Clearly, there are two factors that are critical to determining the value of an FUE graft. (1) the thickness of the hair shaft itself is important as that reflects to weight of each hair shaft as it is viewed. A fine hair is less weight and less value than a coarse hair as shown in the patient’s magnified view of his donor area as he has coarse hair. I tell my patients that two fine hairs is equal to one medium weight hair and two medium weight hairs is equal to one coarse hair. (2) the numbers of hairs per graft is also critical. This is a racial thing, Caucasians average 2.2 hairs in each follicular unit, while all Asians average 1.6 hairs per follicular unit as do many people from the middle east. The patient’s donor area here measures about 1.6 hairs/follicular unit. He is of Arab decent so that makes him average. In this magnified photo, I tried to circle the number of hairs per follicular unit and put a number on many of them. This is what the surgeon sees when he is doing an FUE under magnification. An FUE removes the follicular unit and each FUE itself is created with a punch and has a wound associated with it.
If you ever read about the number of FUE grafts done in Turkey in the 5000 graft/session range, think about it and then look at the patient below. This patient has less hair density than a Caucasian and the number of grafts per FUE will have less hairs. That means that there will be more wounds created for the FUE with a less hair yield. In this man, if he had 5000 FUE grafts in the back of the head and did not develop necrosis of the wound, he would almost certainly develop a see through donor area (balding in the donor area) something that we are now fixing with Scalp Micropigmentation.