Follicular Unit Extraction/Follicular Transfer (FUE/FT) for Hair Loss

FUE is often recognised as the newest and most efficient form of hair transplants available at the moment. This is because it does not require the removal of a patch, circle, or strip of scalp as with other methods. Micrografting removes a small strip of scalp from which follicle units are removed and placed into small incisions in the scalp.  FUE is a similar process in that it only transplants entire follicle units into pin-point incisions in the balding areas, but instead of taking the scalp off to remove the follicles, the surgeon will remove each FU from the actual scalp and place it onto the balding areas directly.

What is a Follicular Unit?

In the 1980s it was discovered that human hairs do not generally grow individually, but rather grow in units supported by a single follicle. Each unit has a group of 1-4 mature hairs called terminal hairs as well as 1-2 new hairs referred to as vellus hairs. These small groups of hairs, or follicular units, share the same nerve, blood vessel, and even the same tissue sheath. The sheath then connects the hairs to a sebaceous, or oil-producing, gland and to the erector pili, a small muscle. Once it was determined how the hairs are arranged, the medical techniques to transplant hair therefore had to evolve in order to create better looking transplants. Instead of taking a relatively large swatch of scalp and hair then transplanting the entire section of skin to a different area of the head, it is better to follow the hairs’ natural schematics and remove individual follicular units with sheath, glands, muscle cells and all. Once this unit is removed, it can then be placed as a whole into small slits in other regions of the scalp where they could have a better chance of growing as naturally as they did in their original regions.