Hair transplantation can be credited with helping a number of people help regain confidence in their looks. It is an active area of research and the public interest on the subject has only grown over time. The most commonly used method of hair transplantation is FUT or Follicle Unit Transplantation. In this method, a strip of hair containing tissue is extracted from the donor region of the body. Next, the hair follicles in the tissue are placed in the recipient areas.
However, recently, a more sophisticated and refined method has been changing the hair transplantation landscape: FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction.
FUE hair transplants: the process
In FUE hair transplants, individual hair follicles are extracted using a special extraction instrument which is less than 1 mm in diameter. Once these follicles have been extracted, they are then placed in predetermined places in the recipient area with the help of powerful microscopes. The are placed one at a time or in a group of four hairs, the same pattern in which hairs naturally grow.
Though it sounds simple, it has some complications associated with it. The hair follicles which are removed are now devoid of nutrition. Hence, they need to be re-placed soon or they may wither away. Also, due to the complexity of the process, follicles may be transected in the process. If a follicle is transected, it is no longer useful. The number of transected follicles can get to worrying levels, in case the surgeon is not skilled enough.
Despite the complexity, FUE hair transplants offer a host of advantages. Firstly, an entire tissue is not extracted. This saves the number of hair follicles lost by the donor region and also causes less pain. Moreover, FUE hair transplants only leave behind small round patches of bare skin rather than a large patch as in the case of a FUT. These small patches lead to a faster recovery.
Also, an FUE can be planned on seperate and consecutive days while an FUT cannot be.
There are, no doubt, certain practical problems associated with FUE hair transplants. They require more skilled surgeons, are more complex and take more time. Consequentially, they are also more expensive.
Besides, the number of follicles which may be transected remains a concern. The process also suffers from another drawback. The time taken between removing a hair follicle and placing it back cannot be too long. Else, the follicle may wither away.
FUE hair transplants may require a lot of skill and may, at present, also be expensive but they are here to stay. They are less invasive, less painful and much more sophisticated. Overall, they produce much better results. Also, over time, more efficient ways will help in cutting down the high costs presently associated with the system!