Around 80% of the patients at Crown Clinic choose a FUE (follicular unit extraction) procedure with our surgeon Asim Shahmalak. This is where individual grafts are removed from the back and sides of the scalp and replanted in the balding areas.
In the last five years, FUE has gradually taken over from the more traditional method of hair transplantation - FUT (follicular unit transplantation) and 80% of Crown Clinic patients chose FUE. FUE is more popular because the scarring is less noticeable than FUE. Patients are left with some red pin pricks in the areas of the scalp where the hairs are harvested and replanted but these go away after a few days. With FUT, a surgical strip is removed from the scalp to obtain the donor grafts - this linear scar is not noticeable if you wear your hair long but it can be seen if you like to wear your hair short or shaved.
Most of the celebrity patients at Crown Clinic such as Calum Best, Gogglebox's Chris Butland-Steed, Homes Under The Hammer star Martin Roberts and the former footballer Didi Hamann have chosen FUE. The TV doctor Christian Jessen - another Crown Clinic patient -opted for FUT for his two transplants with Dr Shahmalak but he does like to wear his hair longer.
Here are the most frequently asked questions about FUE.
How much does it cost?
FUE is slightly more expensive than FUT because it is more labour intensive - grafts need to be removed one-by-one rather all in one go in a single strip. Prices at Crown Clinic start from £5,000. Prices depend on the number of grafts - the more grafts, the higher the price because more work is required of the Crown Clinic team. If you have more grafts, you can cover a larger balding area.
Who is suitable for an FUE transplant?
Our surgeon performs transplants on both male and female patients (around 10% of his clients are female). What he is looking for in a patient is a good covering of donor hair at the back and sides of the scalp. Nearly everyone has a permanent 'horse shoe' of hair covering the back and side of the scalp - however bald they are on the top of their scalp. This is where the donor hair is taken.
When will the transplanted hair grow back?
It takes between six months and a year to see the full benefits of an FUE transplant. In the first few weeks after a transplant, the transplanted hair falls out. This is entirely normal. What is important is the that roots of the new hair are well-established and happy in their new home. With healthy roots, the new hair will grow back and it should provide a good covering for the balding area at the end of six months. This process takes longer in some patients than others - but all patients can see the best results after a year.
How long will it take me to recover from a procedure?
We recommend that patients take a week off from work following their procedure. As with any surgical procedure, there is a recovery period. You will feel fine but you need to wait for the swelling to go down and you need to take it easy to ensure that the new hairs get settled in their new home.
How long does the procedure take?
Most patients are in and out of Crown Clinic in a single day. We don't recommend that patients drive home after a procedure because of the effects of the anaesthetic, but most patients are pleasantly surprised at how quickly a transplant can be completed.
We recommend that patients sleep upright for a couple of days after a procedure to protect the new hairs and wear button-down shirts so they not displacing the new grafts by pulling a sweater over their head. It's best to have a break from the gym for a few days but in all other respects you can live your life completely normally after a procedure.
Will I have to have my head shaved?
We do shave the treatment area and the donor area but there is no requirement to shave the whole sclap.