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What You Need to Know About the Follicular Unit Transplantation Technique

FUT (follicular unit transplantation) involves moving small naturally occurring hair bundles from a permanent area of your scalp to where you have sparse or thinning hair. This procedure produces lifelong results.

The FUE technique uses tiny punches (0,8-1 mm) to extract intact follicular units. Although it lacked acceptance in its early years due to the difficulty of extracting intact follicular units with such a small punch, it has grown in popularity because of rising patient demand and the availability of better instrumentation and greater surgical skill acquired with experience.

Donor Area

follicular unit transplantation technique involves harvesting healthy hair follicles from a permanent area of your scalp where the hairs are genetically programmed to grow for life. Healthy hair is re-distributed from this area to thinning or balding areas, where it will grow normally and naturally.

The follicular units are extracted with the use of a special punch tool that is designed to minimize injury to the surrounding tissues. The punch is used to make a small circular incision around each follicular unit (FU), and then it is separated from the surrounding tissue with the help of forceps. The procedure is performed using innovative specialized tools and is very efficient regarding the number of follicles harvested per session.

Unlike the strip method, which produces linear scars on your scalp, FUE leaves small circles of scars in the donor site that are completely hidden when your hair is short or shaved. This is a significant advantage for those who want to wear short hair.

Older techniques for extracting follicular units were often more invasive. They produced cosmetic problems such as a ‘doll’s head’ appearance or ‘corn crow’ effect due to their 4mm diameter punches that cut through the healthy hairs. The follicular unit transplantation technique uses 0.8-1mm special micro punches that are far smaller and avoids these cosmetic issues.


Follicular unit transplantation is a surgical hair restoration technique for treating male and female pattern baldness. It is based on the concept that hair naturally grows in groups of 1-4 hairs. Your physician and team will use advanced techniques to extract many of these groupings from your donor area (the back and sides of the scalp) and implant them in thinning areas where they will provide natural density and coverage.

Unlike the Strip method, the Follicular Unit Extraction procedure does not leave a linear scar. Instead, your surgeon makes tiny openings in the scalp where the grafts will be placed, which heal within a few days.

In this process, the physician uses a punch with a diameter of 0.7 mm to 1 mm or motorized. The punch is inserted around the hair follicle to separate it from the loose connective tissue surrounding it underneath the skin. The follicular unit is then extracted using a pair of forceps. A sharp punch could sever the follicle, so it is preferable to use a dull punch to envelop it while separating it from the underlying tissue.

During the preparation phase, the physician may need to shave your scalp to harvest the required follicular units. This ensures that the follicles are harvested in the best condition possible for transplantation.


FUE hair transplant is a minimally invasive procedure that permanently restores thinning and balding areas with natural-looking results. It is not a replacement for other non-surgical treatments; it re-distributes healthy hair from the back and sides of your scalp to the thinning or balding areas. This is a proven, permanent solution to hair loss, and experienced physicians can evaluate your unique anatomic characteristics to determine if it is the best approach for you.

A two-step procedure ensures the follicular unit is not damaged during the process. The surgeon first scores the skin around the follicular unit with a sharp punch and then uses a blunt punch to cut deeper into the tissue and gently tease the follicle.

Compared to traditional methods, the specialized punch used in follicular unit extraction causes significantly fewer side effects and is much quicker to heal. As a result, patients can wear their hair short or completely shaved after the surgery. The small openings left behind in the donor area usually heal within a few days.


After the follicular unit grafts are harvested from the donor area, they will be kept in a nutritious solution to maintain vitality until implantation. This is one of the most important steps in hair transplantation and requires proper preparation to ensure the final results are natural.

The surgeon will use anesthesia to numb the recipient area at this stage. Then, he/she will create openings in the scalp where you have thinning hair or baldness. Using this technique, you can restore a full head of hair.

The surgeon will make a precise implantation line during the transplantation to achieve a natural-looking result. Then, he/she can place the follicular unit grafts into the new openings. The surgeon will use a state-of-the-art instrument called DHI Choi Implanter, making this process faster and easier.

The classic hair transplantation method, a Strip procedure, involves cutting a thin strip of skin from the back of your head and suturing it closed. This method allows doctors to harvest more hair follicles at once, but it has one major disadvantage: it leaves a linear scar on the scalp. A full head of hair can hide this scar, but it is still visible for some patients. The Follicular Unit Extraction technique (FUE) was developed to overcome this problem.

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