LeBron James Hair Restoration Surgery: FUE v. STRIP

For many hair restoration patients, like Lebron James, once they have decided to have hair restoration surgery there is a sense of relief and excitement. The knowledge of resolving baldness and finally moving forward in treating hair loss is an exciting feeling.

But after deciding to have hair surgery, the next hurdle for Mr. James is to choose what hair surgical restorative technique to use – Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) or Linear Strip (FUT). With this article we are hoping to ease your stress and help you choose the proper surgical technique for YOU!

The main difference between FUE and the linear STRIP hair transplantation is the method the follicular units (hairs) are extracted or harvested. With FUE, hair follicles are typically removed from the back of the scalp using a small handheld device, “one-follicle-at-a-time.” With the Strip procedure, a section of scalp is surgically removed from the donor area (back of the head) and the individual hair follicles or grafts are then created by hair technicians with special microscopes. The follicles are then inserted individually back into the areas of the balding scalp regardless of the donor harvesting(excising) technique.

Linear Strip Method

STRIP surgery most likely will leave behind a donor linear scar that may eventually widen and stretch over time. This surgical technique is not recommended in patients who prefer to wear their hair short as athletes often do. The donor linear scar is often visible after surgery if a shorter hairstyle is preferred. As is seen with LeBron James, a donor linear scar is observed in the back of his scalp. The surgeon who performed hair surgery for Mr. James should have counseled him that FUE would have been a better surgical technique because a donor linear scar would not be seen using this technique.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

With the FUE technique, a minimal depth scoring punch and device is used to remove the follicle from the scalp. The FUE procedure typically uses a punch size of 1.0mm to excise the follicular unit (hair follicle). For curly or ethnic hair a larger punch size of 1.25mm is commonly used. The hair follicle is then extracted directly from the scalp and manually placed into the balding area similar to the FUT strip method.

Immediate First Day after surgery appearance of donor site

Facts: FUE versus STRIP

For more information about the difference between FUE and Strip hair restoration surgery visit our website at

To schedule a consultation with Dr Williams to discuss your hair loss and available treatment options please call our office at (949) 333-2999.