Follicular Unit Transplantation: The Strip Method
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT), or the “strip method,” is a time-tested technique for permanent hair restoration in Houston, TX. Using your own natural hair, double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Haresh Yalamanchili restores thick, healthy hair to areas of baldness, recreating your natural hairline for an impressive result.
Dr. Yalamanchili can help restore your hairline. To visit him in Houston and learn about your strip hair transplant options, request a consultation at the Belage Center or call to schedule an appointment.
How It Works
The follicular unit transplantation approach to hair restoration relies on harvesting healthy follicles from a thin, superficial strip of skin taken from the scalp. Dr. Yalamanchili carefully removes this strip of skin, usually from the back of the head where hair is thicker and is genetically programmed not to fall out as you age. Dr. Yalamanchili’s expertise as a facial plastic surgeon allows him to use an advanced technique to close the incision in such a way that the hair will grow back through the incision line, thereby hiding the donor site.
After the donor skin is removed, Dr. Yalamanchili and his team extract individual follicular units from it. Each follicular unit contains between 1 and 4 hairs. These individual follicular units are then meticulously inserted into the balding areas of the scalp, recreating a natural-looking, thicker hairline. Once the recipient area has fully healed, this donor hair begins to grow, eventually restoring a fuller appearance that looks completely natural. Learn more about why you should choose Dr. Yalamanchili for your hair restoration procedure.
Is FUT Right for Me?
FUT has been the gold standard of hair transplantation that has served thousands of patients well for years. It allows hair surgeons to provide the most natural-looking results in contrast to many of the older, outdated techniques that preceded it. Dr. Yalamanchili has undergone extensive training in this technique, and he uses an approach that ensures natural-looking, discreet results. However, this approach is not necessarily for everyone, so Dr. Yalamanchili may recommend another newer method called follicular unit extraction (FUE). Some of the differentiating factors for FUT include:
- Typically less time-consuming than FUE
- Less expensive
- Good results are usually achieved after a single session
- Creates a horizontal scar at the donor area, which limits ability to keep hair very short in the back of the head
- Requires more time to allow the donor area to heal
- Not suitable for patients with “tight” scalps or those at risk of significant scarring
Follicular Unit Transplantation Before & After
What to Expect During FUT
Dr. Yalamanchili performs follicular unit transplantation in his office as an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia. Your procedure can last for several hours, depending on the size of the treatment area. During your consultation, Dr. Yalamanchili gives you a more specific idea of the timeline of your procedure so that you can plan your day.
During the procedure, the hair in the donor area is clipped short to make it easier to work with. The donor area is typically located on the back or side of the head, where baldness is less likely to occur. Dr. Yalamanchili then harvests a strip of skin from the donor area. This strip contains thousands of viable hair follicles. He places the strip of skin in a special solution to preserve the follicles while he continues the procedure. He uses sutures to carefully close the donor area. Because the hair outside the donor site is untouched, it can often serve to hide the donor site incision as it heals.
Dr. Yalamanchili and his team then harvest follicular units from the donor strip. These follicles are then placed one at a time in the balding areas, taking meticulous care to ensure the donor hairs blend seamlessly with your native hair.
Dr. Yalamanchili covers the donor area with a sterile bandage to protect it as it heals. Although he typically prescribes oral pain relievers, not all patients require them. Dr. Yalamanchili may instruct patients to keep their heads upright at all times, including overnight, for at least several nights in order to reduce the risk of excessive swelling.
He gives patients special guidelines for shampooing and grooming to allow the transplanted hairs to fully settle. Although the hairs that have been transplanted can sometimes show some growth over the few weeks immediately following the procedure, they will typically fall out as the grafts go through a healing process. After 3 to 4 months, new hair will start to grow from the transplanted follicles. However, the results continue to improve and thicker hair becomes increasingly evident over the course of a year or so as the hair goes through its natural growth cycles.