FUE or follicular unit extraction was created to ad an alternative procedure to hair restoration as the strip excision remained as the ONLY procedure for quite sometime. FUE means removing one follicular unit at a time by extracting them with a circular punch. Hair follicles do not exit the scalp one follicle at a time. They are grouped together as a 1, 2, 3, 4, and even 5 -7 follicles per follicular unit. A follicular unit also means a graft. Graft and follicular unit are equal terms. Below is a picture of follicular units on the scalp:
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As mentioned before, FUE was developed as an alternative to a strip excision for the reasons of not having a linear scar on the back of the scalp. Many people who like to wear their hair short opt for this procedure. And many folks just like knowing they do not have a scar in the back of their head. However FUE is not completely scar less. The extraction site will be devoid of hair and can leave a small circle or dot on the scalp. These spots are usually imperceptible to the naked eye if the FUE clinic adheres to using small punches and the extractions are randomized and not taken too closely to each other. An experienced FUE clinic will know the importance of this and perform FUE in this manner on each and every patient. We have 15 years of FUE non-robotic FUE and use a punch size of 0.8mm-0.9mm punch. It is well known in the hair transplant community that any punch size less than 1.0mm will produce visually acceptable results.
Now is everyone able to undergo an FUE? Yes technically everyone can however there are levels of difficulty between individuals and especially race. Afro curly hair can be difficult to the inexperienced practitioner. Straight course dark follicles are usually the easiest to extract. But everyone in our opinion and on some level can be an FUE candidate.
Is FUE right for you? This is a question that you have to come up with yourself with research and thought. Do you care about a linear scar? Some people don’t mind this because they wear their hair long and will never cut their hair short.
The yields of FUE in the most experienced FUE clinics such as Gulf Coast Hair Restoration are 95% or better. This is equal to the standard strip excision.