A Complete Guide to FUT Hair Transplants

  1. What is an FUT hair transplant?
  2. How it works
  3. Ideal candidates
  4. FUE vs FUT procedure
  5. Side effects
  6. Cost

What is an FUT hair transplant?

Surgeons remove a section of the skin from the back of the head during FUT procedures. This typically measures between 1 and 1.5 centimetres, depending on the number of follicles required to achieve optimal coverage.

They will extract the follicles from this strip, and prepare them to be implanted into the balding regions of the scalp. Typically, FUT is most effective for adding density to larger bald or thinning areas.

The surgeon will close the donor area to heal. The disadvantage of this method is that the patient will have a permanent scar in this spot.

How does the FUT hair transplant surgery work?

An FUT procedure should last from 4 to 6 hours. This tends to be a faster process than FUE transplants, and most patients remain awake (though they receive local anaesthesia to numb the treatment area).

How does the treatment unfold?

  • The surgeon will identify the recipient and donor areas, and take photos for future reference.
  • The donor hair will be cut to approximately 2 millimetres to allow for easier access.
  • The surgeon will remove the strip from the back of the head, ready to extract the follicles.
  • All individual follicles necessary will be removed and prepared for transplantation.
  • The site of the extraction will be closed with sutures.
  • The surgeon will insert the donor follicles into the thinning areas of the scalp to build a natural pattern.
  • Antibiotic treatment will be applied to the scalp before it’s dressed with bandages.

The majority of patients notice results between 6 and 9 months after their surgery, though it can take around one year for some to reach that stage. 

Am I a good candidate for an FUT procedure?

If you’re considering an FUE or FUT hair transplant, you’ll need healthy growth on the back or sides of your head.

That means men experiencing male pattern baldness are good candidates for FUT. Men affected by this condition tend to lose their hair on top of the scalp only or develop a hairline resembling an M, with loss occurring around the temples.

FUT is rarely an option for patients with alopecia areata or a thyroid problem.

But it could be right for you if you meet the following criteria:

  • Over 25: FUT is usually performed on patients older than 25, as hair loss is harder to predict before that age.
  • Norwood pattern: Hair transplants suit male patients affected by hair loss in the Norwood pattern.
  • Size of the balding area: FUT works best on larger thinning areas.
  • Density: Patients with thicker hair usually achieve more coverage.

A specialist will examine your hair and scalp during a consultation to determine if a transplant is right for you.

What’s the difference between FUE and FUT hair transplants?

Both types of surgery involve transplanting follicles. The main difference lies in the extraction method.

  • FUT: The surgeon removes a small section of skin from the back of the head and harvests the follicles.
  • FUE: The surgeon uses a handheld tool to take individual follicles from the scalp directly, instead of via a strip.

FUE is the most popular hair transplant treatment. Some of the advantages of FUE include:

  • Faster healing
  • No significant scarring
  • Follicles can be harvested from other areas of the body
  • Viable even with poor density

What are the advantages of FUT?

  • The procedure is usually faster
  • Prices can be lower
  • A large quantity of grafts required

Potential side effects of FUT

Patients rarely develop side effects after FUT. The potential issues include:

  • Scarring (will be visible if you keep your hair short, even though it fades with time)
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Cysts
  • Follicular inflammation (folliculitis)
  • Numbness
  • Bleeding

Shock loss is fairly common: hairs usually fall out within 2 months of surgery but should grow back no more than 4 months later.

How much does an FUT hair transplant cost?

The average price of the FUT method ranges from around £3,000 to £9,000 in the UK, though it may cost more at some clinics.

Rates are based on:

  • The number of hairs involved.
  • The surgeon’s experience and credentials.
  • The travel expenses you need to cover for treatment outside the UK.
  • The location of a clinic, as some cities are more expensive (e.g., in London).