How visible are FUE donor scars? Is complete shaving possible?

How low can you go with shaving after FUE hair transplants? 

FUE or follicular unit transplantation is a method of hair restoration whereby hairs are taken one by one from all across the back. It offers the advantage in that stitches are not used and so a linear or line type scar is not produced. It gives men the option of wearing their hair very short in the future (if desired). 


So can the back of the scalp be shaved to a 0 or 1 in the future?

Although one can say for certain that patients getting FUE can wear their hair considerably shorter than men getting FUT (Strip) procedures, how low can they go? 


Four points about shaving after FUE

1. The first thing to state outright is that FUE is not a scarless procedure (despite the advertising). FUE produces tiny circular scars.

2. The second thing to state is that not every person heals the same. Some people heal incredibly well and others heal with bigger scars. While some of this is influenced by size of the punch used and the post op care given, alot is determined by one's genetics. Some people "scar" worse than others.

3. Most of my patients can wear their hair very, very short following FUE. But everyone has different healing and some scars are more noticeable than others. Scarring is more noticeable with bigger sized sessions.

4. Most patients could wear a number 1 with no problem - but not all. Massive FUE sessions, especially if overharvested or the patient is a poor healer, could look noticeable with a zero.


Final points & Summary

FUE is great because if allows men to have the option of wearing their hair very short in the future.  But the extreme of 'very short' is the concept of shaving down to a zero. Anyone wishing to wear a "zero" in the future should speak to their surgeon who can then advise based on the size of the planned session(s) and the patient's past healing. For patients with visible donor area harvesting, scalp micropigmentation (SMP) can be considered.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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