FUE: Follicular Unit Excision/Extraction


Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a minimally invasive hair transplant technique where individual hair follicles are taken directly from the donor area (typically the back of the scalp) and implanted into the recipient area (where hair is thinning or balding). 

Unlike strip harvesting (FUT), FUE doesn’t leave a linear scar, but it does leave tiny ‘dot-like’ scars that are easily concealed even with short hair. However, FUE does require shaving the head so surgeons can have better visibility and easier access to extract healthy hair follicles. FUE is generally considered a good option for individuals who prefer wearing their hair short.


Hair loss is a natural occurrence. People typically shed 50 to 100 hairs a day. Normally, this isn’t a concern as new hair grows in to replace what’s lost. However, when new hair doesn’t replace the fallen strands, you may have a hair loss condition. 

Several things can contribute to hair loss, including:

Genetics: The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called androgenic alopecia, also known as male/female pattern baldness. This type of hair loss tends to occur gradually and follows predictable patterns, such as a receding hairline or thinning crown.

Age: As we age, hair growth naturally slows down, and hair follicles may eventually stop producing hair altogether. This can lead to thinning hair or a receding hairline.

Hormonal Changes: Various hormonal changes due to factors like pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or thyroid problems can lead to permanent or temporary hair loss. 

Medical conditions: Certain health issues such as alopecia areata (where the immune system attacks hair follicles), scalp infections like ringworm, and trichotillomania (a disorder involving compulsive hair pulling) can result in hair loss. Additionally, medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation may cause hair loss as a side effect.

Stress: Intense physical or emotional stress can trigger temporary hair loss known as telogen effluvium, which typically becomes noticeable weeks or months after the stressful event.

Hairstyles and hair care practices: Tight hairstyles such as cornrows or braids that tug on the hair follicles, as well as harsh chemical treatments like perms, relaxers, or dyes, can damage the hair and lead to breakage or traction alopecia.

While there are many hair loss solutions that don’t require surgery, hair transplantation like FUE remains the only option to restore a natural-looking hairline permanently. 


FUE is completed under local anesthesia. The scalp is thoroughly numbed to ensure patients are comfortable and satisfied throughout the treatment. During the procedure, Dr. Cooley utilizes a small handheld punch device that removes individual follicular units containing one to four strands of hair each. The punch device extracts the entire hair follicle, including its underlying root system, ensuring that it survives the transplantation process. Follicular grafts are taken from the back and sides of the head, as those areas of the scalp are more resistant to hair loss.

All grafts are placed in a holding solution containing special vitamins and nutrients that keep the follicular units preserved before they are transplanted. Once a sufficient amount of grafts has been harvested, Dr. Cooley begins transplanting them one-by-one into the recipient areas of the scalp, carefully placing them in patterns that mimic and replicate the natural growth of the hair in the surrounding area.

The length of the FUE procedure can span between two and four hours, depending on the extent of the hair transplants necessary to achieve the patient’s desired results. Compared to follicular unit transplantation FUT or strip method, the FUE procedure leaves less noticeable scarring in the donor areas. However, both FUT strip harvesting and FUE methods are very effective hair transplant surgeries to restore a fuller head. 


After a FUE hair transplant the scalp will be red, swollen and sensitive. Patients should take great care not to touch their scalps as the newly-transplanted hair may become dislodged.

Most side effects of follicular unit extraction hair transplants subside within the first week of recovery. Scabs will begin to form as the donor sites and transplant sites recover and should be left alone to fall off once the scalp has completed healing.

Sleeping with an elevated head for the first few nights following surgery can help minimize swelling and other side effects. FUE is a relatively minor surgical procedure and patients may feel ready to resume work and other regular activities the very next day. Most patients choose to take two to three days off from work or schedule their appointments before the weekend to allow noticeable side effects the chance to heal before resuming their daily schedules.

At his FUE hair transplant in Charlotte, North Carolina Dr. Cooley provides all his patients with specific instructions on how to best manage their recovery following surgery to ensure optimal results.


Hair transplants do not provide instant results, and patients should not expect to see an immediate improvement in their hair following surgery. In fact, the newly transplanted hair will fall out about two to three weeks into recovery. The shedding of FUE grafts is a natural part of the process and is expected.

New hair growth will begin around the two- to three-month mark, although a visible change will not be truly noticeable until six months following surgery. Because a FUE hair transplant does not require incisions, scarring is virtually nonexistent following the procedure.

The handheld punch device may leave behind small circular scabs, but they will gradually fade into nearly invisible faint marks once the scalp has finished healing.

Patients will experience a significant improvement in their hair density in about six months, although new hair growth will continue to improve for up to 18 months. Results following FUE treatment should last a lifetime, and patients can expect to enjoy their fuller, more youthful head of hair for many years.

In order to maintain hair transplants, Dr. Cooley recommends the use of medicated products like Rogaine and Propecia to his FUE hair transplant patients to slow down and prevent future hair loss. Platelet rich plasma therapy is another very effective treatment to maintain and improve native non-transplanted hair. 

With Dr. Cooley’s understanding of how hair grows, Dr. Cooley and his team can offer hair restoration procedures that provide the most natural looking results. 


Both FUE and FUT have their own advantages and drawbacks. In FUE, individual follicles are extracted using a punch device, leaving only tiny scars and is minimally invasive so it has less recovery time. It’s an excellent option for shorter hairstyles but can cost more than FUT and is more time-consuming since the follicular units are often extracted manually. 

On the other hand, FUT involves taking a strip of scalp, dissecting the follicles, and transplanting them into the recipient areas. This technique inevitably results in a linear scar but is generally less expensive and allows for the harvesting of a much greater number of grafts. 

Ultimately, the best hair transplant technique for you depends on your individual circumstances and preferences. Consulting with a hair transplant surgeon like Dr. Cooley is the best way to determine which approach is right for you.


The cost of your FUE hair transplant depends on a number of factors including the number of grafts you’ll need, your surgeon’s experience and expertise, the clinic’s location, and the additional treatments that will go with your procedure like PRP or laser therapy. 

To get an accurate idea of how much an FUE procedure will cost you, scheduling a consultation with a hair transplant surgeon in Charlotte, NC is the best step to take. They can assess your individual needs and provide a personalized hair restoration plan based on your desired outcomes. 


We understand that dealing with hair loss can be a deeply personal matter. That’s why at Cooley Hair Center, we’re dedicated to providing an exceptional hair restoration experience tailored to your needs. 

Here’s why should you choose us as your hair transplant provider in Charlotte, North Carolina: 

  • Dr. Cooley’s commitment to excellence is evident in his prestigious Platinum Follicle Award, recognizing his groundbreaking contributions to hair restoration.
  • We believe in putting patients first. Dr. Cooley personally oversees every step of your journey, crafting a customized plan tailored to your goals and desired outcomes. 
  • Our goal is to create hairlines that look completely natural. Dr. Cooley’s precise techniques ensure seamless, undetectable hair transplants that blend seamlessly with your existing hair.

Our clinic has a strong history of success. Patients from all over the US and around the world seek out Dr. Cooley’s expertise for natural-looking, long-lasting results. Check out our collection of hair transplant before and after photos.

Get your self-confidence back

When you have surgical hair restoration at Cooley Hair Center, you will see not only new hair but renewed self-confidence and higher self-esteem. It is an investment in yourself!

It is an investment in yourself!
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Christopher Lee
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Dr Cooley and his staff are absolute professionals. From the very beginning they made every step of the process easy. Having doctor Cooley involved In every step of the Process including the grafting process truly speak to the quality of this business. Thanks so much for the hard work!
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Incredible hospitality by the entire staff. Dr. Cooley and his team really are true masters of their craft. I would highly recommend Cooley Hair Center if your seeking hair restoration as a option. Not to mention all the non surgical options that they provide. Just to throw this out there.. I originally opted for a 1200 graft procedure and come to find out Dr. Cooley ended up implanting an additional 250 grafts at no charge. Thanks again guys!
Les Reece
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My experience with Dr. Cooley and his staff was excellent. I had my first procedure almost two years ago and will be getting a second one very soon. He takes the time to listen to his patients and then makes recommendations based on what he thinks will look best. Everyone on his staff that I have dealt with was very friendly and helpful. If you are considering hair restoration there is no one better to do it.
Joe Tillman
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I've got nearly 15 years of experience in the hair transplant industry and currently I seek out and review hair transplant clinics as an independent patient educator. You can Google my name to see that I'm not a random reviewer. I have a lot lot of experience in this industry and I know what I'm talking about.
Mike Clague
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Cooley by name, cool by nature. Very professional practice. All staff are excellent and focussed 100% on you. All after care is explained deeply. Dr Cooley and Brandi stayed back late to ensure I got an excellent result. I can not fault the experience so far. I highly recommend Dr Cooley to any one considering a HT. Do your research, he is definitely top 5 in the world. Remember this is is your face, you wear it every day. Thank you to all.
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I have seen Dr Cooley for several hair transplant sessions and I can say with my experience from a few other hair transplant Dr's I have done sugery with that they don't even come close to Dr Cooley's work. This Dr is very professional and he takes pride in his work. I would love to do another surgery with him I just don't know if I have enough donor area left. Go see him you will not be disappointed I can say this with certainty!
Dave itisme
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Had a transplant with Dr Cooley in 2016. Best money I ever spent. He changed my life. I cannot recommend him enough.
Sameer Arora
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The most down to earth guy with amazing bedside manners and in depth knowledge of the subject. He is not somebody who will show off his expertise and as they say action speaks louder than words. If you want a genuinely skilled physician whose only goal to take care of patients in the honest possible way, he is the man. Great experience. Thank you Dr Cooley.
jay cee
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My experience with Dr. Cooley and his staff has been simply amazing....bottom-line excellent. I had my procedure done about 4 weeks ago, and he has been responsive every single time I asked questions throughout my initial healing period. During the procedure, Dr Cooley and his staff were unbelievable patient, professional and went above & beyond.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure to visit our Before & After gallery to view real results on real patients. 


Cooley Hair Center

If you are interested in hair transplantation surgery to treat your genetic hair loss, then schedule an appointment with Dr. Cooley. At Cooley Hair Center, we offer both FUE and follicular unit transplantation (FUT) surgery to our patients. We will sit down with you during a one-on-one consultation to discuss your hair loss and determine which method is best to achieve your desired results. To book your appointment, call Cooley Hair Center today at 704-542-1601.