FUE Hair Transplant For Men and Women

Hair loss can be a significant source of distress for many individuals, affecting men and women across various age groups. 

​​Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a minimally invasive hair transplant technique designed to address hair loss by harvesting individual hair follicle units from the areas on your head that are more resistant to thinning and ‘implanting’ them into the balding areas.

While it may cause some discomfort, this technique offers a potential solution for those seeking to regain a fuller head of hair. The process generally results in microscopic scars that are typically unnoticeable after healing.

Whether you’re experiencing hereditary hair loss, traumatic injuries or other causes, a consultation with a qualified hair loss specialist from Terra Medical can help determine if this personalised treatment approach is right for you. 

Learn more about FUE transplants below and consult with us today.

Common Reasons for Hair Loss

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Common Procedures of
Hair Transplant in Singapore

There are mainly two minimally-invasive surgical techniques used today for hair transplantation: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplant Technique (FUT), also known as the FUT strip harvesting method. These procedures can only be performed by a licensed medical professional.

What's the difference between FUE and FUT?

FUE

 

  1. Small, round punch incisions around hair follicles
  2. Extraction of hair follicles
  3. Quality check of harvested grafts under a microscope
  4. Implantation of grafts on balding areas

 

  1. Leaves microscopic scars that are generally not noticeable after healing

FUT

 

  1. Removal of a linear strip of scalp tissue
  2. Cutting the strips into smaller pieces
  3. Separation of hair follicles from the main strip
  4. Implantation of grafts into the scalp

 

  1. Linear strip scar will be visible on the donor area.

Services

Procedure Steps

Scarring

FUE

  1. Small, round punch incisions around hair follicles
  2. Extraction of hair follicles
  3. Quality check of harvested grafts under a microscope
  4. Implantation of grafts on balding areas
  1. Leaves microscopic scars that are generally not noticeable after healing

FUT

  1. Removal of a linear strip of scalp tissue
  2. Cutting the strips into smaller pieces
  3. Separation of hair follicles from the main strip
  4. Implantation of grafts into the scalp
  1. A linear strip scar will be visible on the donor area.

In Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) strip harvesting, the medical practitioner administers a local anaesthetic to the donor area before excising strips of scalp tissue containing healthy hair follicles. These donor strips are meticulously dissected under a microscope to isolate individual follicular units, which are subsequently implanted into the balding regions. 

 

The surgical wound is then sutured, ensuring the adjacent hairs are positioned closely together, thereby minimising the risk of large, visible scarring.

In Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), the technique differs significantly from FUT strip harvesting.

The distinction in nomenclature reflects the variation in surgical procedure: instead of removing a strip of scalp tissue for dissection, FUE utilises a harvesting punch machine to excise individual follicular units without damaging the hair follicles.

The success of this method in preserving follicular integrity heavily depends on the skill of the medical practitioner, making training and experience crucial.

The individual follicular units, known as ‘grafts,’ are surrounded by healthy tissue that supports follicle survival.

Once these grafts are retrieved from the scalp, they are meticulously assessed by a team of trained hair restoration technicians using high-powered microscopy. Suitable grafts are then placed in a specialised storage medium called ‘hypothermosol’ to preserve their survival rate prior to implantation into balding areas.

Why is FUE so popular?

FUE has gained significant popularity over the past decade, despite being in practice for over 15 years. This surge in popularity can be attributed to advancements in FUE punch technology, which have helped reduce the size of scars post-procedure. 

Punch technology involves the removal of a portion of skin containing hair from the donor area. While larger punch grafts can cause scarring, modern advancements have led to the development of smaller hybrid punch technologies.

These innovations ensure minimal to no damage to the grafts, resulting in healthier grafts and higher transplantation success rates.

What type of FUE system does Terra Medical use?

At Terra, we deploy the use of the Trivellini FUE System as well as the Devroye WAW FUE System.

Is this a manual or automated system?

While robotic systems like ARTAS can be utilised, Terra Medical prefers hybrid punch technology. Our practitioners favour this approach to minimise the risk of damaged grafts through meticulous manual quality checks. During a consultation, we discuss the most suitable method for each individual, considering factors such as graft quality to ensure a successful hair transplant.

 

Can Both Males and Females Have Hair Transplants?

Contrary to popular belief, hair transplants are not limited to males. Despite 40% of alopecia sufferers being female and a striking 80% of women experiencing noticeable hair loss by age 60, only 12% of women with hair loss seek treatment, compared to 20% of men. This underscores a considerable disparity—many women endure hair loss silently when viable solutions could be accessible.

At Terra Medical, we serve a significant portion of female patients, comprising 20-30% of our patients. These women seek to enhance their appearance, self-esteem, and confidence through our hair transplantation solutions tailored for female hair loss.

Why Do
Women Need
Hair Transplants

Why Do Women Need
Hair Transplants

There are several reasons why a woman may contemplate hair transplantation:

Scalp Trauma

Women may seek hair transplantation due to traumatic injuries to the scalp, resulting in scarring and permanent hair loss in specific areas. However, some scalp infections which are autoimmune can make a hair transplant unsuitable. A doctor’s evaluation is required to determine if the infection is under control and if the scalp is healthy enough for the procedure.

Female Pattern Hair Loss

Progressive female pattern hair loss, characterised by hair loss around the scalp that does not regrow, is another reason women consider hair transplantation.

Hairline Dissatisfaction

Some individuals are dissatisfied with their natural hairline and desire a lower, more youthful, and feminine hairline.

Improved Hair Density

Women may wish to enhance their hair density, especially in areas affected by thinning or hair loss.

However, it’s crucial to note that hair transplants for women differ from those for men due to distinct hair loss patterns. Men typically experience androgenetic alopecia, resulting in specific areas of hair loss that are relatively stable over time. In contrast, women’s hair loss is often more diffuse across the vertex of the scalp, requiring a larger amount of donor hair for transplantation.

The number of grafts needed directly impacts the size of donor sites, operation time, and overall costs. These factors are usually calculated on a per-graft basis. Therefore, it’s essential for women considering hair transplantation to make an informed decision, understanding that it is not a quick-fix solution like wearing a wig. The full results of the procedure may take up to a year to become apparent.

For women with longer hair, there may be a need to shave or trim hair in specific areas. However, our skilled team can perform an ‘undercut’ technique for hair at shoulder length or longer, strategically hiding shaved donor areas.

 

When considering hair transplant surgery to lower a high hairline, there are no rigid guidelines dictating how much the hairline should be lowered. The extent of adjustment is highly individualised and relies on the experience and artistic judgement of the medical practitioner.

 

A skilled practitioner will assess the ratios and proportions of your facial features to determine the most appropriate placement for your new hairline. This process involves considering factors such as forehead height, eyebrow position, and overall facial harmony. By carefully gauging these elements, the practitioner can tailor the hairline augmentation to enhance your natural appearance effectively.

 

Ultimately, the goal is to achieve a balanced and aesthetically pleasing result that complements your facial features, highlighting the importance of expertise and artistry in hairline design during hair transplant surgeries.

 

During your consultation, whether at Terra Medical or another reputable hair restoration clinic, we encourage you to request to see results from previous hair transplants conducted in recent years. This helps you gain insight into the clinic’s capabilities and the potential outcomes you can expect from the procedure.

What Are The Causes of Hair Loss?

Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), commonly referred to as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness, can stem from various factors:

Genetics

A 2017 review identified 63 genes associated with male pattern baldness, with 6 of them inherited from the maternal side. Family history significantly influences the likelihood of baldness, with around 50% of females experiencing female pattern hair loss by age 80.

Hormonal Changes

Genetic predisposition can lead to higher testosterone hormones converting into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at hair follicles in some males. This process causes follicles to shrink, resulting in thinner hair that eventually falls out. Hormonal shifts during life stages like menopause can also trigger hair loss in women.

Hair Transplant - Procedures,
Expected Result, and Recovery

 

Thanks to modern techniques, hair transplants have become minimally invasive procedures. Unlike major surgeries that require general anaesthesia, hair transplant procedures involve the removal (“harvesting”) of healthy hair follicles from the scalp and their implantation into balding areas. This eliminates the need for long-term hospitalisation and extensive bandaging.

 

After the procedure, scabs on the grafted areas typically dry up within a day and shed within seven to ten days, allowing for a relatively quick recovery. The most uncomfortable part of the process is the initial injection of local anaesthesia, which lasts for about five to ten minutes. Once the anaesthesia takes effect, there is minimal discomfort throughout the hair transplant procedure.

 

You may experience slight to moderate discomfort as the anaesthesia wears off, depending on your pain tolerance. However, our team will provide medication to alleviate any pain or discomfort, ensuring a comfortable recovery period.

 

The results of a hair transplant are not immediate. Typically, it takes about 3 to 4 months for transplanted hairs to start growing as the scalp adjusts to the grafts and initiates the hair growth cycle. However, it may take a further 6 to 9 months, depending on the hairstyle and length of hair, before you can accurately assess the aesthetic result of the hair transplantation.

 

In many cases, once the transplanted hairs start to grow (after the 4th month), the rate of growth is usually around 1 cm per month. Over time, up to 12 to 18 months post-procedure, the transplanted hairs may continue to improve in quality and density. It’s important to be patient during this period, as the final results at the 12 to 18-month mark will be worth the wait.

 

The number of hair grafts required for a transplant depends on several factors. Firstly, the affected area and the degree of thinning play a crucial role. On average, a full head transplant may necessitate 4000 to 6000 grafts, while a smaller area like the front half might require 1000 to 3000 grafts. For a frontal hairline (typically 10-30cm²), 500 to 1500 grafts may be sufficient. However, the actual number varies based on individual needs, donor availability, and desired hair density.

 

At Terra, we utilise a tool called TrichoLAB Transplanner to determine a more precise number of hair grafts needed for each patient. Additionally, the quality of your donor hair influences the choice between techniques like FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) that are best suited for you.

 

For smaller bald spots, one transplant session may suffice. However, for larger areas, 2-3 sessions might be necessary to achieve optimal density. Patients experiencing potential progressive hair loss should consider that a repeat procedure may be required in the next 5-10 years, depending on donor availability and ongoing hair loss patterns.

 

The duration of a hair transplant procedure in Singapore can vary depending on factors such as the transplantation area and the number of grafts required. Generally, the procedure takes around 6 to 9 hours to complete. Due to the length of the procedure, we recommend that patients clear their schedules for the day of the procedure to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted experience.

12 Steps of a Hair Transplant:
How Does It Work?

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the hair transplant procedure at Terra Medical:

Step 1: Hair Line Design and Planning
  • The medical practitioner will personally design the hairline and discuss the transplantation areas with you, the patient.
  • Step 2: Donor Preparation
  • The donor area is assessed for scalp health, and hair is trimmed to a specific length.
  • Grey or white hair may be coloured for precise harvesting.
  • Step 3: Donor Anaesthesia
  • A mild sedative is given to help relax during local anaesthesia injections in the donor area.
  • Step 4: Sterility
    • Strict sterility protocols are followed, with the team appropriately gowned, masked, and scrubbed.
    • The scalp is thoroughly cleansed with a disinfecting solution.
    Step 5: Harvesting
    • A specialized fluid is injected to support grafts.
    • Motorised FUE punch scores the skin, while a technician removes and places grafts in chilled solution.
    Step 6: Quality Assessment
    • Grafts are assessed for quality and trimmed if needed.
    • They are categorized based on the number of hairs per graft and stored in a solution.
    Step 7: Recipient Anaesthesia
    • Nerve blocks and a ring block are used for complete numbness in the recipient area.
    Step 8: Recipient Site Making
    • Customised blades create tiny incisions based on the pre-planned design.
    • This step determines the natural look of the result.
    Step 9: Lunch Time
    • Patients relax with lunch and medications to minimise swelling.
    Step 10: Graft Placement
    • Technicians place grafts back into the scalp using surgical forceps.
    Step 11: Application of Hair Serum
    • This stem cell conditioned media is applied for optimal healing and growth factors.
    Step 12: Bandaging
    • The donor area is loosely bandaged to ensure comfort and optimal recovery.

    Patients are advised to maintain a shorter hairstyle pre-procedure for easier recovery. As healing progresses, they can resume normal activities without social concerns.

    Hair Transplant
    Post-Procedure Recovery Timeline

    Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of the anticipated healing process after a hair transplant procedure:

    • Grafted areas begin to dry up, and small scabs may form.
    • Avoid scratching or picking at scabs; let them fall off naturally.
    • Consider staying indoors to protect grafted areas from dirt, sun exposure, sweat, and excessive oil.
    • Light physical activities can be resumed after the initial healing period.
    • Return to normal activities like work or errands.
    • Avoid contact sports or extreme exercises to prevent potential injury to the healing scalp skin.

    Following these guidelines can help ensure optimal healing and results from the hair transplant procedure.

    What To Avoid After Your Treatment

    During the first two weeks after your hair transplantation, it’s crucial to take care to ensure that the hair grafts remain undisturbed. Here are some specific precautions to follow during this recovery period:

    Minimise Aggravation:

    Avoid touching or rubbing your scalp unnecessarily. Disturbing the healing grafts increases the risk of infection and can dislodge them.

    Stay Away From Chemicals:

    Refrain from swimming in pools, using strong hair products, or colouring your hair during the recovery period.

    Minimise Heat Exposure:

    Protect your head from direct sun exposure and avoid hot showers. Excessive heat can harm the hair follicles and hinder healing.

    Avoid Vices:

    Refrain from consuming alcohol or smoking both before and after surgery, as they can affect blood flow to the scalp, which is crucial for healing.

    After the initial two weeks, gradually resume your normal routine. However, continue to avoid steam rooms, saunas, and chlorinated environments two months post-operation to allow the hair grafts to fully settle in and ensure optimal results from the transplantation.

    How to Know if You Are the Right Candidate for Hair Transplant Surgery?

    After understanding the hair transplant process and recovery period, it’s crucial to evaluate if hair transplant surgery is the right choice for you. Typically, for hairline restoration, we often proceed directly to a hair transplant. Non-surgical solutions like topical minoxidil applications or therapies like Regenera Activa may also be explored depending on the doctor’s evaluation.

    Before recommending hair transplant surgery, our specialists conduct a thorough consultation, assessing your medical history, scalp condition, age, gender, ethnicity, and desired outcomes. We also consider factors like donor area availability, facial structure, and existing hair characteristics. This comprehensive evaluation ensures that the hair transplant complements your unique features and meets your expectations.

    During the consultation, blood tests may be required to rule out any underlying deficiencies or conditions that could affect the suitability of the hair transplantation procedure.

    If you’re considering FUE hair transplant surgery and need more information or clarity, we encourage you to reach out to our team at Terra Medical. Our experienced doctors will guide you through the hair restoration process and help determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs.

    FAQs of Hair Transplant

    The most painful part of the procedure is typically the beginning, where local anaesthesia is injected to the scalp in the initial 5-10 minutes. After the anaesthesia kicks in quickly, the first part of harvesting the donor sites will have minimal to zero pain. While the extraction of hair follicles is going on, the anaesthesia may wear off slightly. Hence, there is a second round of smaller local anaesthetic injections to prepare the balding area for graft implantation. Post-procedure, there will be a slight to moderate discomfort felt as the anaesthesia wears off within 12-18 hours, depending on your own individual pain tolerance. Medication will be supplied to you to help with any pain or discomfort felt for 1-2 days after. Prolonged pain is rare, so it is important that you inform your hair restoration doctor if you experience prolonged pain after a hair transplant procedure. There may be other conditions like an infection that has happened to cause the prolonged pain.

    FUE (or FUEE) is not a scar-less procedure. There will be scars seen, which will be covered up well by hair of minimum length 3-5mm once hair grows back. If a person shaves their head, tiny spots of 0.8mm hypopigmented (lighter colour than your original skin colour) marks can still be noticed.

    This is only advised for patients who have work that is completely sedentary and does not require walking around in the open, such as a desk-bound office job. This is because even though it is a minimally invasive surgery, you may still feel uncomfortable while waiting for the effects of the anaesthesia to wear off. 


    A bandage will cover the donor area to ensure that hygiene is maintained and bacteria-free. One day after the procedure, you will need to return to the clinic for bandage removal. Your scalp will also be washed by our team to ensure further hygiene and so that the grafts are not damaged. Further instructions will be given to you on how to care for your scalp, including hair washing techniques, usage of skin healing serums, and a regime of antibiotics to prevent infections.

    In optimum situations, the donor area hair should have grown out sufficiently to cover the punch marks by 1 week. The scabs that have formed after the procedure will also have started to drop off on their own. Follow the advised do’s and don’ts listed here and given by your hair transplant team, and you will recover within 7-14 days! 

    Transplanted hairs usually take 3-4 months to start growing. In fact, it is normal to actually see more ‘hair loss’ over the donor sites in the first few months as the transplanted hair shafts may detach from the implanted roots. If this happens, do not worry. It just means that new and strong hairs will start to grow out from those areas within 4-6 months. The rate of growth is usually 1cm per month. From 6-9 months, implanted hairs will look denser and gain 80% of results. Up to 12-18 months post-procedure, the transplanted hairs may continue to improve in quality and density for the full results!

    Firstly, your comfort matters! As this is a process that will last up to a year, you need to be comfortable with the clinic and the team that will journey with you. You should feel comfortable enough to bring your concerns and worries to them over the course of the months leading up to full hair growth, and all your questions should be answered well before you make any decisions.

    Secondly, make sure that you have gotten a thorough consultation done. Hair transplantation is a permanent solution, and is meant to replace balding areas with a natural appearance using your own donor hairs. A proper consultation makes sure that your investment into this procedure is long-lived and that you are a suitable candidate for this surgery. There may be other regenerative medicine procedures such as Regenera Activa to stop further hair loss and optimise the condition of the existing hairs first.

    And thirdly, ensure that the clinic you have chosen for your hair transplantation journey is Led and certified by licensed doctors e.g. a Diplomate from the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgeons. After all, your health is in their hands! The right doctor should not only ensure that the hairline that you decide on will be able to ‘age’ with you and still look natural 30 years down the road, they will also make sure that the procedure is done with strict hygiene and safety. The ISHRS position statement should be adhered to by all the physicians that are in charge of the surgical decisions and incisions.

    Hair transplant in Singapore costs around SGD$6000 for small cases and up to SGD$15-20k for complicated, larger cases. Hair transplantation surgery should always be performed by a professional team led by a doctor for the safest results. For questions that have not been answered by this article, contact Terra Medical Clinic to get in touch with someone from our team!

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