Scarring Series: FUE Scars (How To Avoid Them and How to Manage Them)
FUE has been touted to be “scarless”, which is patently false. There are scars but if done well should be very hard to detect even with closely cropped hair. That is the real advantage of FUE, i.e., hair can be worn very closely shorn and in most cases the tiny white dots (the scars) cannot be seen to the naked eye unless one brushes one’s fingers across the scalp. It is a shame that many FUE surgeons sell FUE by talking about how bad FUT linear strip scars are and how FUE is remarkably scarless or minimally scarring. This kind of hype is depressing and to me it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each method, FUE and FUT, in a reasonable way to help you decide which might be better for you based on numerous factors. As mentioned on this website, if an FUE surgeon only practices FUE then that is all you get. Similarly, if an FUT surgeon only does FUT then that is all that is offered. To me, it is important to find a surgeon who practices both procedures so that he or she can tailor the right procedure for you. For example, even though I own the robot for FUE harvesting, I would not use it for eyebrow transplants because I don’t think the robot does well for that. Unfortunately, I have seen too many cases of poor use of robotic or FUE simply because that is all the surgeon performs. When you only do FUE, then everyone is a candidate.
There is almost a week that does not go by that I do not see truly destroyed heads from bad FUE from local and national practitioners of FUE. What is the damage that I am seeing? Many things. In the worst-case scenario what I am seeing is a large rectangular patch of hair loss on the back of the scalp. Unlike a linear donor strip scar that can be easily camouflaged in the majority of cases, this kind of overharvesting is unfixable. The completely devastated donor area is left with a bald patch that is exposed. Equally bad is that most of all of this precious donor hair has been chewed up and destroyed so that little is left for me to use for future harvesting. To make matters worse, the transplanted hairs simply did not grow because they were manhandled by his staff.
I see many women who undergo FUE and it simply makes no sense to me in 99% of cases. These poor women must shave a portion of the back of their scalp and I see through the thick long hair that they have an area of diminished hair growth in the back of the head that looks like a rectangle. Why make women shave their head to perform FUE? Because that is the only trick you have. That again is so sad to me. FUE is a tool that must be used in careful hands by a skilled practitioner who uses great judgment for the right candidate. I like the expression when all you have is a hammer, then the world is a nail. In essence, if you only have one way to do things you force every person to be a candidate for that procedure. On an average day, I turn away 30 to 50% of my prospective consultations because they are either currently poor candidates or they will become poor candidates in the future. It is important not to let greed get in the way of good judgment. I will get off my soap box now but I truly hope that you find an ethical, passionate, and skilled surgeon with an amazing team to do your work and that can tailor the right procedure to you based on your gender, degree of hair loss, desires, donor supply, etc. There are so many factors to consider when coming up with the right procedure for you.