When it comes to hair transplants more and more people are interested in and having Unshaven FUE (U-FUE) Hair Transplants.
2013 has seen a sharp rise in enquiries across the industry as information pours into forums, press articles and treatment review sites and as feedback grows. Billed in the press as ‘Undetectable’ Hair Transplants, reports of men hiding treatments from their partners have surfaced, adding to the interest in the specialised procedure.
U-FUE Hair Transplants offer a viable and discrete hair loss and hair restoration treatment for men and women who like to wear their hair long. While they may not be suitable for everyone and remain for the moment a fairly niche procedure, interest is booming in 2013 and the numbers of procedures performed is increasing too.
What is a U-FUE Hair Transplant?
An Unshaven or U-FUE Hair Transplant involves careful extraction of donor hair, typically from the side or back of the head, without shaving the area – keeping the hair intact. It is then transplanted to the balding or thinning area intact, requiring considerable skill and time at every stage. It differs from the standard FUE hair transplant procedure which involves at least some degree of shaving. It is minimally invasive and a walk-in walk-out procedure with very little scarring and discomfort.
What Is the Difference?
Typically patients do not want to shave their heads when considering a hair transplant. This is where the issue begins. For a standard FUE hair transplant it is often necessary to shave a small part of the head (the donor area) to aid extraction and transplantation. With larger procedures it may be necessary to entirely shave the head. Shaving makes it much easier for the hair transplant surgeon and it is often the only way many hair transplant surgeons can achieve effective, permanent results.
For a long time this has left men and women dissatisfied with the procedure as part of the desire to have a hair transplant is to have hair, not shave it off – even if it is just temporary. From there many have raced to find the right technique to extract and transplant hair without needing to shave any part of the head. For the growing selection of people who want to keep the extracted hair intact and have it transplanted intact U-FUE Hair Transplants is the way to go.
Why Don’t More People Choose Unshaven Hair Transplants?
Often patients may come in thinking they want an unshaven hair transplant but cost can be a barrier as it is more expensive. Unshaven hair transplants are more labour intensive and require specialist skills and training, pushing the price up. Some patients may realise shaving part or all of their head is feasible and ultimately cost-effective, while others may go home to think more about their options. There is a considerable timeline for patients from expressing an interest to actually having a hair transplant and many will spend a lot of time researching. It is a good Hair Transplant surgeon’s duty to realistically portray the procedure, manage their expectations and discuss alternatives. The best procedure is the one most suitable for the patient, not the other way around. It is common to have to turn away prospective patients who are not suitable or have unmanageable expectations. Equally importantly it is ethical.
What Are the Alternatives?
During a standard FUE hair transplant, part of or all of the head is shaved. If this is unsuitable for the patient, as it is for many, it is possible to shave lines of hair off the sides and back of the head which can be easily concealed if the patient wears their hair long. It is up to the patient and the surgeon to discuss possible extraction sites that will satisfy both and achieve optimal results. It’s very possible that a patient may be adamant they do not want to shave any part, however discrete, and are not willing to have an Unshaven Hair Transplant. In these cases, it is important for the practitioner to be honest and not perform the procedure. Expectations need to be met as patient satisfaction is more than just physical results.
While body (typically chest) hair and facial hair can be used to add density it is not used for restoring hairlines and when it is used it is used as sparingly as possible. Such extraction is also uncomfortable for the patient, unlike scalp hair extraction.
Unshaven Hair Transplants are not the norm yet but they could well be one day as 2013 has shown so far. They present a great step forward for the industry and patient choice but it is still very important that patients research and make sure their hair transplant can achieve such results. We have only one body after all.