The difference between FUE and FUT hair transplant

Human hand writing in the board with a marker about hair transplant, hairline and bald

Losing a hundred hair strands every day is normal, says the American Academy of Dermatologists. However, if your scalp suffers from bald spots, patchy skin, and receding hairline, then you know you need to see a doctor.

There are many over-the-counter and prescriptive remedies available to stop hair loss. These solutions may not work out for some, and they have to resort to hair transplants to take care of hair loss.  

A hair transplant is an effective and lasting remedy for falling hair. But it is an expensive procedure. It may cost you about Rs 35,000 to Rs 1,50,000 per session.

Yes, that is right, it is a big decision to make. So you would want to know exactly;

  • What is a hair transplant?
  • Different methods of hair transplant
  • Difference between FUT and FUE transplant methods
  • Any side effects of hair transplant procedures

The subject article would help you be sure about hair transplant procedures before making an appointment at any aesthetic skin clinic. So let’s begin.

What is a hair transplant?

Many questions come to our minds when we talk of hair transplants.

Who can do hair transplants? 

A skin specialist with training in aesthetic surgery usually carries out the procedure.

Is it painful?

A hair transplant is a surgical procedure. The word surgery is scary for some people. You should know that hair transplants procedures have advanced since their beginning. Improved methods are less invasive and less painful.

Sure there is minor discomfort during and after the process. But since hair transplants require only local anaesthesia, so you do not feel any pain.

What is the primary step of hair transplants?

The doctor removes hair from the back or side of your scalp and transplants it to the balding area.

Different methods of hair transplant

There are two basic methods to do hair transplants.

1) FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) or the Strip method

The doctor takes a strip of scalp skin with hair from the back of your head. The strip is cut into smaller pieces called follicular units.

2) FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) method

It involves the pneumatic extraction of individual follicles from your scalp with healthy hair. Pneumatic means removal of each strand by air suction.

What is the deal about FUT and FUE transplant methods?

Although FUE is considered to be more advanced than its counterpart, a transplant’s success rate is high with both the FUE and FUT methods. Because every patient is different, the doctor can make a better choice when it comes to selecting a plan for each patient.

Yet, the two differ in the hair harvesting methods. While the FUT involves taking a whole skin strip as a graft, the FUE takes only the hair follicle.

So the post-operative management is different for either of the methods. The side effects of the two ways are also variable.

For FUT, the steps include;

  • Removal of a strip of scalp from the donor area, followed by the area’s closure with stitches.
  • The scalp strip is cut into thousands of tiny pieces; some of them may have one hair.
  • Punching of the transplant area with small holes to receive the tiny skin grafts.
  • Insertion of hair into the punctured holes.
  • The doctor covers the transplant area with bandages.

For FUE, the steps include;

  • Shaving off the hair at the donor site.
  • Individual follicles are taken out either manually or using a motorized surgical tool.
  • Small holes are punched out at the transplant area and filled with grafted hair.
  • The transplant site is covered with a bandage. 

Here are the similarities between both the procedures.

  • The donor areas are usually the back and side of the scalp.
  • Healthy hair grafts are taken from the donor areas.
  • Tiny incisions are made into the area affected by hair loss.
  • The grafts are carefully distributed and positioned into the incisions.
  • Both procedures may take several hours per session. 
  • Depending upon the amount of work, you may require several sessions.
  • There is no downtime for either of the methods, meaning you can go home the same day.   

Some of the differences between FUT and FUE hair transplants include;

The FUT is a good option

  • Cases requiring a large number of grafts
  • Patients wanting maximum fullness because it provides donor hair yield in generous amounts
  • No need to shave the full head
  • When patients are short on time because it can be completed in a few hours
  • Less expensive than FUE

While the FUE differs from FUT as;

  • less invasive than FUT
  • less painful than FUT
  • no stitching required of the donor site
  • less downtime
  • better results as regards hair growth
  • no scarring, no stretching of the scalp scars
  • the donor site heals in less time
  • best for individuals requiring more than one sessions
  • a better option for people who like to keep their hair short
  • a right choice for small hair transplants, particularly in younger patients

Side effects of hair transplants

Both procedures are invasive, meaning they require incisions, cuts, and punching holes. Side effects can occur if the doctor is not qualified or fails to adopt acceptable hygienic practices.

  • crust formation or pus drainage around the incisions
  • pain, itching, stretching, and swelling of the scalp skin
  • inflammation and redness of hair follicles
  • infection of the scalp skin
  • bleeding from scars
  • loss of sensation
  • mismatched or un-natural look
  • transplanted areas continue losing hair or loss of transplanted hair due to shock (temporary)
  • bruising around the eyes

Hair transplant cost in India

The cost of a hair transplant depends upon;

  • The area involved in the transplant
  • Number of sessions
  • Number of grafts per session
  • Experience and reputation of the surgeon
  • Technique used
  • Patient’s health

The estimated cost of FUE hair transplant ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 65,000 and FUT is about Rs 30,000 for 1000 strands. Robotic FUE cost starts from Rs 50,000. Different clinics cater to different rates when it comes to FUE and FUT procedures.

For example, a hair transplant in Delhi would cost – Rs 40,000 to Rs.50,000 for FUE and Rs.30,000 to Rs.40,000 for FUT per 1000 grafts. This is the average cost of hair transplant in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune.

The actual cost of hair transplant depends on the expectations of the patient and the hair loss stage

Take home message

If your hairline is receding, you are not alone. Do not worry because hair transplant techniques have advanced to give you safer and cost-effective solutions.

However, choosing the right clinic is important because an expert doctor knows which plan would suit you best. Also, a talented doctor gets the best results with minimum side effects.

Be careful when searching the Google for Doctors or clinics that do hair transplants. Some pay to advertise their services on Google.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Paurush, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.