Do Hair Transplants Hurt?

- Reviewed by: Dr. Jae Pak, M.D.

Hair transplants are a procedure through which hair follicles are extracted from areas of the scalp where there is still healthy hair development and grafted onto those that are either bald or thinning.

Currently, surgeons perform one of the two available types of hair transplant surgical procedures, both of which are pretty safe and effective. But do they hurt? We will discuss this issue as well as other important aspects like recovery time.

The Main Two Types of Hair Transplants

There are two major categories of hair transplants :

  • FUE – follicular unit extraction – this is the most advanced method that solves hair loss;
  • FUSS – also known as FUT – the follicular unit strip surgery is the solution that provides the best hair growth.

Follicular Unit Excision

When it comes to hair harvesting, the FUE hair transplant procedure is a cutting-edge technique. It allows patients to wear their hair short because there will be no visible scars. This method is incredibly popular. During the operation, the surgeon removes follicular units using a cylindrical surgical instrument.

The tool’s diameter ranges between 0.8 and 1.0 mm, so; the doctor must opt for the alternative that suits the hair follicle’s size the best. classic hair transplant surgery,  can also be used to lower a patient’s hairline, revise scars, and in both beard and eyebrow transplants.

Follicular Unit Strip Surgery

FUSS is also known as FUT, which stands for follicular unit transplantation. In the hair loss treatment industry, this technique is considered the Gold Standard. During this surgery, hair is taken from the back area of your scalp and inserted in those regions that have thin hair, where new hairs stopped growing, and the existing ones are falling.

Just like in the case of the FUE method, FUSS can also be used for multiple purposes such as hairline lowering, beard transplants, scar revisions, and eyebrow transplants.

The Main Differences between the FUE and FUSS Hair Transplants

Both of these methods are safe and effective. They have quick recovery times/ healing times and are pain-free. Still, there are certain small differences that set them apart:

  • FUE leaves no linear scars while FUSS leaves a linear  scar, but it heals pretty quickly, and it won’t be visible;
  • Both of them have quick healing process periods, only that FUSS’ recovery time lasts a bit longer;
  • Both these procedures are highly effective, but FUSS has a better growth rate compared to FUE;
  • These two types of hair implants aren’t painful, but FUSS might come with a higher level of mild discomfort than FUE.

What’s Involved in Each of the Main Types of Hair Transplants?

Seeing your hair grow back thicker than ever and embellish your scalp provides you with the greatest feeling in the world. A successful result will make you feel confident and better about the way you look. Both FUE and FUSS will help you restore your natural hairline. Let’s talk a bit about each of the two main hair transplant alternatives.


This is a minimally-invasive procedure that removes single follicular units from those scalp areas in which hair grows normally and places them where they are needed, in either balding or thinning hair areas.

First, you need to find a skilled and experienced physician, one that’s specialized in hair restoration. The expert will examine your hair loss problem as well as your scalp. Once the surgeon decides you’re eligible for the operation, he or she will schedule an outpatient procedure that lasts one day.

That procedure will be reviewed by your doctor right before the actual surgery, and you will find answers to all your questions. Next, the specialist will clip some of the hair from your donor area, and a local anesthetic (type of painkiller) will be used to numb the scalp.

The doctor makes small circular incisions at the back or the sides of your head to collect follicular units. One unit contains between 1 and 4 hairs. All those hairs taken from the donor area are then kept on ice to enable safe and effective transplantation.

The grafts are then inserted in the needed thinning areas, into several incision sites made by the doctor. A great specialist must create a hairline that looks natural in terms of density and shape.

Once your scalp heals, which happens quite soon after the surgery, the incision will become almost undetectable.


There are many similarities between FUSS and FUE. For starters, they both require the patient to see the doctor before the actual operation to discover how serious the problem is, and if the procedure can be done without any risks.

During the surgery, the doctor starts by doing a linear incision along the backside of the patient’s scalp. This enables him or her to remove hair follicles. The harvested piece is placed under a microscope to separate it into very small units that will be more appropriate for the hair transplant.

The healthy follicles are then grafted into the balding or thinning recipient area. To do that, the surgeon uses micro punctures or tiny incisions. This ensures effective transplantation that’s free or any visible scarring. One single treatment session is more than enough for this procedure to be completed, but it could take up to several hours.

Unlike FUE, FUSS takes less time to be performed, and the hair transplant surgeon is able to extract several hair grafts in the same procedure in the hair transplant clinic. It is also slighty more affordable than FUE.

Do FUE Procedure or FUT Hair Transplant Hurt?

Dr. Jae Pak says that the sensation that any of the two methods presented above are usually painless, but if any it is very mild pain. They don’t hurt, although you might feel a slight sensation of discomfort that goes away quickly.

The discomfort can be higher after the FUSS hair transplant procedure because of the swelling that appears after the skin tissue has been removed.

Which Type of Hair Transplant Is Better in Terms of Recovery Time?

Most people can return to work in less than one week, so both of these hair transplant types have a speedy recovery. Getting back to normal after your healing time shouldn’t take long. It all depends on the surgery’s complexity and your normal lifestyle. Each organism could react differently, although there are normally no problems, whatsoever.

One may find that their new hairs that were inserted during the procedure fall out within six weeks of the operation.  This side effect is normal and the hairs will grow back.

Both methods feature a short recovery period but, after FUE, healing occurs at a somewhat quicker pace.

Many people deal with hair loss, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. If you want to look younger and feel more confident, then you might consider a hair transplant procedure. It isn’t a painful surgery, but you should always meet up with your doctor first to establish all the necessary details.

These procedures have become more successful with each passing year due to so many talented medical experts, such as the ones at the Jae Pak MD Medical, who are dedicating their time and effort to innovate the hair transplant industry.

Find out if Hair Restoration is right for you.

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