illustrated, there are a number of reasons why an FUT or FUE may be the right procedure for you. If you are still unsure or you would like to meet with an experienced, knowledgeable member of our staff, we invite you to contact us at 416-351-0061. At the Toronto Hair Transplant Clinic, our skilled team has a wealth of experience. We’re looking forward to discussing your options with you and working towards planning and attaining your aesthetic goals.

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The Toronto Hair Transplant Clinic

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