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FUE hair transplant: Methods, advantages and prices

FUE hair transplant is one of the most popular hair transplantation method, which yields fast and successful outcomes without requiring a surgery. In this method, hair follicles are collected one by one from intensive donor area by a special medical tool and implanted in thinning recipient area. A session may take 6 to 9 hours on average. Depending on the amount of hair follicles to be transplanted, 2 or more sessions at 1 or 2 days intervals can be asked. Costs may vary depending on the location or the quality of the clinic, the experience of the doctor or the volume of hair follicles to be transplanted. Mustache or eyebrow transplantation is also possible as well as hair transplantation. This method can easily be applied to every man or woman who has a problem of inherited baldness.    

What is FUE?

FUE (follicular unit extraction) is one of the hair transplant methods where hair follicles are removed one by one from the donor area and implanted one by one in the recipient area. His own hair follicles of the person from the back of the scalp or the sides are used for this process, not anybody else’s. It is a very effective solution for people who experience a hair loss problem. (1)

Advantages of FUE

  • Up to 5.000 follicular units can be transplanted in one session (each follicular unit has 1 to 4 hair)
  • Since each hair follicle is taken out one by one with a special medical tool, many white tiny spots of less than one millimeter diameter remain in the donor area. If the procedure is done properly, it is hardly noticeable even with a short haircut; white spots can be seen only if shaved completely.
  • Because there is no surgical incision (hence suture), treated areas heal faster. If an additional session is asked, it can be applied at least with 1 day intervals.
  • No pain or loss of sensation is experienced after the operation.
  • It’s ideal for mustache, eyebrow, beard implantation or scar repair. (1,2)

Who can benefit FUE?

Any healthy man or woman who are 20 to 75 years old with a problem of androgenetic alopecia (inherited baldness), and who has enough donor hair follicles to cover recipient areas. It may also be done for covering some scars caused by an accident or an injury. (3)

How is FUE done?

First, the patient is examined and his/her hair is analyzed for a successful outcome. Then, his/her Customized Hair Transplant Plan is prepared to suit the new hair perfectly with his/her profile. FUE procedure is done in 4 stages: (4)

1. Preparing donor site

  • Patient’s hair is shaved completely in order to determine the direction of hair follicles during extraction, and the scalp is washed with a special solution against the risk of infection.
  • Then, the boundaries of the donor area are drawn.
  • Last, the patient is given local anesthesia (conscious sedation) to reduce pain and calm down.
  • This stage takes about an hour. (5)

2. Extracting hair follicles

  • Hair follicles are picked up one by one from the sedated donor site, without thinning the hair, using manual or micro motor punch (a special piercing tool similar to a pen) of a 0.7 to 0.8 mm diameter. Although this process varies depending on hair follicles to be collected, it may take 3 hours on average.
  • The hair follicles, which are then preserved in physiological saline solution at a low temperature, are treated with great care under the microscope for preparing the recipient area for the hair transplant. (6)

3. Preparing the recipient area

  • Recipient area is marked in accordance with the customized hair transplant plan.
  • Channels are opened by using medical tools according to the thickness and depth of the hair follicles in the sedated area.
  • Specific standards regarding distribution, size and direction are followed.
  • Processing time depends on the number of channels to be opened. (1)

4. Implanting hair follicles

  • In this last stage, the hair follicles are rigorously implanted one by one at the appropriate angle and direction in the channels that are opened, considering the growth conditions of the hair.
  • Single hair follicular units are used to create a natural hairline.
  • Two hair follicular units are implanted behind the single units, and 3-4 hairy units in the middle of the scalp.
  • Depending on the number of hair follicles to be implanted, the procedure takes about 3 hours. (1)

After FUE hair transplant is completed, the treated area is thoroughly checked and bandaged, and the patient is informed about the rules to be followed. Medications are prescribed for pain or a risk of infection. The next day, the bandage is removed and wounds are dressed.

A few days after the hair transplant, the patient may return to his/her normal life and work. Doctor informs each patient personally and gives special instructions depending on the profession.

How long does FUE take?

The duration of a session varies depending on the amount of hair follicle to be transplanted and the experience of the surgeon. The average time is 6 to 9 hours. Patients can eat something in 10 to 15 minutes breaks, and go home after the session is finished. If the area to be transplanted is large, 2 or more sessions may be required, at least 1 or 2 days apart, depending on the patient’s condition. (1)

When does new hair grow after FUE?

  • Itching and inflammation may occur in the first 15 days. Besides, small wounds that go away spontaneously may develop. (Consult your doctor if crusting takes longer.)
  • Some or all of the hair implanted between 3 weeks and 2 months may fall down.
  • When the hair follicles adapt to their new environment, from the 3rd month on, new hair starts to grow (approximately 1 cm per month).
  • Hair continues to grow stronger from the 6th month on.
  • A completely natural outlook is achieved after 1 year.

Physiological saline solution or aloe vera gel can be applied to relieve itching.

After FUE hair transplant

  • The first day after the transplant is very important. Consume plenty of fluids and do not be involved in challenging activities. Have a good rest.
  • Sleep on your back, and use a hard and small pillow.
  • Wash your hair gently with your fingers and palms, never use your nails, with warm water and shampoo recommended by the doctor, 4 days after the transplant. (Usually the doctor does the first wash.) Then, dry it gently with a towel without using a hairdryer.
  • In the first 3 days, do not use accessories like hats except a special headgear given to you. Then, you can use loose and breathable net caps to protect your hair against external influences such as sun, dust and so on.
  • In the first week, avoid activities causing sweating. Make sure that your scalp doesn’t sweat.
  • Avoid stress and stressful environments as this may delay settling hair follicles down.
  • Since the risk of infection is high, take the antibiotics regularly as prescribed by your doctor. Avoid taking alcohol while using antibiotics.
  • Do not start any sports for about 2 months.
  • You can cut your hair with scissors after 3 months and with a razor after 6 months.
  • Do not go to the sea, baths or sauna-like places during the time indicated by your doctor.
  • Wear buttoned clothes for a while to avoid any damage to your hair while dressing up or undressing.

FUE hair transplant cost

FUE hair transplant prices depend on:

  • Amount of hair follicles to be implanted
  • Medical devices to be used
  • Location of the clinic and its reliability
  • Success of the surgeons

FUE prices range from $ 4,000 to $ 15,000. You can get approximate prices from the clinics by sending your profile via e-mails.

Do not get the hair transplant done in clinics that are not licensed, just because it is cheaper. Improper operations can lead to irreversible results.

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