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The Differences Between DHI and FUE Hair Transplants

Our hair is perhaps the single most important factor of our appearance. A simple haircut can change how we look and feel and affect our self-confidence tremendously. That is why so much research and development has been invested in finding methods to curb hair loss. Baldness and weak or thinning hair can all have a detrimental effect on our mental health because they can adversely affect how we perceive ourselves and others perceive us.

DHI vs FUE Hair Transplant

The two best methods for restoring hair are Direct Hair Implant (DHI) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). What is the difference between DHI and FUE?

What is FUE

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is performed by collecting groups of healthy hair follicles from a donor area (usually at the back of the head). These newly harvested follicles are then implanted into the areas that are bald or have thinning hair. The hair follicles are carefully extracted by an experienced surgeon using a special tool that makes small holes in the skin with three or four hair follicles in each tiny patch of skin. The end result can look completely natural with little trauma to the scalp in both the donor area and the implanted areas. The minimum amount of scarring also aids in a quicker recovery time.

Benefits of FUE

FUE hair transplant will reap better results and usually presents a higher growth percentage of new hair with a success rate that is greater than 90%. Another advantage is that the incisions range only from 0.7 – 1 millimeters which improve the speed of recovery. Patients are able to wash their hair normally within 24 hours of the procedure. There’s no need to wait 7 days like with other older hair transplant methods. It is also possible to use the FUE method to implant hair follicles into other areas besides the scalp where hair loss is present. FUE is possible on eyebrows, beards, mustaches, and sideburns. better

However, FUE presents some disadvantages as well. The FUE procedure requires a high technical skill level for a successful outcome. If performed by a less experienced surgeon, the chances of hair growth drop from 90% to 60%. This is because the procedure requires deft skill and finesse in the use of needle-nose pliers and forceps. If a surgeon isn’t careful, the hair and its root cells can easily suffer trauma which leads to a lower chance of the hair follicle surviving.

What is DHI

Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) is a modern version of FUE that has recently received more attention from people seeking hair loss treatments. DHI is performed similarly to FUE, where the surgeon will remove hair follicles from a donor area on the scalp and then implant them in an area where hair loss is present. The difference is that instead of implanting each individual hair follicle manually, the DHI method uses a special pen-shaped tool that both cuts and implants the hair follicles at the same time. This procedure ends up being much faster as there’s no need to do the skin grafts and the implantation separately, which dramatically speeds up the procedure.

Benefits of DHI

DHI can be done quickly as it accomplishes two separate tasks at the same time, which also leads to a quicker recovery time as well. There’s no need to wait 7 days, unlike other hair transplant methods. Patients are able to wash their hair within a day of the procedure. The recovery time is also greatly increased because the implantation tool makes small incisions that are only between 0.5 – 0.9 millimeters.  The end result is also more natural, as the surgeon can control the direction, depth, and angle of your hair based on your preference. 

However, this method of hair transplantation is only suitable for patients with mild to moderate baldness and will not be suitable for patients with more advanced cases of hair loss. In more severe cases of hair loss, the doctor will recommend other methods besides DHI.

DHI vs FUE, which is Better

 Both are equally effective methods of treating hair loss, but there are some subtle differences. DHI is only recommended for patients that are 35 and younger with less severe cases of hair loss which leads to a higher chance of success. 

FUE is both safe and effective but carries some side effects that DHI doesn’t. Scarring can be a concern as FUE will leave small white scars in the donor area where hair follicles were removed. However, the advantage of FUE is that it can be performed on much larger areas than DHI, which is limited to a maximum number of 4000 skin grafts. That is why DHI is suitable for treating smaller areas of hair loss, while FUE is the preferred method for treating larger areas. 

Recovery periods between both methods are similar. In most cases, patients can expect the implanted hair to fall out after 1 – 2 months but gradually grow back in 3 – 4 months. After 1 – 2 years, you can expect 100% new hair growth in the transplanted areas. 

There are some differences in cost between both procedures. DHI would usually cost more because it requires the use of a special implantation device and a doctor with specialized training. However, in some cases where a patient using the FUE method requires more than one session, the cost can be more than that of the DHI method. 

For those still unsure about which method to use, Bangkok Hair Clinic has put together a useful table below stating the advantages and disadvantages as a useful comparison tool for you:

Differences DHI FUE
Ideal candidate Patients with light to medium hair loss. Patients with large areas of hair loss or baldness.
Length of time required for new hair growth 100% new hair growth in 1-2 years.
Surgical tools used DHI Implanter Needle-nose pliers or forceps
  • Small incision size of 0.5-0.9 mm
  • Quick recovery period
  • Natural-looking hair
  • Minimal scarring
  • Small incision size of 0.7-1 mm
  • Quick recovery period
  • Able to cover larger areas
  • Natural-looking hair
  • More than one session may be required to achieve a good result
  • There might be trauma to the hair follicle and root cells which would lead to less hair growth
  • Might require shaving of the head depending if the patient chooses Shaven or Non-Shaven FUE
  • Scarring might occur if the patient doesn’t keep to a strict care regimen

Bangkok Hair Clinic is one of the best hair loss clinics in Thailand, with a team of highly skilled medical professionals to help you with your hair loss. If you are still unsure of differences between DHI and FUE, our health professionals will be happy to clear up your doubts in a consultation session. Contact us today for a consultation and be on your to a healthier and better-looking you.

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