What is an Unshaven FUE Hair Transplant?
Unshaven FUE Hair Transplantation, also known as U-FUE (Undetectable /Unshaven FUE) is a technique that involves transplanting hair without using a shaver in any of the stages of the process. This method helps to restore hair in patients with balding or thinning hair. It does this in an effective and minimally invasive way which is virtually ‘undetectable’. This technique is a state-of-the-art hair transplant technique which is performed by highly skilled surgeons in top hair restoration clinics.
The unshaven technique is still very similar to the FUE Hair Transplant technique with the biggest difference being that you will not be required to shave your head before the procedure takes place. As a U-FUE patient you will be able to keep your hair as it is and the donor hair will be extracted at full length.
Like a traditional FUE transplant, hairs are extracted one by one from a donor area. The U-FUE treatment. Once the hair is extracted from the donor area, the strands will be cut leaving only the root which is what is then implanted.
The grafts are then blended into the thinning or balding areas so as to match the natural growing characteristics of your original hair.
Read more about FUE hair transplant method
There are different options under the U-FUE technique which includes:
. ‘Partially shaved’ Shaving only a small part of the donor area.
. Complete unshaven FUE
1-Partially Shaved Hair Transplant
It is a technique where the head is ‘partially’ shaved, however concealed. The term ‘unshaved’ is used to indicate that a small area in the donor site will be shaved but will totally remain ‘undetectable’.
Patients with longer hair that require approximately 2800 grafts or less for their hair transplant could be an good candidate to have an ‘partially-shaved’ session, also referred as linear shaving, which is performed at the back of the patients head and is either in small lines or in square shape, positioned in such a way that it enables the hair above to fall over and easily conceal the shaved spot. As it is important to provide sufficient coverage, the doctor may recommend the patient to grow his/her hair slightly longer at a length of 6-7 cm prior to the hair transplant procedure.
Read more about : FUT method
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. Patients can maintain their original hair in the same style as well as length, during and after the procedure.
. Allows patients to return back to work shortly after their treatment without revealing they have undergone the procedure.
. As the number of grafts that will transplanted is fewer, overall recovery time can be shorter.
. Post-operative scabs and crusts formed in the donor area will not be visible.
Disadvantages of a Partially Shaved Hair Transplant
. This procedure can only be performed on patients who wear their hair long.
. Fewer number of follicular units can be harvested during any one session.
. The treatment may require multiple sessions in order to achieve a desirable outcome, however there must be an interval of at least 6 months between 2 sessions.
. There is the risk of over harvesting as the donor area is limited to a small section.
. Overall procedure cost is higher.
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2- Complete Unshaved Hair Transplant
A ‘complete unshaved’ hair transplant, which is a procedure where shaving the donor area for the extraction of follicles is totally eliminated, keeping the hair intact.
In cases where the patient’s hair is weak and there is the possibility to perform procedures between hair-strands, especially if hair-loss is limited to the anterior region or only a small area needs to be harvested, typically up to a 1000 follicular units being sufficient for the coverage of hair loss, then the doctor may consider to perform a complete ‘unshaved’ session. In a complete ‘unshaved’ hair transplant procedure during the extraction process, a round-tipped rotary punch-generally with diameters ranging between 0.7-0.95mm- is utilized to score around the hair follicle and is rotated a full repetitive 360-degree cycle during penetration of the skin in order to separate it from all tissue attachments.
Once the individual follicular units are extracted with the hair remaining at its normal length, they are then cut down to the root. After the strands of hair have been cut off, the implantation process begins, with the grafts being transplanted within the existing hair one at a time into the thinning or balding areas of the scalp.
As with any other hair transplant procedure, the patient will still be experiencing shock loss-temporary shedding of the newly transplanted hairs-within the first few weeks after a complete ‘unshaved’ session.
Advantages of a complete Unshaved Hair Transplant
. Shaving is completely eliminated.
. The patient is required to have long hair similar to the partially shaved hair transplant procedure, however the length can be shorter than 6-7 cm.
Post-operative scabs and crusts formed in the donor area will hardly be visible.
. As the number of grafts that will transplanted is fewer, overall recovery time can be shorter.
Disadvantages of a complete Unshaved Hair Transplant
. It is a labour intensive and meticulous procedure that requires excessive training, experience and skills of the operating surgeon.
. Even though the patient gets a pre-look right after the procedure, the transplanted grafts will fall out between the 2’nd and 4’th week following the surgery.
. It generally takes longer to complete compared to other hair transplant methods.
. A limited number of grafts per session
. It is slightly more expensive than other hair transplant procedures.
It is important for the patient to be aware of the limitations associated with both of the ‘unshaved’ sessions and to seek consultation from a qualified surgeon to determine if he/she is a good candidate to undergo such a procedure. For example if the patient has experienced severe hair-loss, particularly in the vertex area and requires an excessive amount of grafts (around 3.000-4.000 grafts), his/her head will be completely shaved. The decision is generally made during the planning stage of a hair transplant procedure after the patient has been examined by the doctors.
Most standard hair transplants (hair transplantation) require the patient to have part or all of their head shaved so that surgeons can transplant a larger hair graft and achieve more permanent results.
But the thought of having their head shaved for many people can be a daunting prospect.
With the U- FUE however, patients are able to keep most of their hair intact whilst experiencing quality care. Any surgeon who performs this procedure has to be more skilled than a surgeon who performs standard FUE and FUT hair transplants.
. Those who want to keep the procedure private and undetectable.
. Those who wish to keep all of their hair during the procedure
. Many people, particularly those working in sensitive occupations and celebrities require a hair transplant without shaving, due to the nature of their jobs.
The U- FUE allows patients to return to work shortly after without anyone noticing they’ve undergone the treatment.
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. Day 0: the day of the surgery is counted as day 0.
. Day 1-5: The first 2 weeks after the hair transplant are the most critical ones. During the first 5 days, patients may experience swelling of the forehead and at the back of the head, which is the donor area. The skin may also look red at the areas where all the tiny incisions were made for the newly transplanted hairs. This redness usually resolves after the first week or 2. After only a few days, the donor area is no longer tender.
. Days 6 – 10: At this point, patients no longer experience any swelling and the redness should only be faint or completely gone. For each follicular unit transplanted, a “crust” will form which is the attached skin layer drying out. This scab can be gently removed by soaking and gentle rubbing with fingers. By day 10, all the crusting should be gone and the transplanted hairs will appear like a “crew-cut” haircut.
. Week 2- 3: The transplanted hairs will start to shed at this point, and by the end of the 3rd/4th week, most will be gone. This is a normal part of the healing process and is totally expected. The newly transplanted hairs go through a shedding process as the actual hair shaft is released, but the actual follicular unit and bulb are totally intact starting to grow a new hair shaft. Patients may feel like the operation was a failure but this is part of the normal hair cycle.
. End of Month 1 – Month 2: The hair follicles have entered into the resting phase of their cycle. The length of the resting phase can vary before they start to grow again. At this stage, patients will appear exactly as they did prior to surgery with regards to the amount of hair present.
. Months 2 – 4: The new hairs should start coming out. For some patients, their transplanted hairs start growing early in the timeline; for others, they start growing later. Patients will see the new transplants, but they will be thin at this stage as they begin to emerge from the scalp. Most of the native hair will be growing back at this time. The donor area is healing and any redness at the donor site will resolve.
. Month 6: Transplanted hair has entered the anagen phase and begins to grow (finally…progress!). At this point usually, the doctor used to see you in follow up.
. Months 6 – 9: Patients will start to see a considerable amount of hair emerging from the scalp. The hairs are thinner; many of the transplanted hairs will be over 3 inches or longer and is able to be groomed. Toward the end of this period, the hair will show textural changes and start to thicken up. The donor area will be completely healed at this point. The original donor laxity is restored by month 9.
. 1 Year: Patients have achieved about 80% of the hair growth of the transplanted hairs. Most of the hairs will have emerged from the scalp. At this point, further density is unlikely to noticeably improve without further surgical and/or nonsurgical intervention (PRP). It’s time to focus on outcome maintenance!
. After 1 year: For some patients, they achieve the full appearance by 1 year; others will take longer for the hairs to emerge and increase their density and thickness.
Additionally, as the hair grows longer, that provides a fuller appearance since the volume of hair is increased at the transplanted area.
U- FUE is more expensive than FUE. This is because unshaven hair transplants are more labor intensive. However, we believe that the best procedures are the ones most suitable for each patient.
Read more about : Hair transplant cost in Iran