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HAIR TRANSPLANT SPECIALIST
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There appears to be an increasing number of clients seeking hair restoration surgery, particularly FUE being performed unshaven. I believe this is partly being driven by a few articles appearing in the media about this being an improvement over traditional FUE procedures.
I believe there is a room for unshaven FUE certain scenarios, but understanding the implications is of paramount importance before a client is counselled.
The basic mechanics of FUE dictates that the surgeon has good access to the donor area in order to pick the healthiest follicles & also not to cause any transection of the follicles. Whilst some surgeons claim to have the ability to extract thousands of grafts with unshaven technique, no one has shown any tangible studies and pictures of outcomes. The consensus from a large body of surgeons is that the transection rate is far higher with unshaven FUE thereby limiting the donor area & the outcomes.
Secondly, some doctors claim to extract FUE grafts with long hair. Whilst this is a possibility, I believe again the difficulty is in numbers that can be extracted. Also, the fact that apparently these grafts cannot be transplanted with long hair, defeats the purpose.
Lastly, based on the healing process of grafts, the consensus is that the scalp heals much better with short hair & also the uniformity of the healing process & the uniformity of the growth ensures that clients opting to trim their hair are a lot more presentable with the least possible downtime than someone who opts not to do so.
Advantages of FUE (Unshaven FUE)
It is a perceived as an advantage that the procedure is performed on long hair. The reality is that the surgeon still shaves areas of scalp leaving patchy areas of hair loss behind.
The downtime is perceived as less, as a matter of fact, the downtime can be longer as the client is left with patchy areas of transplanted short hair in between the native long hair.
Disadvantages of UFUE (Unshaven FUE)
Significantly higher transection rates compared to traditional FUE, thereby leading to a lot of wastage of precious donor hair
The number of grafts that can be extracted are significantly lower than that with traditional FUE
Twice as expensive a normal FUE with far poorer outcomes
Significant scarring of donor area as the surgeons focus on one small zone to extract the follicles.
Long term sustainability of the transplanted hair might be poor as the follicles might be extracted from non-permanent zones
In short, I believe clients should exercise extreme caution whilst opting for a procedure that is significantly more expensive whilst it can cause more harm than good. The scientific community has every reason to believe that UFUE(Unshaven FUE) could turn out to false economy and an unscrupulous marketing ploy until the doctors can come up with any tangible outcomes.
I believe clients need to understand that there are different ways of camouflaging and getting the maximum out of the surgery by experimenting with different hairstyles rather than paying over the odds for an unproven and potentially damaging surgery.