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Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) or Strip Harvesting

FUT hair transplants stand for Follicular Unit Transplantation. It is also referred to as strip harvesting, and it’s a popular hair transplant procedure that Crown Clinic Specialises in. This particular hair transplant procedure was the chosen method for Embarrassing Bodies presenter Christian Jessen, who decided to have his hair loss treatment at Crown Clinic.

As opposed to a FUE Transplant which involves harvesting individual hairs, a FUT allows the surgeon to safely transplant thousands of grafts in a single session to maximise the cosmetic impact of the procedure. During the hair loss procedure, a strip of hair is removed from either the sides or back of the scalp and transplanted to the affected area.

Why have an FUT hair transplant?

A third of men lose their hair by the time they are 30; 40% lose it by the time they are 40 and over half of the men over 50 show signs of baldness. Nine out of ten patients at Crown Clinic are men seeking a permanent remedy to their baldness. Around 10% of our patients are women who have experienced problems with thinning hair, and half of the women will suffer hair loss in their lives. With hair loss an issue for both genders, both men and women can benefit from a FUT procedure.

We treat hair transplant patients for the following reasons:

  • By far, the most popular reason is not cosmetic; men find that hair loss can damage their self-esteem and even their career prospects. Hair transplantation is a permanent solution to this problem. The transplanted hair is highly durable and should last the patient for the rest of his or her life.
  • Virtually all men, even those in the advanced stages of baldness, have a permanent horseshoe of hair on the back and sides of the scalp. This gives the surgeon a stable supply of donor hair which can cover current and future areas of hair loss.
  • We tend to operate on patients aged 25 and over, as, by this age, we can establish what the eventual pattern of hair loss might be. Prior to 25, the pattern is not fully formed, and it is not in the patient's best interests to operate.

What to Expect from a Consultation

Whether you’re considering a FUT hair transplant or another hair loss procedure, it’s critical that you firstly book in a consultation with a reputable hair surgeon such as Crown Clinic’s Dr Shahmalak. Please, feel free to contact our hair loss clinic for more information regarding a Follicular Unit Transplantation.

A consultation is not only advised to discuss the procedure, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to meet and speak with our specialist hair loss surgeon Dr Asim Shahmalak, who is one of the most respected hair transplant surgeons in the world. He is renowned for his ground-breaking techniques and a friendly and professional manner.

Your first meeting will help us to prepare for your case and assess what we’re working with. It’s also a great opportunity to ask any questions and iron out any concerns you may have.

A consultation will also help both parties plan the next steps, manage expectations of the procedure, and highlight any risks or issues that may occur. These consultations are essential for ensuring that you feel comfortable and are 100% sure when you come to the clinic to undergo your hair transplant.

If you’re at the start of your journey, and you’re looking to further educate yourself about hair transplants and the various procedures available, our ‘Treatments’ pages are a great place to start. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about the topic. You’ll also find case studies of the various celebrities that we have worked with in recent years including Calum Best, footballer Didi Hamman and Gogglebox Star Chris Steed. There are also real-life examples of some of the more everyday hair transplants we carry out as well as information around eyebrow, eyelash, beard transplants and more.

Is a FUT Transplant Safe?

Yes, undergoing a FUT hair transplant is safe if performed by a qualified and experienced surgeon, such as Dr Shahmalak. Although this hair restoration technique requires great precision and care, for a professional clinician, it is relatively simple.

What Should be Done Immediately After a FUT Hair Transplant Procedure?

Once the FUT hair transplant procedure is complete, there are several measures to take to help minimise any potential issues during the recovery period.

  • To minimise swelling, it’s essential to sleep with the head elevated to a 45-degree angle for the first 3-4 nights after surgery.

What Is the Expected Recovery Timeline for A FUT Hair Transplant?

Once the hair transplant has finished, within the 20 minutes, you can go home. However, we strongly advise that you don’t drive and have someone available to pick you up.

A FUT hair transplant will leave a scar on the scalp, but this is generally not detectable beneath the hair of patients unless they shave their head around the scar tissue.

Thanks to the modern hair transplantation techniques used at Crown Clinic, we can produce minimally visible results - even under the closest scrutiny.

New hair growth will start to grow back around four months after the procedure. However, it will take at least six to eight months for the new hair to make any significant difference to your appearance.

Will I Feel Pain After a FUT Hair Transplant Procedure?

Following the procedure, the surgeon will prescribe you appropriate medication to manage any pain.

Will I Suffer from Swelling After a Hair Transplant Procedure?

There is a possibility of swelling following the procedure, which is usually around the forehead and generally appears between the second to the fourth day of recovery. However, this is normal and a temporary phase; it is not a sign of further issues. If you do have concerns, it’s important that you contact Crown Clinic.

Again, sleeping at a 45-degree angle will ensure there are no further unnecessary complications.

Am I at Risk of Infection After a FUT Hair Transplant

Like with any surgical procedure, there is always some risk of infection; however, these are generally low. Infections from hair transplant surgery are unlikely to happen. It’s important to avoid dirt and bacteria or tampering with donor area or the planted follicles during the healing process.

Patients should report any issues to their doctor immediately.

If you are interested in a hair transplant or have any questions, contact us today to arrange a consultation.

Dr Christian Jessen - successful FUT hair transplant transplant patient at Crown Clinic

Dr Christian Jessen, the presenter of the channel 4 medical show Embarrassing Bodies, has had two FUT hair transplants at Crown Clinic.

He has publicly thanked our surgeon Asim Shahmalak for restoring his hair - describing him glowingly as 'my brilliant surgeon.' Dr Shahmalak is very proud to be known as 'the doctor's doctor.'

Dr Jessen met Dr Shahmalak while filming Embarrassing Bodies - Asim is the hair loss expert on the show and has been filmed carrying out hair transplants on patients featured on the show.

Dr Jessen had his first procedure at Crown Clinic in 2009 and then a second procedure in 2013. On both occasions around 3,000 hairs were transplanted from the back and sides of the scalp to fill out the front of Dr Jessen's hair line.

Dr Jessen said: "I am very pleased I had it done - it has been very empowering for me. I thought to myself, 'Why am I always telling people how to change things about their bodies that they dislike if I can't do the same thing for myself?'

"Dr Shahmalak has a very nice manner and is very calm and I am very pleased with the results he gets."

Dr Shahmalak said: "All my patients get the same level of care but I love the fact that I am the doctor's doctor. Being recommended by a doctor or treating a doctor such as Christian is the ultimate compliment."

View full Case Study

The Difference between FUT and FUE

FUE and FUT aren’t actually separate techniques but they are often talked about in opposition to each other. Instead FUE is part of FUT, as it uses extracted follicular units which are prepared individually before being transplanted.

The other technique involves taking a strip of hair follicles all at once then extracting the units before they are transplanted. This is known as strip excision and results in more prominent scarring.

Read about the pros and cons of FUE and Strip Excision here.

Why Choose FUT hair transplants?

  • Usually less expensive than FUE
  • Procedure can be less time-consuming
  • Unlike with FUT, in large FUE sessions the entire donor site needs to be shaved, posing a cosmetic issue for certain people
  • Maximum Follicular Unit Yield is greater