Hair Transplant Vs Plugs—What’s the Difference?
before and after men's hair restoration

Hair Transplant Vs Plugs—What’s the Difference?

before and after men's hair restoration

If you’re suffering from hair loss, the good news is that there are several medical treatment options that can help you restore your crowning glory.

You’ve probably heard terms like ‘hair transplant’ and ‘plugs’ thrown around, but aren’t too sure how the procedures differ. In this article, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about these and some other popular hair restoration treatments.


Hair Transplant vs Plugs: What You Need to Know

All too often we see patients wanting to compare hair transplant vs plugs, however, the two treatments are essentially one and the same.

Plugs (or punch grafts) are actually a form of hair transplant. A plug is a type of hair implant in which hair follicles are collected from a donor site on the scalp, while a hair transplant is the actual procedure of transplanting those hair follicles from the donor site to the recipient site.

How Do Hair Plugs Work?

Hair plugs involve removing a section of scalp from an area of the head with good hair coverage (typically at the back or sides), before transplanting it to the problematic area.

When using the punch graft hair plug method, a 4mm cylindrical section of scalp containing anywhere up to 30 hair follicles would be removed from the donor site, before being placed within the recipient site. While the method can restore lost hair, the results are typically patchy and unnatural-looking, even after multiple treatments.

Alternative Modern Hair Transplant Methods

While hair plugs were used widely from the 1950’s, plugs are now considered obsolete and haven’t been performed since the early 2000’s. Today, hair transplant technology has evolved to include the following more advanced treatment options.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

Also known as the strip method, FUT is the more modern version of hair plugs.

Like traditional hair plugs, the FUT method involves extracting a strip of hair (anywhere from 1.5 cm to 30cm long) from the donor site, before transplantation to the recipient site. The key difference is that the individual hair follicles are separated using microscopic technology before transplantation to avoid creating that patchy, polka-dot appearance.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

The Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) adopts the same principle as the FUT method, with the key difference in the way the hair follicles are extracted.

Rather than removing a strip of the scalp which can leave unsightly scars, the FUE method involves extracting each hair follicle individually, before transplanting them into the recipient site.

Hair Plugs vs FUE: How They Compare

FUE is considered to be a far superior treatment method for a number of reasons including:

  • It can achieve far more even, natural looking results in fewer sessions
  • It doesn’t leave large, unsightly scars
  • It’s less painful and invasive, meaning a faster recovery
  • It can be suitable for patients with lower hair densities
  • If you’re considering a hair transplant treatment, get in touch with the team at Burbank Hair Transplant. Our highly skilled team includes board-certified doctors who can discuss with you the various hair loss treatment options, and recommend the most suitable treatment for your personal situation.

Take a look at some of the results we’ve achieved for other patients or request your free scalp analysis to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can a hair transplant go wrong?

As with any type of medical procedure, patients may experience some side effects following hair transplant treatment, however these side effects are typically mild and can be easily managed. Choosing a reputable and experienced doctor to perform your hair transplant treatment is the most effective way to ensure you achieve the best possible result.

What is the best age to get a hair transplant?

Hair transplants performed on patients between the ages of 18 and 65 years old tend to produce the best results. While hair loss can start at a young age, in many cases it’s best to delay treatment until your hair loss pattern is well established to ensure you can achieve optimal, long-term results.

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