Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) or Strip Harvesting
FUT hair transplants – otherwise known as Follicular Unit Transplantation or strip harvesting – are a popular type of hair restoration.
As opposed to an FUE Transplant, which involves harvesting individual hairs, an 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 who are seeking a permanent remedy to their baldness. However, around 10% of our patients are women, and many women do struggle with hair loss at some point in their lives, which is why anyone can benefit from an FUT procedure.
Many people find that hair loss can damage their self-esteem and even their career prospects. Hair transplantation is a permanent solution to this problem, as 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, which gives the surgeon a stable supply of donor hair which can cover current and future areas of hair loss.
It is worth noting that we only 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 the age of 25, the pattern is not fully formed, and it is not in the patient's best interests to operate.
Is an FUT transplant safe?
Yes, undergoing an FUT hair transplant is safe if the surgery is performed by a qualified and experienced surgeon, such as Crown Clinic’s Dr Shahmalak, who is one of the most respected hair transplant surgeons in the world.
Although this hair restoration technique requires great precision and care, for a professional clinician such as Dr Shahmalak, it is relatively simple.
Will I need my head shaved for an FUT hair transplant?
Many people worry that they will have to shave their head before an FUT transplant, but actually it can be performed with little to no head-shaving involved. If you have long hair and are thinking about FUT surgery, rest assured that you won’t need to have your head shaved. In fact, as FUT can leave some scarring, having longer hair can help disguise this.
What to expect from your hair transplant consultation.
Whether you’re considering a FUT hair transplant or another hair loss procedure, it’s critical that you firstly book in a consultation. A consultation is not only advised to discuss the procedure, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to meet and speak with your surgeon.
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. The consultation will also help both parties plan the next steps, manage expectations of the procedure, and highlight any risks or issues that may occur.
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.
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.
Sleeping at a 45-degree angle will ensure there are no further unnecessary complications.
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 is important to avoid dirt and bacteria or tampering with donor area or the planted follicles during the healing process.
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.
If you are interested in a hair transplant or have any questions, contact us today to arrange a consultation with Crown Clinic.
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."
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