In order for the FUE procedure to be carried out, part of the donor region (most often the back of the head and regions at the sides) are cut short to a length of 2 mm. Patients are informed of this ahead of time so that they can schedule this at the hairdressers just before the procedure, and so that they are aware that in the early days after the procedure their hair will look a little different. The hair will of course continue to grow and very quickly (within a couple of weeks, depending on how long the hair was before) regain its old appearance. In women a close-shaven donor site can be very effectively covered with the hair both above and below the shaved donor region. Although FUE requires shaving, in women the donor region is very easily concealed. Shaving can also be done at the clinic, on the day of the procedure, if you cannot manage to go to the hairdresser’s.
Where a more minor procedure is being carried out, and the hair is a little longer (5 or more cm), there is an option for just a small region to be shaved short, which will later be covered with the hair growing above the region. That is why the best advice we can give to patients planning an FUE procedure is that they should either plan to cut their hair down to 2 mm, or start growing their hair longer so that there is sufficient length to cover the area that will serve as the donor region. The best way to make use of the donor site is decided by the surgeon based on its characteristics: size, density, type of procedure, type of grafts. Most smaller procedures such as eyebrow transplantation or scar correction, can be carried out without full shaving. The recipient region (the area where the grafts are to be implanted) does not need to be shaved, although the implantation process is a little easier when the hair is shorter. Having longer hair at the recipient site in any case does not impact the success of the transplant, and can help to ensure this region is camouflaged in the days after the hair transplant. You can discuss all the options with your doctor, as well as the additional services you can request during your transplantation. After the procedure, cutting the hair is not recommended for the next seven days in order to avoid damaging the transplants.