Follicular Unit extraction or FUE is a highly popular and evolving hair transplant technique in which a small round punch is used to extract follicular units from a patient’s bald resistant donor areas one at a time. These 1, 2, 3 and 4 hair groupings (called follicular unit grafts) are then transplanted into a patient’s balding areas.
Whether it’s the lack of linear scar associated with traditional follicular unit hair transplantation via strip harvesting or FUT, its less invasive nature or its potentially faster healing time, the popularity and demand for FUE has increased significantly over the last several years. While follicular unit extraction has been historically overhyped or oversold to eager patients, due to recent developments and increased patient interest, it’s evident that FUE is here to stay.
The lasting power of follicular unit extraction seems to stem from both patient demand and the dedication of talented hair restoration experts who continue perfecting the procedure and innovating more precise FUE tools.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) are sometimes mistakenly viewed as opposing hair transplant techniques. FUE, in fact, is a sub-type of FUT where follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp rather than being microscopically dissected from a strip of tissue that has already been removed (via the strip harvesting technique). Thus, during FUT, individual follicular units can be obtained in one of two ways; either through strip harvesting and microscopic dissection or via FUE.
When comparisons are being made between FUT and FUE, what is really being compared is the way follicular units are obtained (strip harvesting and dissection vs. direction extraction). The type of grafts (follicular units) and the process for transplanting grafts in the recipient area is the same.
Results produced by today’s FUE hair transplantation and Strip Procedures are very natural and dense in the hands of expert hair restoration physicians. However, FUE and strip harvesting are very different techniques and are handled very differently.