How to maximize your donor capacity

Having a hair transplant alone will never bring back the luscious locks of your adolescent years. However, how can you maximize your donor capacity and transplant the most hair available? In this article, we will discuss why combining Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) and Follicular Unit Extraction (formerly known as Follicular Unit Extraction FUE) can provide more hair than either procedure could alone.

FUSS limitations

FUSS is performed by removing a strip of donor tissue from the back and sides of the scalp which are genetically resistant to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the main hormone responsible for androgenic alopecia or genetic hair loss. Each time a strip of donor tissue is removed the scalp becomes tighter and loses elasticity. Thus, reducing the amount of surgeries a patient could have without severely compromising the scalp. The term "stripped out" refers to the patients scalp which can no longer withstand any further donor tissue removal.

FUE limitations

FUE is a minimially invasive procedure that involves a hair transplant surgeon removing follicular units one by one with the use of a small punch between the sizes of 0.7 and 1mm in circumference. Generally, due to the nature of FUE, fewer grafts can be excised per surgical session than a typical strip procedure, because of its limitations which include: graft transection, surgical fatigue, donor density and graft quality. Thus, it is recommended for patients with extensive hair loss  to opt for strip surgery first.

Why combining FUSS and FUE produce more donor hair for transplanting

By combining both FUSS and FUE, the surgeon is able to extract much more hair in the donor site of a patient than in any one procedure alone. In the old days, a patient would be "stripped out" and no longer be a hair transplant  candidate. However, now that both surgical techniques have become ultra-refined a hair restoration surgeon can now extract more hair from a patient who's already been "stripped out" by finishing off with FUE. This provides the patient with a denser and fuller head of hair than ever before.