Did you know that by age 50 about 85% of men have suffered from hair loss? Unless you’re one of these men, you might not pay much attention to it. After all, male pattern baldness is a common thing. However, hair loss can be more than just a typical genetic occurrence. For some men, losing their hair is a much bigger deal, one that makes them feel older, less attractive, and self-conscious. And it’s not just men who suffer from thinning hair and baldness–some women do too.
Fortunately, recent advances in hair replacement have made it easier and more affordable for both men and women to restore their head of hair. While these procedures may not be for everyone, they might be the answer for those having a hard time coping with thinning hair and baldness. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) are the two most common and effective methods for hair replacement. Here is some information on both procedures.
FUE Hair Transplant
Follicular unit extraction is the less invasive of the two procedures. Essentially, individual hair follicles (or small groups of them) are extracted from the donor area (a place on the body with growing hair), and transplanted to the area that’s thinning. The procedure results in minimal to no scarring, and healing time is very quick (a few days at most). The operation does, however, take some time. Since the follicles must be carefully extracted and replaced in small amounts, an FUE transplant can take up to eight hours.
There’s also the question of cost. FUE hair transplant cost can range anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000, and is heavily dependent on how much hair is being replaced. Other factors like insurance, doctor, clinic, and region also tie in to overall cost. It’s worth looking up well-known and respected surgeons in this field before deciding to go through with an FUE transplant.
FUSS Hair Transplant
The other common method of hair replacement is known as follicular unit strip surgery. FUSS and FUE transplants are similar in a basic sense. Both procedures involve hair follicles from a donor area being transplanted to the thinning area. As the name implies, however, what makes a FUSS procedure different from an FUE is that regions or “strips” of hair follicles are extracted and replaced at once as opposed to individual follicles or small clusters.
While FUSS treatments are much faster than FUE procedures, they are more invasive and result in scarring. The scar, however, is typically a thin line that is covered by hair anyway. FUSS treatments tend to cost about the same as FUE treatments, so the question as to whether one procedure is better than another will depend on factors such as speed of procedure, scarring, and recovery time.
FUE vs FUSS: Verdict
Is one treatment better than the other? Again, there’s really no way to determine objectively which procedure is better than the other. Cost will be a concern in both instances, and it won’t vary much between them. While FUSS procedures are quicker, they will result in scarring and can put someone out of work for a while due to a longer recovery time. FUE treatments reduce this recovery time significantly, but at the cost of an eight hour surgery.
In the end, you need to decide if a hair transplant is right for you financially, physically, and mentally. If it is, it’s always to your benefit to continue to research these types of hair restoration procedures and the surgeons who specialize in them.