Author Bio: Dr. Sanusi Umar MD is the author of this article.
Hair transplant surgery requires the patient’s head to be shaved in order to extract and insert grafts. But there are many individuals who would prefer to avoid shaving their heads so that they can maintain their regular everyday routines without anyone suspecting they’ve undergone any type of procedure. Unshaved FUE (U-FUE) is available as an option if shaving is a major source of concern.
What is Unshaved FUE ( U – FUE )
Unshaved Follicular Unit Extraction, is also known as U-FUE or long-haired FUE. This hair transplant method permits patients to keep their preferred hair length during and after their procedure.
In a traditional Follicular Unit Extraction surgery, patients are required to have their entire scalp shaved as the first step. At the length of short stubble, hair shafts are used visual cues to help determine the position and alignment of the individual hair follicle units.
However, when the hair is left at its original length, it is more challenging for the surgeon to ascertain the correct angle and alignment of each follicle. Closer attention is needed to properly align the punch to accurately extract each graft.
During the extraction phase of U-FUE, technicians keep the surrounding hair parted as the surgeon extracts individual grafts using a punch within the selected area.
The donor grafts are then inserted into the recipient areas by carefully creating slits in between the existing hairs.
Individual Follicular Trim
In some approaches to unshaved FUE, providers trim the hair shafts of the selected follicles in order to remove them more easily with the FUE punch tool. However, the overall process of parting the hair, trimming and extracting requires more time.
Other practitioners may prefer to extract the follicles without trimming the hairs. But the downside to this approach is that the hair is more likely to become entangled with the use of rotary punches.
Dr. U’s Extraction Technology for Unshaved FUE Procedures
No shave FUE procedures are more difficult and time consuming for doctors to perform
Dr. U has invented two types of extraction devices for performing unshaved FUE hair transplant surgery. Their features are intended to resolve the issue of hair entanglement within the rotary punch and to remove the individual follicles more easily.
Dr.UGraft Stealth for Long Haired FUE
The Dr.UGraft Stealth is a non-rotary, bi-pronged tip punch. This device is designed so that the insertion of two blades at the tip of the punch creates a complete score around the graft.
By not involving rotary motion, the Dr.UPunch Stealth is more advantageous for long hair FUE procedures.
Ultrasonic FUE for Easier Unshaved FUE Procedures
Dr. U’s ultrasonic FUE punch uses ultrasound to soften the tissue around the follicles, making it easier to remove individual grafts. This technology is intended to be used as an adjunct to Dr. Umar’s non-rotary FUE punches.
Again, the lack of rotation avoids complications with hair become tangled inside the lumen of the punch extraction device.
Hair Transplant Graft Counts For Unshaved FUE Procedures
With U-FUE procedures, the redness, scabbing and wounds from the hair transplant extractions and insertions remain hidden by the patient’s hair. Therefore, there is a finite number of grafts that providers can remove, place and discretely conceal around the surrounding hair.
Some doctors will only harvest a maximum of 500 grafts in a single session. Others stipulate that if the donor count needed to meet the patient’s goals exceeds 2000, then the overall hair transplant procedures should be divided into multiple sessions.
FUE Versus No Shave FUE For No Downtime Hair Transplant
The healing and recovery time following a hair transplant procedure is strictly for the cosmetic improvement of the donor and recipient areas on the scalp. Patients are able to retain their mobility and overall ability to function.
After a Follicular Unit Extraction procedure, scabs will form on the recipient sites. The reddish crust that develops is made of dried blood, secreted protein, and tissue from the skin. It takes between 7-10 days for the scabs to fall off. However, it can take up to 14 days for the skin to heal. During this time, patients often choose to wear a loose fitting hat, beanie or other head covering of their choice.
With unshaved FUE, also referred to as no shave FUE, patients are able to keep the scabbing and redness of donor and recipient sites adequately hidden by their own hair. Therefore, recovery and time off would not be needed for the skin to heal. Patients are free to return to work the next day.
Unshaved FUE or Long Haired FUE, Who Is It For?
Patients who feel strongly about being able to resume their normal day to day activities without anyone noticing a drastic changes often choose unshaved FUE, also known as long-haired FUE.
This is often the case for individuals who fulfill representative the roles of representatives in their careers. Therefore, they have to maintain the right image and appearance at all times since they are constantly in the public eye. Examples might include:
- Public media figures
- Sales and client management representatives
- Models, actors, actresses
Shaving their head would be drastically disruptive to their line of work. And undoubtedly the self-consciousness they experience would be immensely aversive. Unshaved FUE offers individuals an alternative to avoid these situations and issues.
Aside from work-related complications, there are also patients who are interested in keeping their hair transplant procedures a secret from their friends, family and even including their significant others, wives, and children!
U-FUE For Men or Women
Both men and women can benefit from unshaven FUE. The longer the patient’s hair is, the more selective trimming becomes a necessary part of the procedure. Alternatively, women with long hair can opt for partial shaving as part of a regular Follicular Unit Extraction procedure. Dr. Umar, for example, will shave a rectangular, horizontal section on the back of the head from which to extract donor grafts. The long hair above this area can easily keep this region hidden.
U-FUE is a hair transplant procedure that is available to both men and women.
If you are interested in learning more about unshaven or ultrasonic FUE, use the button below to submit a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does unshaved FUE cost? Is it more expensive than regular FUE procedures?
Unshaved FUE does involve more time than regular Follicular Unit Extraction procedures. Therefore these procedures do cost more per graft, by up to 25 percent.
Do all FUE practitioners offer U-FUE?
No, not all FUE surgeons are able to offer unshaved FUE. This procedure requires a certain level of expertise, skill and experience due to its highly specialized nature. However, the features of Dr. U’s Dr.UPunch Stealth and Ultrasonic FUE help to make these procedures much easier, as well as reducing the learning curve.
Is it possible to undergo unshaved FUE for the hairline and temples since these regions are highly visible around the face? How can I disguise work in these areas?
Understandably, the hairline and temples frame the upper part of the face. However, the ability to keep these regions hidden often depends on the hairstyle of the patient. Obviously, with longer front lengths, it is much easier to conceal the recipient areas. However, Dr. Umar finds that by inserting a very small number of grafts along the very outer edge in separately scheduled surgery session can help address mid hairline and temple recession.
What Norwood classifications are eligible for unshaven FUE?
There are no strict criteria for Norwood stages that would qualify for unshaved FUE procedures. Past Norwood 2, it may be harder to hide the recipient area wounds with longer hair in the hairline. But some patients are mostly concerned with the issue of shaving their heads, choosing U-FUE to avoid this altogether. The SDA (safe donor area) on the lower region of the scalp can remain hidden by longer hair. If hiding the recipient area with long hair is a challenge, patients may opt to keep this region concealed with hats or head coverings until they experience growth.
Unshaven FUE is discreet and effective thanks to the Dr. U Hair Clinic. If you’ve got more questions, you can submit them by clicking the button below: