There are various types of hair transplant methods existing today. Each hair transplant treatment center has their own specific procedures. In this modern era, hair transplant techniques have developed and refined into two main methods: the FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) method and the STRIP method. Both the FUE and the Strip Excision procedures have advantages and disadvantages and after a consultation with a hair transplant specialist, you will know which method is right for you.
The main difference between FUE and STRIP is in the way hair follicles are extracted. The implantation process of the extracted hair follicles is usually the same. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is often referred to as the “strip” hair transplant procedure. It is an older way of extracting donor hair, whereby the surgeon excises a linear strip of hair and tissue from the back of the scalp. This tissue is then dissected into individual follicular units, by surgical technicians, and then placed in thinning or balding recipient regions. Meanwhile, the wound is closed with the use of sutures. However, the donor area after a strip excision surgery will require more time before it is fully healed when compared to the FUE surgery. This scar will be detectable if the patient opts to wear their hair very short, and may even stretch over time. Strip procedures also permanently distort the direction of hair growth along the perimeter of the scar.
The strip excision procedure is more economical (typically half the price per graft of FUE). It is usually said that more number of grafts can be extracted by Strip but nowadays, it has become possible to give 2000-2500 grafts from scalp by FUE as compared to the previous days. However, if you need more grafts, then either a second sitting from scalp or more grafts can be extracted from the body (beard, chest, abdomen, etc.) in the first sitting only. Similarly, if more grafts are required from strip technique, even that is possible. In the FUE method, individual hair follicles are picked out and transferred from the neck to the crown. The FUE is a scalpel free and stitchless approach with faster healing. As every single follicle is extracted individually, this is a time consuming procedure. The benefit is that controlled and careful extraction of donor hair is very lenient to the skin and scalp. Complications are very rare, and scars are hard to detect even after only a few weeks. Moreover, FUE doctors can select the follicular units that will offer the most hairs per graft, and produce an optimal yield. On the contrary, strip procedures limit surgeons to using only those hairs found in a single strip of scalp tissue. In addition, the FUE procedure is modestly invasive nature which produces very tiny scars in donor area and these are very hard to detect.
FUE hair transplantation, therefore offers a number of advantages over FUT or strip procedures like it does not leave a linear scar, nor does it distort the growth angles of hair, less invasive hair transplant procedure, requires less healing and recovery time post-surgery. Though, with the help of new technology doctors can minimize the visibility of any scars produced by Strip. However FUE cannot reverse any lack of sensation in the area caused by a Strip. If you are planning to go for a hair transplant, FUE is the best option to restore the hair. FUE is also the most excellent choice when the doctor does not advise a Strip, such as when the skin on the scalp is too tight, has existing damage or has already undergone several Strip procedures. At the present time, FUE is considered by many as the latest and refined approach to a hair transplant. While it is essential to understand the main differences between the two methods, only a hair transplant specialist can tell you which method is best for you, considering your specific needs and desired outcome.