How a Hair Transplant Works

Step by step insights into both FUE and FUT hair transplant procedures.

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Hair transplant surgery is becoming more commonplace as the procedures and science behind the surgeries get more advanced, reliable and effective. Losing your hair either through male pattern baldness, thinning or simply a slowly receding hairline is very common amongst men and women. At the age of 50, 85% of men will have experienced, or are experiencing, significant hair loss. And 40% of hair loss sufferers are female, with the hair loss instance rate at 50% for women at the age of 50.

Thanks to the modern age and times we live in, this doesn’t have to be as permanent as it once was. We’re going to run through two methods of hair transplant surgery in this article. The first process is called follicular unit extraction surgery, otherwise known as FUE. The other is follicular unit transplantation or FUT.  We offer a variety of hair loss treatments and FUE and FUT are certainly some of the most effective methods.

Hair Transplant Consultation

Before any procedure can take place, you will need to be assessed. The surgeon will want to determine the reasoning behind your hair loss and your chances of a successful hair transplant. If a hair transplant is deemed to be a likely success for you, then we can proceed.

What is FUE Surgery and How Does it Work?

The FUE method involves taking hair grafts from the back of the head as they aren’t sensitive to the DHT growth hormone and placing them into the areas of the scalp where you have experienced hair loss. These implanted hairs will then grow forever as they are not affected by DHT. The average recovery time is seven days and once it has been done, the effects are permanent. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process of FUE hair transplants:

  1. The first step is to shave hair from the back of your head. The area that is to be shaved is often referred to as the donor area, as this is where hair follicles are going to be donated from. This needs to be done to make the extraction as easy as possible. 
  2. Once the donor area is shaved, the follicle extraction can begin. A powerful local anaesthetic will be applied to the donor area. Using a micro-scalpel, follicles are removed. This is done by puncturing the skin from anywhere between 0.8-2mm with microsurgical tools. The follicles will be kept in perfect conditions of humidity, temperature and hydration.
  3. After this step in the procedure, the patient can go and relax whilst the extracted follicles are assessed. A hair follicle can have up to 4 hairs, and these higher-density follicles need to be placed accordingly in the scalp to help achieve a natural hairline look.
  4. The next step is the implantation. Your hair follicles have been examined and under local anaesthetic again, the follicles are ready to be implanted. Using microsurgical tools again, these will be implanted around a millimetre under the surface of your skin.
  5. The last step is to recover. After the surgery, there’ll be bandages or gauze wrapped around the donor area. You won’t have to stay in overnight and it should take a matter of days to recover, not weeks or months. There may be some initial swelling and you may need some pain medication as the transplant site is likely to have some soreness. 

FUE surgery is the most common procedure and is used on around 80% of our patients. As you can see, it’s a very straightforward and effective method that offers great results. FUE surgery can be used to create a wonderfully natural looking hairline. 

What is FUT Surgery and How Does it Work?

Known as the gold standard in hair transplant surgery, the FUT method involves removing a piece of your scalp and dissecting it into thousands of individual grafts. It’s a very effective procedure that has a higher success rate than FUE. It may sound more daunting when compared to FUE, the idea of removing a strip of your scalp, but it is a very common procedure that has been done millions of times around the world with great results. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the FUT process;

  1. The donor area needs to be shaved again before the procedure can begin. FUT surgery will use a smaller donor area. A thin strip of hair will need to be shaved and that strip can be as long as ear to ear, but generally speaking, will be around 6-10 inches long. 
  2. Once the donor area is shaved, the surgeon will remove this entire strip from the scalp. You will be placed under local anaesthetic and won’t feel a thing. There may be an initial stinging with the anaesthetic, but you certainly won’t feel any of the procedure. Once that’s done, they’ll close the area with stitches. You should be able to cover the incision with hairs above the stitches. 
  3. The surgeon will then set about dissecting the strip removed from your scalp into thousands of individual grafts. This requires the use of microsurgical tools again and your grafts will be stored in perfect conditions again whilst they wait to be implanted. 
  4. Under local anaesthetic, the surgeon will make small holes in your scalp for the grafts to be implanted into. The grafting process can then begin. Grafting is the name given to the action of implanting the individual grafts into those small holes. All the grafts will have either 1, 2, 3 or 4 hairs. The 1s are placed at the hairline and the 4s are placed in the centre, with the 2s and 3s making a natural transition in hair density. 
  5. Again, the final step is to recover. The surgical sites will be covered with bandages or gauze. The healing process takes 7-10 days and there may be some residual numbness for a short while. The results are permanent, however. 

If you think that you would benefit from FUE/FUT surgery and would like to discuss these procedures, then you can request an obligation-free call from us, and we can talk you through your options. We also offer a quality guarantee on our hair transplants. Reclaiming your hair is a step towards reclaiming confidence, get in touch today and see how we can help!