Often times we at US Hair Restoration receive questions about the difference between the FUT Strip Method and the FUE procedure. Some will make claims that one option is superior, while the other is inferior. Both hair transplant techniques are done in US Hair Restoration and have their own adavntages and disadvantages. Here is a list of reasons supporting both the strengths and weaknesses of the FUT Strip Method and the FUE:
The FUT Strip Method
• Allows the hair transplant surgeon to transplant a larger number of grafts in one session. Most people who have never had a hair transplant surgery can have maximum results in only one procedure.
• Allows the surgeon(s) to process and harvest the grafts under a microscope minimizing the level of damaged hair follicles.
• Can be achieved at a more rapid speed than the FUE.
• What can be achieved in one FUT strip procedure can take 2-3 FUE surgeries.
• The number of damaged grafts might be greater for certain patients which undergo the FUE procedure because of their unique hair characteristics. People with wavy or curly hair may have a higher risk of transection than patients with straight hair. A FOX test may be performed on patients with curly hair or wavy hair to determine whether or not they make good candidates for an FUE procedure. A FOX test is a small FUE procedure which helps to determine the level of damage to follicular graft before proceeding with a complete FUE transplantation procedure.
• The FUE requires more tedious labor and the cost for performing an FUE is usually more than a strip hair transplant.
• FUE procedures require a highly skilled operator and create a technical challenge for less experienced technicians who don’t have good hand-eye coordination.
The majority of the patients which receive a hair transplant with the strip method are going to have a linear scar on their donor area. This scar can be minimized with certain surgical techniques such as the trichophytic closure, but it can never completely be eliminated. FUE hair transplant procedures offer unique advantages for differing patient circumstances.
• The scar visibility is slightly noticeable to completely non-existent with the FUE. It may leave some miniature spots because of a lack of hair in that particular area or de-pigmentation, like a small dot which is lighter when seen close up.
• Hair can be kept short after the Hair Transplant surgery in front and back. Any types of spots or de-pigmentation are not easily detectable.
• There is minimal pain for most patients and they don’t need pain killers after their hair transplantation.
• The surgeon can get donor hair from different parts of the body which the strip method has limited areas to take from. Areas such as the temples, beard and other body hair is included in this.
• The surgeon can choose the specific type of grafts to harvest. When a special type of follicular unit is needed, this option is very good because the surgeon can choose the exact number of specific grafts to transplant. This is great for touch up work on the frontal hairline which needs single hair grafts, or for filling an isolated crown balding spot that does not require any singles.
• The contrast between high hair density and bald areas can be decreased by the FUE. Restoring hair in a scar only needs hair added to the scar, and the FUE would help to minimize the contrast between the scar and the surrounding areas more easily.
Despite of all above advantages and disadvantages about the two methods discussing them with a good hair transplant surgeon is a good starting point to find out what it the best option for you.