Hair transplant treatment, as we know it today, has come a long way since it was first initiated in the 1950s. Subsequently, mini and micrografting were introduced and eventually in the 1990s, FUT(Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation) became all the rage. FUT or strip method, means harvesting the hair follicle from the back of scalp by cutting out a strip of skin with hair follicles and transfer to the hair loss area. However, this approach will result in a linear scar on the spot where the hair has been extracted from.
To avoid this, research and development of new methodologies began, which focused on a new kind of hair transplant that does not involve strip harvesting. As a result, FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) was invented. Keep reading to find out more about this revolutionary hair transplant technique.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplants is a methodology where the individual hair follicle is harvested from your back of scalp (donor) and the follicles are implanted in the hair loss area (recipient), in order to give your hair more thickness and volume.
FUT involves surgical strip removal of hair and skin from the donor area, which will leaves a linear scar. The donor area is where the hair is harvested from, usually at the back or side of scalp. This is where FUE enters the picture.
FUE is a type of transplant methodology where the strip harvesting process, which is responsible for linear scar, is not used. Instead, follicular units are uniquely and separately harvested, straight from the area with healthy hair. Even though it takes more time to extract hair through this procedure, it causes considerably low scarring of the harvested area. In fact, as far as the FUE transplant is concerned, the scarring is generally undetectable, even if you keep your donor area hair short. Furthermore, you would need less downtime for healing under FUE treatment.
Another reason why FUE is preferred can be largely attributed to its ability to deliver a more natural-looking hair, instead of the artificial “hair plug” look of FUT, where certain spots of the skin or hair stood out like sore thumbs from the nearby areas.
As per clinical studies, 85% – 95% of grafts survived in the recipient area. It’s a high success rate reflecting hair transplants are extremely satisfying for both the patient and service provider.
To further increase the success rate, one can consider the following add on methods:
Doctor will numb the scalp by injecting local anaesthesia (LA) (lignocaine or bupivacaine) around the scalp (ring block). During this LA injection you may feel like multiple ant bite (pain score 3/10). After 20 minutes, your scalp will be numb and subsequently you will not feel pain.
After the procedure, you may feel mild pain when the LA wean off (pain score 2/10), which may last for a few hours. However, this can be easily relieved by oral pain killer. Usually you shouldn’t feel pain on the next day of procedure.
Downtime depends on the number of graft being transplanted, your skin condition, general health and age. You will need 1-2 days for the scalp wound to dry up. Mild swelling of scalp may track down to forehead and eye area (due to gravity) for about 3-4 days. As a general guide, it is better to rest at home and avoid sweating for 5-7 days to prevent infection or graft loss.
If you have receding hairline, thinner hair and low density of hair on the top, these are the signs of balding. When you have tried other methods for more than 6 months and see no result, then you should consider your ultimate way to restore hair which is FUE hair transplantation.
The average cost of undergoing the FUE hair transplant falls between SGD $8,000 to $15,000, depending on number of grafts. In general, the average cost per graft amounts to $5-7 per graft. To have good result, you will normally requires 2000-3000 grafts. Bear in mind that one graft often contain 2-3 hairs.
The transfer of hair graft follicles from the donor area to recipient area is indeed permanent. The transplanted hair follicles from the back of scalp are often stronger and less affected by hormone, so they won’t fall easily. Studies have shown that transplanted hair can last for more than 20 years.
After FUE hair transplant, it takes 4-6 months to show results. Some may even take up to one year to see full result. Most people require just one session of hair transplant in his/her lifetime.
All-in-all, it is the most effective solution for balding especially for people with hair loss issues at a relatively young age. Gain your confidence back with a reliable hair treatment!