Maximum follicular unit graft compared to strip technique

Is the maximum follicular unit graft number available lower than with the strip technique?

Category: FUE / CIT Hair Transplant FAQs

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Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) is well known for offering a large graft count. However, the quality of a hair transplant depends on far more than just the amount of grafts. Surgeons must consider placement, longevity, overall aesthetics, and much more. The best hair transplant surgeons, in fact, know how to distribute grafts to maximize their effectiveness. This is actually essential to prefer donor grafts for patients that may opt for future hair transplants.

While FUT offers a large graft count, however, the donor area is limited to the strip of skin surgeons extract to create grafts for transplanting into recipient areas. Similarly, every future FUT procedure will also require a similar extraction. Patients should also be aware that the extractions from FUT will always leave a noticeable scar, that the scar's size is impossible to predict, and that the scar can become more noticeable with age.  

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), meanwhile, is a more recent technique that involves extracting individual or very small groups of follicles as this leads to substantially less, if any, scarring and better aesthetic results. Harvesting grafts, therefore, can require substantially more time unless in the hands of a master; Dr. Cole finds that most his procedures equal the time of a FUT procedure in terms of graft placement and extraction.

Of course, graft count and efficiency also depend on the technique itself. Dr. Cole's namesake FUE variant, Cole Isolation Technique (CIT®), is available in three different versions: fully shaved, patch shaved, and no-shave. Each has its own limits for the maximum amount of grafts they enjoy and this ranges from 3,000 grafts to 5,000 or even more.  

FUE also has the added benefit of allowing surgeons to gather grafts from a range of donor areas. They most often focus on the sides of the head but, depending on the case, specialists may also harvest from multiple regions of the head and/or the body. Learn more by reading about CIT® and BHT.


No. In fact, CIT provides a greater expanse of donor hair from which the physician can “harvest”. With the strip procedure, hair can only be taken from the occidental lobe and sides of the head (and the physician can only use the grafts found within a single strip of tissue), whereas with CIT, follicles can be extracted from multiple regions of the head and even the body.


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