A well-known and long-standing method of hair transplantation is the strip method, otherwise known as follicular unit transplantation or FUT. With this technique, a strip of skin and hair is removed from the back of the head, sectioned into grafts, and transplanted in the receptor area.
- Excessive scarring
- The hair in the donor area is completely sacrificed for the transplantations, making it impossible to reuse
This method results in excessive scarring in the both donor area and the receptor area because square grafts are transplanted into round holes, causing scar tissue to form. These obvious and unattractive scars are the biggest disadvantage of this method, which also happens to be the most painful.
This technique also results in hair retention of just 70 to 95%, as some of the grafts inevitably fall out or are unsuitable for transplantation. This means hair loss of 5 to 30%. Of course, the end result differs per person.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
A second, more modern technique is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). This technique extracts entire hair follicles from the donor area one by one and transplants them in the receptor area. FUE results in dozens of small, round scars in the donor area.
- Excessive visible scarring
- Painful technique
- No regrowth
A major disadvantage of the FUT and FUE transplant methods is that the extracted follicles are removed entirely, creating an even smaller donor area. Hair transplant methods that use these techniques have a limited number of donor follicles as no regrowth occurs in the donor area after transplantation.
The FUE method results in hair retention of 90 to 96%, as some of the grafts inevitably fall out or are unsuitable for transplantation. This means hair loss of 5 to 10%. Moreover, neither of these methods allow for short hairstyles due to clearly visible scarring.
An overview of the differences between the two methods
The table below shows the differences at a glance.
|Sedatives before treatment||usually||usually|
|Pain during procedure||some||no|
|Scarring in donor area||yes, one large scar||yes, white dots|
|Loss of donor area||yes||yes|
|Reusability of donor area||limited||limited|
|Pain after treatment||yes||limited|
|Swelling after treatment||yes||yes|
|Recovery period||14 days||10 days|
|Maximum number of grafts per treatment||2500-3000||2000|
|Body hair transplant possible||no||limited|
|Treatment of scars and burn wounds||very limited||acceptable|
|Treatment of eyebrows, moustache and beard||very limited||acceptable|