Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is a hair transplant technique that involves extracting individual hair follicles from your skin, usually the back or side of the head, and transplanting them to another part of your body where hair is weaker or nonexistent. FUE hair transplant has become one of the most commonly used procedures because it is less painful and causes minimal to no scarring compared to other treatments, and provides aesthetically pleasing results, with the new hair looking thick and healthy.
FUE involves using micro punches to extract and relocate single follicles, leaving almost no evidence of any surgical procedure.
Our experienced dermatologist and hair transplant expert, Dr Fadi Al Sabbagh, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery. He is a well-known dermatologist in the Gulf area, with over 15 years of experience treating skin diseases and performing cosmetic procedures and skin surgery. He serves as an examiner at the American Board Committee of Hair Restoration Board Examination and has performed more than 2500 hair transplant procedures.
FUE hair transplant benefits
- Minor side effects.
- Fast healing and speedy recovery.
- Natural-looking results (fuller, thicker hair).
- Boost self-confidence.
- Little or no scarring.
Am I a suitable candidate for this procedure?
The best candidate for the FUE hair transplant is someone with thinning hair or balding but still has enough hair nearby to use for a transplant. You may not be eligible for a hair transplant if you do not have enough healthy or thick hair to transplant to the thinning or balding area.
If you are concerned about thinning hair or turning bald, the process can help you feel more confident about your appearance. During your consultation, our dermatologist will discuss your concerns, answer all your questions, and explain what will happen during and after the procedure.
Before the procedure
To ensure that you are a viable candidate for hair transplantation our expert dermatologist will first conduct a thorough consultation. He will perform blood tests and scalp biopsies to look for underlying causes of hair loss and possible infections. He will remove several dozen hairs and examine them under a microscope to check the quality and condition of the hair shaft. He will also take a comprehensive medical and family history, as hair loss is very often hereditary.
The following are the pre-op instructions that you need to follow before your FUE procedure:
- Refrain from smoking for at least a day before your procedure.
- Avoid drinking alcohol for at least three days before your surgery.
- Avoid taking aspirin, blood thinners, or antidepressants for about two weeks before your surgery.
- Stop taking any vitamins or nutritional supplements for two weeks before your surgery.
- Avoid getting your hair cut before the surgery.
- Take any of the medications prescribed by your surgeon.
During the procedure
FUE hair transplant replaces lost follicles with new ones that mimic the natural hair growth of the recipient area. Following the transplant, blood vessels will nourish the new follicles that will start growing hair in the area where there was previously thin hair or balding.
The FUE procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia and works as follows:
- Your surgeon will shave down the hair in the area where they will remove the follicles (usually the back of your scalp) and around the transplant area.
- They will remove follicles from your skin one by one using a micro punch tool.
- Your doctor will then make a series of tiny incisions in the recipient area using a needle or other small, sharp instrument to insert the extracted follicles.
- After the extracted follicles are successfully transplanted, the surgeon will clean and bandage the area for recovery.
- The FUE hair transplant takes between four and eight hours, depending on the number of the transplanted follicles and the size of the recipient area. The surgery is time-consuming because it requires placing the hair follicles one by one, which is the key to a natural-looking result.
The recovery time from FUE is relatively short. You may experience short-term effects, such as swelling, bruising, and sensitivity, but they will subside after a few days.
Your doctor may give you the following aftercare instructions:
- Avoid washing your hair for at least three days.
- Use soft, unscented shampoos for the first few weeks.
- Take a couple of days off work to help speed up healing.
- Avoid combing your new hair for the first three weeks.
- Refrain from engaging in any strenuous physical activity for at least a week.
Some hairs may fall out during the healing process, which is normal. You will probably start to see a difference after three to four months.
Your scalp may be sensitive after surgery, and you may have to take pain relievers for several days. For at least a day or two, your surgeon will have you wear bandages over your scalp. They might also prescribe an antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory for you to take for several days. Most people can return to work two to five days after surgery.
The transplanted hair will fall out two to three weeks following surgery, but new growth should appear within a few months.