FUT vs. FUE Hair Transplant Comparison - Facts, Scars, Cost, and Healing

This page compares the two most prevalent hair transplant methods: FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) and FUE Hair Transplant (Follicular Unit Extraction). The former (FUT) is an older method that many surgeons practice. The later (FUE), meanwhile, is the newest method available but also requires significant dedication to master.

People can feel hard-pressed to find reliable, unbiased info about hair restoration. Of course, such information is very important for deciding what procedure is right for you. At Forhair, we are always upfront and honest for one simple reason: Cole Isolation Technique (CIT®), Dr. Cole's innovative FUE variant, brings truly superior results. In fact, around 40% of Forhair's patients seek Dr. Cole to repair hair transplant work from other clinics, both FUE and FUT. Even great FUT and FUE procedures, however, have their own intricacies that patients should consider.

What is Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)?

FUT involves extracting a donor strip from a donor zone using a scalpel. The donor zone is usually an area on the sides and back of the scalp. Once the donor strip is taken, it is split into individual grafts that are often smaller than follicular units. After this, surgeons transplant individual or small groups of follicles to recipient areas. This procedure will always leave a linear scar from a few mm in diameter to over 5 mm in diameter. Unfortunately, the width of this scar is unpredictable before surgery.

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What is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)?

FUE involves harvesting a substantially larger number of follicular units than FUT from a larger donor zone, maximizing the number of available grafts. Further, the surgeon cuts each individual follicular unit one by one, and by doing so, the scars are much smaller and less noticeable. Extracted follicles are then transplanted into the balding areas. This process can be a very long one. Sometimes, procedures split into many shorter sessions.

 

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Comparing Scars After Procedure

FUE is outright the better choice for those who do not want noticeable scars. FUE scars are small and round, while FUT scars will always be long and linear. Scarring is less noticeable with FUE because scars are small, if noticeable at all, and scattered throughout the scalp. Scars from FUT is are bigger and localized, making them more noticeable. In follow up procedures from FUT, the hair is usually taken from the location leaving a single scar. Unfortunately, multiple FUT procedures increase the probability of a wide, noticeable scar. Multiple FUE procedures also thin the donor area over time.

The number of available grafts vary patient by patients but there is a finite amount in both FUT and FUE. However, the total number of possible grafts from FUE is often greater because hair does not need to be left to hide a wide scar. FUT also has a major disadvantage in that FUT can alter hair growth direction. This direction change may occur after one FUT procedure or multiple ones.FUT requires removal of a wide area of skin so the quality of the hair can vary on each side of the scar. Namely, hair above the scar is usually coarser than the hair on the bottom side of the scar. Changes in the hair growth direction and the contrast between fine hair to coarse hair can be quite visible with a short haircut.

 

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FUE and C2G Vs. FUT Comparison Chart

FUT or Strip (Follicular Unit Transplant)

  • Very invasive and painful -can lead to chronic pain or loss of sensation
  • Slow healing time -heals within 2 to 3 weeks, 1 month restriction for sports activities
  • Limited to patients who wear longer hairstyles (to hide the scar)
  • Leaves tell-tale linear scar that widens with multiple procedures and can stretch up to 10mm
  • Stitches from cutting and closing the strip that must be removed by a doctor
  • Alters hair growth angles
  • Can stretch scalp, limiting FUT only to patients with a flexible scalp
  • Cannot operate on patients with multiple scars
  • Transection rate of 5% and higher
  • Possible that the strip has less or more hair than estimate; no quality control
  • Limitation of donor harvesting, less hair in each graft with sparser results
  • No need to shave head
  • Procedure lasts as long as FUE
  • Technicians handle 80% of the procedure while the surgeon handle 20%

CIT (Follicular Unit Extraction) - Cole FUE

  • Less invasive, minimal pain compared to FUT, practically no postoperative pain
  • Fast healing within 3-4 days -sports activities can be resumed in 4-5 days
  • Patients can choose to have a short (1 guard) hairstyle
  • Virtually undetectable scars, signs of FUE extraction dot and scatter throughout the scalp
  • No stitches, no need for a post-op visit at your doctor's office, no complications
  • Natural hair growth angles
  • No risks for the scalp, doctors can operate on any patient with any type of scalp
  • Can correct most FUT scars depending on size
  • Transection rate of 3% and lower
  • Can calculate and control the exact number of grafts and their quality
  • Can select individual hair follicles or a maximum of three or four follicles per graft
  • Must shave head (Donor)
  • Procedure lasts as long as FUT
  • The surgeon handles 80% of the procedure while technicians handle 20%

C2G (No shave or Unshaven FUE) Hair Transplant

  • Less invasive, minimal pain compared to FUT, practically no postoperative pain
  • Fast healing within 3-4 days -sports activities can be resumed in 4-5 days
  • Patients can choose to have a short (1 guard) hairstyle
  • Virtually undetectable scars, signs of FUE extraction dot and scatter throughout the scalp
  • No stitches, no need for a post-op visit at your doctor's office, no complications
  • Natural hair growth angles
  • No risks for the scalp, doctors can operate on any patient with any type of scalp
  • Can correct most FUT scars depending on size
  • Transection rate of 3% and lower
  • Can calculate and control the exact number of grafts and their quality
  • Can select individual hair follicles or a maximum of three or four follicles per graft
  • No need to shave head
  • Procedure lasts as long as FUT
  • The surgeon handles 80% of the procedure while technicians handle 20%

How do the Time and Cost Compare Between FUE and FUT?

The cost of FUE will appear much higher than FUT because most FUE variants require a lot of time. After all, FUE surgeons extract and transplant follicles graft-by-graft. However, the cost per hair with FUE is often lower than FUT because you can expect 0.3 to 1.0 more hairs with each graft.

How Do ARTAS and Neograft Compare to CIT®?

Some clinics are using robotic or automated technology, namely ARTAS or Neograft, for FUE. Avoid these services. Not only costlier, clinics that offer ARTAS or Neograft often fail to produce high-quality grafts or convincing hairlines.

ARTAS and Neograft are often fallbacks for surgeons that have yet to master FUE or to deliver results that patients deserve. Neograft's suction system is bad for the follicular graft's health and the company is notorious for flying technicians with haphazard training to clinics for one-off procedures, oftentimes without any supervision from a doctor. ARTAS, meanwhile, leaves noticeable scars and charges its operators a $1 per graft royalty, significantly increasing costs. CIT®, in comparison, is both more affordable and more effective.

How is Healing Different between FUT and FUE?

FUT leads to significant scabs and major soreness in the incision site. Healing in the first few days to a week can be rough and it is not uncommon for FUT recipients to enlist help around the house. FUT patients must also limit physical activity for the first month to prevent complications in the incision site.

FUE recovery, on the other hand, is often painless and patients rarely, if ever, require post-op assistance for day-to-day matters. There are some details patients must pay attention to, however. These include caring for donor areas, staying vertical for the first few days, and limiting physical activities during the first week of recovery.

Final Conclusion

FUE offers many benefits over FUT and is especially optimal for patients who:

  • Like to change their hairstyle a lot
  • Like shorter hairstyles
  • Have already had treatments before
  • Need to fix FUT scars or any type of bad hair transplant
  • Don't want a painful procedure
  • Need a quick and easy recovery post-op

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Great article, the best and most informative on this issue. On other fut vs fue articles, it says that strip (fut) is less time consuming compared to fue, but i see in this article that it takes just as long as fue. can you elaborate on that?

Kirk
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i spoke with different doctors....they all give me the same information, and it's the opposite from the information on this site.....fue is not recommended, because the transection rate is much higher than with fut (25 % vs 5 %)

bernd
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Well, many doctors don't know FUE or refuse to do it because FUT (strip) is easier and faster for them, of course, it's bad for the patients since they will get a scar in the back of their heads...sometimes a nasty one, so they promote this data of bad transaction which is false...there are tons of FUE results on the net and it is an established procedure that many FUT (strip) doctors have converted their practices to it. In Dr. Cole's hands, the transaction rate is around 2.8% which is very low.

Forhair
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

yes..ok....but you only offer fue....so you will always promote this technic.....
the doctors i spoke with offer both, fue and fut.......
also on internet......about the transection rate....always can read that on fue it's much higher than with fut....
about the scar, i saw patients ... after a few years the scar is almost not visible anymore....with fue you got a lot of small scars...don't looks better.....
ok..everybody has to decide witch technik he prefer...but what i learn about..i think i wouldn't choose fue...

bernd
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Good luck with that, strip scars can be small at first but stretch over time and can be very wide, there is no going back at that point. Your only option will be to fix with what we call "scar grafting", more money and more frustration because it's hard to conceal them. I know many patients like you who chose FUT over FUE and come to us to fix it. If you ask them they will tell you what a mistake it was! FUE does not leave visible scars under a skilled surgeon and you need to be on 0 guard and look close for white dots. It depends on punch size so maybe extractions you saw were made by an unskilled surgeon. If you like FUT maybe you should see the nasty scars we repaired and change your mind, click the links

Patient SSP - FUT Scar Repair (Grafting) 447 grafts

Patient MON - FUT Scar Repair (Grafting) 160 grafts

Patient QMR - FUT Scar Repair (Grafting) 80 grafts

Patient ROI - FUT Scar Repair (Grafting) 300 grafts

Comment was last edited about 1 month ago by Forhair Forhair
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