Is FUE Hair Transplant the Right Option for You?

Learn about FUE hair transplant. Get details on the procedure, recovery timeline, and if it’s right for you.

Are you tired of battling hair loss with no success from several remedies and treatments? You’re not alone. Many people experiencing hair loss try numerous hair restoration products, only to disappoint themselves. However, others have decided to get an FUE hair transplant procedure and their lives have been completely transformed. If you’re contemplating getting a hair transplant in North Carolina, FUE might be the option for you. 


What is FUE Hair Transplant

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a hair transplant technique that involves harvesting individual follicular units directly from the donor area, typically the back and sides of the scalp, to the balding or thinning area. Unlike strip harvesting (FUT), FUE does not leave a linear scar so it’s often the option for individuals who want a minimally invasive hair transplant procedure. 


Steps to FUE Hair Transplant

  1. Consultation: During your consultation, your hair transplant surgeon will assess your hair loss pattern, scalp laxity, and overall health to determine if FUE is a suitable option for you. They will also discuss your desired outcome and establish realistic expectations.
  2. Preparation: The scalp is numbed with local anesthesia to minimize discomfort. Depending on the extent of hair loss, the procedure can take several hours.
  3. Donor Hair Extraction: Using a specialized punch tool, your surgeon meticulously extracts individual follicular units naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs from the donor area. This minimally invasive approach leaves behind tiny, dot-like scars that are virtually undetectable with short hairstyles.
  4. Recipient Site Preparation: Tiny recipient sites are then created in the balding or thinning area using micro blades or needles. The size and direction of these sites are crucial to achieve a natural-looking hairline.
  5. Follicle Implantation: Extracted follicular units are carefully implanted into the recipient sites one by one. This step requires the highest level of precision to achieve a natural appearance. But it’s not just precision that’s important. Your surgeon’s artistry will determine whether your results will look natural. 
  6. Recovery: Following the procedure, your scalp will be slightly tender, and there may be some swelling and scabbing. These subside within a few days.


FUE Hair Transplant Recovery Timeline

This timeline is only a general guideline, and it’s important to tell your surgeon about any concerns you might have throughout the recovery process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you experience any unexpected symptoms or discomfort. Here’s what you can expect after your FUE hair transplant procedure: 

Days 1 – 3 after the procedure

  • These are critical days as the follicles adjust to their new environment. Swelling, redness, itching, and discomfort around the transplanted area are normal and temporary.
  • While minimally invasive, you might prefer to take a few days off work for healing.


Days 4-10 after your hair transplant

  • Swelling should subside, and redness may become faint or disappear entirely.
  • Scabs will form on the graft sites within 24-72 hours. Dr. Cooley will advise on gentle removal during shampooing.
  • Avoid rubbing your hair, scratching your scalp, or engaging in strenuous activity for 2 weeks.


Weeks 2 – 3 after the FUE procedure

  • The donor area continues to heal, and redness fades. Transplanted hair may begin to shed, a normal part of the regrowth process. This shedding phase can occur as early as 2 weeks after surgery.
  • The follicles enter a resting phase before initiating new growth. Not everyone sheds transplanted hair; for some, it stays on the scalp for months before being replaced by new hair.
  • Regrowth typically begins 4-5 months after surgery. Minoxidil use might decrease shedding in some cases.


End of Month 1 – Month 2 after hair restoration surgery

  • Most activities can be resumed, including swimming.
  • Hair follicles are in a resting phase, so visible hair growth might not be apparent yet. Be patient; new growth is on the way.

Months 3 – 4 after the procedure


  • Fine, wispy hairs begin to grow through the scalp. Hair regrowth rates vary from person to person.
  • Uneven growth patterns are normal due to the natural hair growth cycle. Be patient, and the distribution will even out as regrowth progresses.
  • Dr. Cooley will hold check-up appointments to monitor progress.


Months 5 – 9 after the hair transplant

  • A significant amount of hair will grow, but it will still be thin. The hair will gradually thicken and change texture.
  • By month six, 60-70% of the new hairs will have fully grown in, with 40-50% reaching maturity (darkening, thickening, and normalizing).
  • Most patients see noticeable cosmetic results by month six. The transplanted hair should blend seamlessly with existing hair and be styled as desired.
  • The donor area should be nearly healed by this point.


12 months after your hair transplant

  • Typically, the transplanted hair is fully grown and matured at the one-year mark. This is when the final appearance can be fully appreciated. Dr. Cooley will schedule a follow-up appointment to examine your progress and address any questions.
  • For some, it might take longer for hair to fully mature in density and thickness, especially in the mid-scalp or crown region. These areas can take up to 18 months to show final results.


Commonly Asked Questions about FUE Hair Transplant 

Does FUE hair transplant look natural?

Yes, FUE hair transplants can look remarkably natural. However, your results are highly dependent on your surgeon’s experience and artistry. Which is why we recommend doing your research first before choosing your hair transplant surgeon. If you’re in the North Carolina area, look no further than Dr. Cooley. He has decades of experience in hair restoration and provides the best hair transplant results to his patients. Browse our collection of hair transplant before and after photos.


Does FUE require a shaved head?

In the past, during FUE hair transplants, a small area of the scalp was shaved for better visibility. If you’re worried about needing to shave your entire head for a hair transplant, don’t be. With NeoGraft FUE, only a partial shave is required, so you can keep most of your hair.

There’s also the ‘no-shave’ FUE option, which is for people with longer hair who don’t want it shaved. Here, the surgeon carefully removes follicles around the existing hair, making it less invasive but it might take more time and skill.


How long does FUE last?

The transplanted hair is taken from areas of your scalp that are resistant to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that causes pattern baldness. This means the transplanted follicles will keep growing like the hair in your donor area, lasting a lifetime. 


Am I a good candidate for FUE? 

Ideal candidates for FUE hair transplants include individuals with:

  • a stable hair loss pattern
  • adequate donor hair density 
  • realistic expectations about achievable density and hairline design
  • good overall health


Trustworthy FUE Hair Transplant Clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina

Dr. Jerry Cooley is a highly respected hair transplant surgeon renowned for his artistry and innovation with over 30 years of experience in the field. With accolades such as being named one of the Best Hair Transplant Doctors in the World and accreditation by Hair Transplant Mentor™, you’re in expert hands.

If you’re looking for a reliable follicular unit extraction clinic in Charlotte, NC, look no further than Cooley Hair Center. Patients from all over the US and around the world seek out Dr. Cooley’s expertise for natural-looking, long-lasting results. 

Call us to book a consultation. We serve patients in and around North Carolina, including Charlotte, Lancaster, Mint Hill, Matthews, Monroe, Gastonia, and surrounding areas. 

FUE Hair Transplant Before and After Photos

Check out more hair transplant before and after photos in our gallery.