FUE Hair Transplant: What You Need To Know

Whether or not to attempt hair restoration through a hair transplant is a big decision. Not only can it permanently alter your appearance, but it can also cost several thousands of dollars and may not yield the results you’re after.

Fortunately, you have options when it comes to getting a hair transplant, and the decisions you make can determine how happy you’ll be with the outcome of your hair restoration. One of the biggest questions to answer is whether you should get a follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplant or follicular unit transplantation (FUT) hair transplant. Though each involves moving hair follicles from one area of the scalp to another, they do so in different ways, with different costs, recovery time and results.

In this article, we’re going to explore follicular unit extraction or FUE transplant.


What is an FUE hair transplant?

A follicular unit extraction, also known as an FUE transplant or FUE procedure, is a type of surgery in which hair follicles are removed from a donor area of the scalp and moved to an area of the scalp where hair loss is affecting the patient. The donor area carries that name because with hair transplants, every patient is his or her own hair donor; donations from another person would be too easily rejected by the recipient’s body. Usually, the donor area for an FUE hair restoration procedure is located at the back of sides of the scalp, where hair loss is less common and there are hair follicles to spare.

During a follicular unit extraction or FUE procedure, the hair on the scalp must be cut short so that it is easier to find and remove the follicular units for transplantation. Next, a physician uses a small instrument to extract individual follicular units (a hair follicle and tiny amount of tissue and skin, together known as a graft) from areas of the scalp with a higher volume of hair. The grafts are then prepared to be reinserted into parts of the scalp where baldness or less severe hair loss is occurring.

Minuscule incisions are then put in the scalp where the follicular units or grafts are to be transplanted. The grafts are then placed individually into these little incisions, with special care to maintain a natural look.

The incisions from the transplant of the follicular units will heal within a few days of the FUE procedure. The hair usually falls out of the follicular units within a week or two as the grafts reset and prepare to grow hair in their new location. Within three months, new growth begins and after another three months, hair restoration is complete and the transplanted hair should be growing in a way that appears natural with the surrounding hair.


What is the difference between FUE and FUT hair transplants?

With FUE hair restoration, the follicular units are harvested individually so that it’s nearly impossible to tell where the hair was removed from the donor area.

With a FUT procedure, the hair does not always need to be trimmed prior to the procedure, and the follicular units are removed from one or more donor areas on the scalp in a small strip. After the follicular units have been removed, they are then separated into smaller grafts to be transplanted to areas with hair loss. The surgery requires stitches where the follicular units were removed, and it leaves a scar that is visible unless the patient wears their hair at a longer length to cover it. The recovery time is also longer than it is with a FUE hair transplant, sometimes taking a couple of weeks before the incisions have healed. However, the procedure takes less time to perform than a FUE surgery and usually costs less as well.


How much does an FUE hair transplant cost?

A FUE hair transplant costs thousands of dollars, but the exact cost can vary widely between providers, especially because every patient’s hair restoration needs are different. For example, the number of follicular units needed can vary, and sometimes more than one procedure is required to achieve the desired result. It’s best to contact several providers to get an estimate of what FUE hair transplant will cost for your particular situation, and many offer free consultations.


What are the alternatives to an FUE hair transplant?

While FUE procedure can offer hair restoration, it can be very costly and isn’t for everyone. But there are other ways to support healthy hair growth and improve the appearance of your hair. You can also try supporting your body’s capacity to grow hair from within by taking a hair health supplement.

What Is Balayage Hair? Technique And Hair Color

Looking to change up your hair color this season? Balayage hair may be the perfect option for you. We caught up with celebrity hairstylist Bianca Hillier, “The Queen of Color,” to learn all about the basics of balayage. Hillier is known for creating customized, beachy balayage hair and is responsible for Rocky Barnes’ gorgeous sunkissed highlights. She actually teaches her own master class about how to perfectly perform balayage hair, so she’s clearly an expert at this popular technique. Let’s listen in!

What is balayage?

“Balayage is not just a look, it is a technique used to highlight,” Hillier explains. The origins of the word are actually in France, but it first became popular as a color technique in the ‘90s. “It is a French term meaning sweeping,” she shares. “Think of it as paint sweeping onto the hair.” Since stylists actually paint the color on your hair using a precision brush, balayage allows you to get highlights without using foils while spending less time in the salon.

How does balayage hair color compare to traditional foil highlights?

“Balayage is a sheer ribboning highlight that sits on top of the hair for a more translucent, sun-kissed finish,” Hillier explains. “A foil or weaved highlight is streaky and a more dense colour due to the heat conducted by the foil, allowing the chemicals to penetrate through the hair,” she says. Instead of wrapping colored sections in foils, stylists sometimes use cotton strips to keep the painted pieces divided and separated from the rest of the hair while doing the balayage technique.

Besides taking less time at the salon when you opt for balayage hair, growing out your color at home can be easier, too. “Since the chemicals act faster with heat in a foil, foil highlights creates more of a stripe-like appearance, which means a more noticeable grow out.” she reveals. “Balayage is fluid and sheer, enabling the hair to grow in with a more flawless line of demarcation.”

What’s the difference between balayage technique and ombré?

With balayage hair, your stylist is using color to make parts of your hair lighter and create a seamless effect, whereas ombré involves using two different colors. “Balayage is a technique used to highlight,” she says. “Ombré is a look referencing a dark to light gradient.” Ombré hair is typically darker on the top of the head and lighter at the bottom which looks more dramatic than balayage hair.

Who can get balayage?

Blonde balayage may be the most popular style of the color, but anyone looking for multidimensional color can consider balayage, according to Hillier. “Balayage can be done on all hair types, but it may not be the best or easiest approach, depending on what you’re starting with and what the desired results are,” she advises. Balayage is often seen on straight hair, but people with curly or wavy hair can get it as well. Sometimes Hillier paints balayage on clients’ natural curly hair, and other times, she straightens it before beginning color. Your best bet is booking a consultation and talking to your hairstylist in person to find out if the balayage technique is right for your locks.

What to do before and after balayage

It’s a good idea to get a trim to perfect your shape before you get any color done. “I always suggest getting a haircut prior to any balayage service,” Hillier shares. “Balayage placement is done according to how the hair falls. If a beautiful 6-inch ribboning tip gets a 2-inch haircut, then there will be dark holes in the color pattern especially if layers are newly created.”

Once you ensure you’re happy with your current haircut, then it’s time to book your balayage treatment. It’s also helpful to bring in some inspiration. Find photos of celebrities with balayage treatments you like to make sure you and your stylist share the same vision prior to getting started. Another tip: before your stylist begins applying color, show them where you usually part your hair so they’re applying it to the way you typically wear your it.

Wondering how often you’ll have to visit your stylist to maintain your balayage hair? It really depends on the individual person and their unique hair. “Several variables dictate the maintenance scheduling such as, how often the client washes their hair, what products are used to shampoo and condition, how often they are thermal styling, what tools are used to thermally style the hair, the integrity of the hair and more,” she says. “Some clients may need to come in every 8 weeks, while others can wait 6 or 9 months.”

If you decide to get balayage hair yourself, taking a natural hair wellness supplement like Nutrafol’s Core for Women can help keep your strands healthy and growing and counteract any damage done by coloring.