What´s the difference between hairs, follicular units and grafts?

A hair transplant relies on the fact we can remove hair from the back and sides of the head and place them over the top of the scalp to give coverage and the illusion of high density to mimic nature.

Hairs are single shafts growing from a follicle embedded in the skin, the hairs grows, rests and falls out before it regrows again and goes through the same process time and time again. A follicular unit can be a single hair also, but a follicular unit can also be up to 4 hairs. An FU is a group of hairs that grow in tight bunches from 1 to 4 hairs normally.

The follicular units are spread around the scalp. There is a higher concentration of smaller FU´s around the sides of the head, with the larger follicular units, 3 and 4 hair units situated around the occipital bone, or the back of the head. So hairs to FU`s, you can have 5000 FU´s but the number of hairs could be anything from 5000 if all single hair units to 20,000 hairs if all 4 hair follicular units. This can make a huge difference to the quality of the hair transplant. Most hair transplant clinics use the phrase follicular units when saying how large the hair transplant procedure was. They will also give you the hair to FU count so you can compare the number of hairs; averaging to around 2.2 hairs per FU.

The definition of a graft is a piece of living tissue that is transplanted surgically. The term graft applies to the follicular unit in a hair transplant procedure. The term graft and follicular unit can imply the same. As the term graft technically only means a piece of tissue it is important to determine what the clinic refers to it as. Many clinics will say you have had “x” amount of grafts placed, and this can mean FU´s, but it important to understand the meaning prior to making your decision.

When quoted for a hair transplant it is common you are told you pay per graft placed, confirm this means pay for every intact FU placed and ask for the hair to FU count. As before there should be an approximate average hair count of 2.2 hair per FU/graft, if this is significantly lower it can impair the quality of the hair transplant and mean paying significantly more on average to the number of hairs.

Always research before making any decision on having a hair transplant

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