What is the difference between FUT and FUE?

What is the difference between FUT and FUE?

By Dr. Mark Korman MD FRCSC,
Hair Restoration Surgeon

The fundamental principle of modern hair restoration surgery revolves around the “follicular unit.” Under microscopic examination, the scalp reveals hair growing in organic clusters, typically comprising one to four hairs each, known as follicular units (FUs). Preserving the integrity of these FUs during donor hair harvesting ensures that the transplanted hair maintains an entirely natural appearance. This starkly contrasts the outdated methods of “hair plugs” and large “minigrafts,” which often produce unsatisfactory cosmetic outcomes.

At Follicle HT, we exclusively utilize single follicular unit grafts, enabling us to achieve completely natural and virtually undetectable results. During a follicular unit hair transplant, these grafts are meticulously placed into minuscule recipient sites within the bald or thinning area using ultrafine needles or micro-surgical instruments. No tissue is excised in the recipient area. Thanks to the precision of this technique, we can craft highly natural hairlines and insert grafts between existing hairs to enhance density in thinning regions.

The two primary techniques available are follicular unit strip surgery (FUT) and follicular unit extraction surgery (FUE).

FUT

Follicular unit strip surgery (FUT) entails extracting a strip of skin containing hair follicles from the donor area and then segmenting it into follicular units for transplantation to various regions, such as the hairline. When conducted with precision, this procedure results in a fine-line scar along the scalp’s posterior, typically inconspicuous unless the surrounding hair is trimmed very short. At Follicle HT, our board-certified head and neck surgeons frequently employ a method known as “trichophytic closure,” enabling adjacent hairs to grow through the scar, rendering it highly challenging to discern.

FUT offers several advantages. Firstly, each graft is meticulously dissected under a stereotactic microscope, resulting in minimal transection of follicles and ensuring optimal graft health and growth. Additionally, only the hair designated for transplantation is trimmed short during FUT, unlike FUE, which requires a larger area to be clipped. As a result, the donor scar in FUT remains concealed by the surrounding hair, making it invisible immediately after surgery, a feature particularly valued by our female patients. However, a drawback of the FUT technique is the presence of a linear scar, which may become visible if the hair is cut very short (i.e., shorter than a #3 razor guard).

Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is the alternative to FUT surgery. This method entails manually extracting donor follicles one by one using a precise, motorized surgical punch, typically measuring only 0.8-0.9mm in diameter. The donor sites are so minuscule that they do not require sutures for closure; instead, they heal independently within a few days.

What is the difference between FUT and FUE?

FUE

The FUE technique offers the advantage of avoiding a longer, fine-line scar, allowing the hair in the donor area to be trimmed to a fade or shaved with minimal to no visible scar. However, a potential disadvantage of FUE surgery is that it may take longer, and there is a theoretical risk of higher follicle transection rates, especially with some automated graft harvesting systems that utilize rotating sharp punches. At Follicle HT, we use state-of-the-art hybrid punches to minimize graft transection and enhance graft viability and growth. Another drawback of the FUE technique is that it requires trimming a larger area at the back and sides of the scalp short for the graft harvesting process. This can pose a concern for female patients or males with longer hair who prefer not to cut short.

FUE surgery is occasionally promoted as a “no cut” or “no-scalpel technique.” However, we believe this characterization may be somewhat misleading for patients. While it’s accurate that FUE doesn’t entail a lengthy, linear incision or necessitate stitches, it results in tiny scars that may be visible in some patients, particularly if the hair is cut short or shaved.

Approximately 80% of our male patients opt for FUE surgery. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that FUT and FUE have their own pros and cons. Unlike certain clinics, our team at Follicle HT is extensively skilled in both techniques, and our surgeons will assist you in determining which approach is most suitable for your needs.

What is the difference between FUT and FUE?

Both FUE and FUT have advantages and disadvantages. At Follicle HT, we offer both FUT and FUE techniques because we feel that it is important that a full service hair transplantation center be prepared to offer care that is individualized to the needs of each patient.



We invite you to explore the information on this website and encourage you to contact us to schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons. We can guide you through the process and help you make sense of the sometimes confusing or even misleading claims that you may be confronted with. We encourage you to take the first step toward restoring your confidence.

Visit the Follicle HT Clinic and let us show you the reality of modern hair restoration.