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Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Review »

Created by HairPlans staff writer. Last updated on Monday, April 29, 2024.
Quick Summary
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) represents a surgical technique aimed at redistributing hair follicles from one part of the scalp to another, much like its counterpart, FUT. While the procedure may involve some discomfort, the potential outcomes are often deemed highly beneficial. For many individuals seeking a durable remedy to hair loss, FUE stands out as a top choice. By carefully relocating hair follicles, FUE offers the prospect of natural-looking and enduring hair restoration, making it an appealing option for those dedicated to rejuvenating their hair's volume and appearance.
Score Information
Easy score:
Natural score:
Painless score:
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There are two common types of hair transplants performed today: follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a minimally invasive hair transplant technique. Instead of removing a strip of scalp, individual follicular units are extracted directly from the donor area using a specialized instrument. The extraction is typically performed using a micro-punch or robotic device, and it leaves small circular scars that are less noticeable than the linear scar in FUT. The extracted follicular units are then transplanted into the recipient area in a similar manner to FUT.

Within the FUE technique, there are variations such as manual FUE, robotic FUE (using robotic assistance for the extraction process), and motorized FUE (using a motorized punch for extraction).

fut vs fue

Natural or Chemical Information

Natural score: 5

During hair transplant surgery, anesthesia is commonly used to minimize pain or discomfort. The specific type of anesthesia used can vary depending on the extent of the procedure and the preferences of the surgeon and patient. Typically, local anesthesia is employed to numb the scalp and surrounding tissues.

Local anesthesia commonly used in hair transplant surgeries usually contains synthetic chemicals. Lidocaine is one of the most used local anesthetics. It is a synthetic compound that belongs to the class of amide-type local anesthetics. Lidocaine is widely utilized due to its effectiveness in providing local pain relief and its relatively low risk of adverse reactions when used properly.

If you have specific concerns or allergies related to anesthesia or synthetic chemicals, it is crucial to discuss them with your healthcare provider before the surgery. They can provide you with more detailed information about the specific anesthesia used and address any concerns you may have.

How does it feel?

Painless score: 5

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is recognized for being a less painful hair restoration technique, largely thanks to the use of local anesthesia that numbs the scalp during the extraction of hair follicles. This approach ensures that the procedure itself is carried out with minimal discomfort, allowing for a relatively painless experience throughout. The precision and less invasive nature of FUE contribute to its reputation as a comfortable option for those seeking hair transplantation.

After the procedure, it's common for patients to experience some degree of pain or soreness in the donor area where follicles were extracted. This post-procedural discomfort is generally mild and can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain relief options. Additionally, mild swelling or bruising around the recipient area may occur but is expected to diminish within a week. The temporary discomfort and aesthetic concerns are manageable aspects of the FUE process, with the outcome being enhanced hair growth and a fuller appearance. Proper aftercare, as advised by your surgeon, will support a swift recovery and optimal results, making any initial discomfort well worth the enduring benefits of the procedure.


  • FUE does not involve the removal of a strip of scalp. Instead, individual follicles are extracted one by one, which can result in less scarring and a faster recovery time.
  • FUE typically involves a more extensive procedure than FUT since each follicle must be extracted individually.
  • FUE can be a good option for patients with a smaller bald or thinning area requiring fewer grafts to achieve the desired result. In addition, the transplanted hair usually grows in a more natural-looking pattern than other methods since the follicular units are transplanted in their natural groupings.
  • FUE can be more expensive than FUT since it requires more time and skill on the surgeon's part.
  • Recovery time from FUE is typically shorter than with FUT since there is no need to wait for a large donor area incision to heal.
  • FUE can be a good option for patients with a tight scalp or prone to keloid scarring since it can result in less scarring overall.


  • FUE can be a longer and more laborious procedure than other hair restoration methods, as each follicle must be extracted individually.
  • There is a risk of scarring and pitting in the donor area, although skilled surgeons can minimize this risk by using advanced extraction techniques and following appropriate post-treatment instructions.
  • FUE may not be a good option for patients who have a large bald or thinning area that requires a significant number of grafts, as the procedure may need to be extended over multiple sessions.
  • Like any surgery, FUE carries some risk of complications such as infections, bleeding, or nerve damage.

Cost Information

Price range: $6,000 - $18,000+

The cost of FUE can vary widely depending on the location, surgeon, and number of grafts required. In the context of hair transplants, a "graft" refers to a unit of hair follicles that is transplanted from the donor area (typically the back or sides of the scalp) to the recipient area (where hair loss or thinning has occurred). A graft typically contains one to four hair follicles. When a hair transplant clinic or specialist quotes a price per graft, such as "$5 per graft", it means that the cost of the hair transplant procedure is calculated based on the number of grafts required. For example, if you need 1,000 grafts to achieve your desired hair density, the total cost would be calculated by multiplying the price per graft ($5 in this case) by the number of grafts (1,000), resulting in a total cost of $5,000.

In the United States, the cost of FUE can range from $5,000 to $15,000 or more. It's important to note that insurance typically does not cover the cost of hair restoration surgery, so be prepared to pay for the procedure out of pocket. Also, remember that the number of grafts can vary depending on individual factors such as the extent of hair loss, the desired hair density, and the quality and availability of the donor hair. The cost per graft can also vary among clinics and surgeons. We recommend that you consult with a hair transplant specialist to get a personalized assessment and accurate pricing for your specific case.

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  • We presently do not have any service or purchase recommendations for this solution. This review is provided for informational purposes.

Article References  click to expand  click to close

  • Razmi, T Muhammed; Subburaj, Kiruthika1. Hair Transplantation: A Brief Review. Clinical Dermatology Review 6(2):p 80-87, Jul–Dec 2022. | DOI: 10.4103/cdr.cdr_76_21
  • Sharma R, Ranjan A. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Transplant: Curves Ahead. J Maxillofac Oral Surg. 2019 Dec;18(4):509-517. doi: 10.1007/s12663-019-01245-6. Epub 2019 May 28. PMID: 31624428; PMCID: PMC6795649.
  • Saed S, Ibrahim O, Bergfeld WF. Hair camouflage: A comprehensive review. International Journal of Womens Dermatology. 2017 Feb 16;3(1 Suppl):S75-S80. doi: 10.1016/j.ijwd.2017.02.016. PMID: 28492045; PMCID: PMC5419059.
  • Dua A, Dua K. Follicular unit extraction hair transplant. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2010 May;3(2):76-81. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.69015. PMID: 21031064; PMCID: PMC2956961.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes, it does not constitute medical advice. The information contained in this article is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon as professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

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