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DHI vs FUE: Which One Is Better For You?

DHI vs FUE hair transplant is a decision that confused many patients who were looking to get a hair transplant. DHI and FUE are both popular hair transplant techniques, famous for their high success rates. 

FUE, or Follicular Unit Extraction, involves harvesting individual hair follicles from the scalp’s donor area and implanting them in areas with hair loss. DHI, or Direct Hair Implantation is a more modern iteration of FUE that generally utilizes a Choi pen for precision during the harvesting and transplanting process. 

We will explore the differences between DHI vs. FUE hair transplants to help you choose the best option for you. Mainly, we will mention: 

  1. DHI IS A MINIMALLY INVASIVE HAIR TRANSPLANT TECHNIQUE USING THE CHOI PEN, KNOWN FOR ITS PRECISION AND NATURAL-LOOKING RESULTS.
  2. FUE IS A WIDELY USED HAIR TRANSPLANT METHOD WITH A SUCCESS RATE OF OVER 95%, OFFERING A NATURAL LOOK.
  3. KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DHI AND FUE INCLUDE TRANSPLANTATION TECHNIQUE, COST, GRAFT HANDLING, PROCEDURE SPEED, SCARRING, AND POST-OPERATIVE CARE.
  4. BENEFITS OF BOTH FUE AND DHI INCLUDE CUSTOMIZABLE HAIRLINE DESIGN, AND MINIMAL SCARRING WHILE DRAWBACKS INCLUDE FOLLICLE TRANSECTION, LIMITED AVAILABILITY, AND DONOR AREA SHAVING. 
  5. IF CHOOSING THE BEST OPTION FEELS CONFUSING, CONTACT OUR HAIR SPECIALISTS TO FIND OUT WHAT SUITS YOUR NEEDS. 


Read on to find out which hair transplant surgery can help you combat hair loss.

Differences Between DHI vs FUE Hair Transplant

These two hair loss treatments may seem so similar, yet each has its way of delivering a solution to male and female pattern hair loss. 

To have a quick idea of the differences between these hair transplant procedures, check out the dhi vs fue comparison infographic table below:

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Let’s dive into the details to determine the type of hair transplant that would suit your hair loss pattern.

Transplantation Technique

DHI: In DHI transplantation, as soon as the canals are opened, follicular units are inserted to ensure minimal graft handling. Additionally, when a Choi pen is used, the surgeon has more control over hair growth which allows for a higher chance of success. 

FUE: In the FUE method, a small kind of punch is used to harvest 1-4 hair follicles from the donor area and then prepared in a petri dish to be transplanted.

 

Cost

DHI: Due to the level of expertise and the specialized tools used in the DHI hair transplant, it usually costs more than the FUE method, which is around $2,500 to $40,000.

 

FUE: As the most popular hair transplant method, FUE hair transplant price is around $2,000 to $20,000 depending on the number of individual follicles to be implanted.

Graft Handling

DHI: With the Choi pen that speeds up the hair transplant process, the doctor harvests and implants hair grafts at the same time. This way the transplantation is completed in one session and grafts spend only 5-20 minutes outside the scalp without the need for a storage solution.

FUE: In the FUE method, the donor hair follicles are harvested first, then prepared individually and implanted in the recipient area. Grafts may spend longer outside the scalp but this only affects the success rate of hair transplant minimally. 

Donor Area Availability

DHI: This method works great for sparse hair loss. It is slightly more controlled in terms of hair direction and placement.

FUE: FUE method is better for largely open areas with little to no hair. If the bald area is too wide to be covered, with this method, it is easier to harvest higher amounts of hair grafts in one session.

Speed of Procedure

DHI: The DHI hair transplant takes 6-8 hours, like most hair transplant surgeries. Nowadays, clinics use 4-5 Choi pens at the same time to shorten the implantation procedure and have precise control over grafts. 

FUE: The FUE hair transplant takes 4-8 hours, depending on the number of individual hair follicles to be implanted. Your surgeon might decide to have multiple sessions or a mega session in the cases of severe hair loss. 

Scarring

DHI: It’s easier to avoid visible scarring and have complete control over the direction of hair growth since the incisions are much smaller. There will still be visible marks.

FUE: The FUE method leaves behind small, white, dot-shaped visible scars on the donor area. It is nonetheless a natural-looking hair transplant method.

Expertise

DHI: Since the graft removal process and implantation are done simultaneously in DHI, the surgeon and their medical team need to be trained in micro-motor tools.

 

FUE: Any qualified hair specialist and their team should have comfortable control over the hair transplant surgery in the FUE method.

Post-Operative Care

DHI: The aftercare instructions for DHI hair transplant will be the same as any other method. The difference is that DHI allows for faster recovery time. 

 

FUE: The proper aftercare instructions are also applicable for FUE hair transplant but the grafts will have a longer healing time. 

Comparing The Benefits of DHI And FUE

BENEFITS

DHI

FUE

Minimally invasive

✔️

✔️

No shaving needed

✔️

 

Higher graft survival rate

✔️

 

Shorter recovery

✔️

✔️

Precision implantation

✔️

 

Minimal scarring

✔️

 

Customizable hairline design

✔️

✔️

Smoother incisions

✔️

 

Hair density packing

✔️

✔️

Custom-made blades

 

✔️

Smaller incisions

 

✔️

DHI benefits outnumber the FUE procedure. The advantages DHI has over FUE are: 

  • NO SHAVING REQUIRED
  • HIGHER GRAFT SURVIVAL RATE
  • PRECISION IMPLEMENTATION
  • MINIMAL SCARRING
  • SMOOTHER INCISIONS

Comparing The Drawbacks of DHI And FUE

DRAWBACKS

DHI

FUE

Higher cost

✔️

 

Longer surgery time

✔️

 

Follicle transection

 

✔️

Donor area shaving

 

✔️

What About Sapphire Hair Transplant vs. DHI

Sapphire FUE is an updated version of follicular unit extraction. The incisions in a Sapphire FUE are smoother because the blade is sharper. This also means the incision can be made closer together than a standard FUE and the incisions can heal faster. 

The Sapphire FUE vs. DHI comparison table is here! It’s the ultimate special solution showdown for healthy hair follicles. 

Factor

Sapphire FUE

DHI

Transplantation Technique

Custom-made sapphire blades used for incisions

Choi pen used for precise implantation

Cost

Between $2,300 – $25,000

Between $2,500 to $40,000

Graft Handling

Harvested first, then prepared and implanted

Simultaneous harvest and implantation

Speed of Procedure

Around 6-8 hours

Around 6-8 hours

Scarring

Minimal scarring, almost unnoticeable

Minimal scarring, almost unnoticeable

Expertise

Experience required but no specialized training

Specialized training required for Choi pen

Postoperative Care

Normal postoperative precautions

May require more postoperative care

Hairline Design

The best option for hairline design

Better hairline design through precise incisions

How To Choose Between FUE And DHI?

There are several points of consideration when deciding between FUE vs. DHI surgeries. The main considerations can be listed as:

  • COST: Since DHI costs more, patients who are looking for budget-friendly treatment options may choose the old reliable FUE. 
  • RECOVERY TIME: Don’t have months to wait for hair growth? The incisions opened in the DHI method are much smaller and heal faster. 
  • SCARRING: The Choi pen used in DHI is extremely precise and there’s no need for canal drilling beforehand. Scarring will be minuscule thanks to highly accurate tools.
  • PATIENT NEEDS: DHI only allows a limited amount of grafts to be transplanted. With FUE, it’s possible to transplant high amounts of grafts and have multiple sessions when necessary. Plus, the Choi pen cannot work on curly hair, so FUE is the way to go for curly patients.
  • APPEARANCE: Both FUE and DHI result in natural-looking and dense hair. However, DHI enables better hairline design and it’s easier to perform dense packing with DHI. 


☎️ Can’t decide which hair transplant would be the most suitable for you? Contact our hair specialists at Dr. Serkan Aygin Clinic today to learn more about the option that suits your hair treatment needs!

1- Sethi P, Bansal A. Direct hair transplantation: a modified follicular unit extraction technique. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2013 Apr;6(2):100-5. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.112672. PMID: 24023433; PMCID: PMC3764754.

Dua A, Dua K. Follicular unit extraction hair transplant. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2010 May;3(2):76-81. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.69015. PMID: 21031064; PMCID: PMC295696