Is There Any Scarring From an FUE Hair Transplant?

One of the more highly debated topics in the hair transplant industry is whether an FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplant leaves any scarring or not. During an FUE procedure hair grafts are extracted one by one using microsurgical tools. This is different from the Strip procedure, where a strip of hair bearing skin is removed. The strip procedure is known to leave a linear scar on the back of the scalp, but there is still confusion regarding how much, if any, scarring is left from an FUE procedure.

Whether there will be any visible scarring from an FUE hair transplant procedure depends on a few different factors. The skill and experience of the doctor who will be performing the FUE is perhaps the most critical part. Extreme precision when extracting and inserting hair grafts is needed, in order to avoid damage to the surrounding skin. The hair transplant doctor also would need to be using the smallest tools available, 1mm in diameter, or even smaller, such as 0.75mm or 0.5mm. The client’s ability to heal plays a role, and having good hair density, meaning hairs that are close together, will also help in concealing any scarring. The amount of hair that is taken from the donor area also makes a difference, as the more hair that is taken, the greater risk of visible scarring.

The scars from an FUE hair transplant procedure are the most visible right after the procedure, where after they will form into small scabs. These scabs will shed in a couple of weeks, where after a tiny dot might remain. The exact visibility of this little dot is hard to predict: it can either completely blend in with your skin tone, or take on a slightly different tone. Surrounding hair is likely to cover up these tiny dots, should they be visible to begin with. Even if these little dots are visible in the months following the surgery, they are likely to fade with time.

Overall, the answer to the question on whether an FUE produces any scarring might just depend on who you ask. Hair transplant doctors that specialize in FUE’s will state that scarring is nearly non existent. But a hair transplant doctor who specializes in the strip procedure might say that an FUE does produce scarring, no matter how small. In either case, it is safe to say that the FUE does not produce a long linear scar, and this is to many the deciding factor when choosing between the two methods.

Any potential scarring to an FUE is likely to be very minimal. And an FUE is an excellent option for someone who requires only a limited hair transplant or would like to wear their hair short and escape a linear scar. Someone interested in an FUE should keep in mind that not every hair transplant doctor finds them favorable, and would need to find a doctor who specializes in FUE’s.

Photo via Dr_Alan_Bauman

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