There are considered to be 2 hair transplant techniques that bring the best results; known as Follicular Unit Transplant “FUT” and Follicular Unit Extraction or “FUE”. They both involve the movement of follicular units “FU´s” from the donor area (the sides and back of the scalp to the area of hair loss, commonly known as the recipient area. It is the mode of extraction that differs between the 2 techniques.
FUE relies on a cylindrical punch surrounding an individual FU, making a punch incision and then the graft is removed, normally manually with forceps; the grafts are cleaned and placed in their relevant hair grouping. FUT relies on the FU´s being removed in a single strip from the donor area; the strip is then dissected and the individual FU´s are cleaned under microscopes, and then placed into their natural hair groupings.
FUT in general the FU´s are stronger due to having more fatty tissue surrounding them; this is due to more tissue can be left on the graft opposed to FUE, as the punch diameter has to be small to not leave too much visible scarring. As FUT removes a thin hair bearing strip from around the back and sides the overall density change is minimal whereas FUE reduces the overall density as the surface area remains the same just with less hair.
FUE can leave small cylindrical scars over the donor area, not easily seen with a little hair length; FUT leaves a thin linear scar, again not seen with a little hair length. Each technique has pros and cons and it important to understand why one maybe the better option over the other. Correct donor management is important to ensure the most FU´s can be removed safely and with minimum change to the area. With educated donor management and planning for the future the best results can be achieved long term.