Step by step guide to a hair transplant procedure at harley street


With up to 50% of men experiencing some degree of hair loss hair transplant procedures are becoming increasingly popular. A lot of people know the before and after results of a hair transplant but many patients come to us wanting to know more about what is actually involved in the process.

Here at The Private Clinic, we have a team of industry leading expert surgeons offering a modified FUE method that makes very small entry points into the scalp.

To help you make a more informed decision we have put together a step-by-step FUE Hair Transplant journey guide.

Step 1 – Your Consultation

Your first step to getting an FUE Hair Transplant is your consultation.

You will need to have a consultation with one of our hair transplant surgeons before being able to book your procedure. This gives you the chance to first meet with the surgeon, discuss your hair loss and go through your medical history. They will then analyse your hair and assess your suitability for a hair transplant. It is important that your hair follicles are the strongest they can be to ensure a successful hair transplant. In some cases, your surgeon may suggest a course of hair loss medication ahead of your surgery.

We also offer consultations with our patient advisors. They are very experienced in the procedure and can answer many of your questions. They will also find out more information about you and your goals to ensure you are seeing the surgeon that best suits you.

Find out more about what to expect from your Hair Transplant Consultation here.

Step 2 – Preparing the scalp

As your procedure day approaches you may be required to shave your hair. Some patients choose to do this gradually in the months leading up to their procedure date. Others may wait until the day and have this done in the clinic. Having a shaved head allows your hair transplant surgeon to mimic the natural angle and direction of native hair and minimise transaction rates. For some patients, it may be possible to perform a partially shaven or unshaven hair transplant. This can be discussed and decided in your consultation.

Step 3 – Pre Checks

Arriving at the clinic for your hair transplant you will be required to fill in some paperwork consenting to the procedure. Everything will be explained to you by the technicians assisting with the procedure at the clinic. You will also have your pre-operative photographs taken which will be held by the clinic. Your surgeon will then run through the procedure steps again with you. They will then mark out where the treatment areas are and answer any questions that you have.

Step 4 – Anaesthetic

Before your procedure starts, you will have local anaesthetic injected into the scalp. This will make the extraction and grafting of the hair painless and comfortable. This part may sting initially, but many patients are surprised about how quickly it works. You will be conscious during the entire procedure, so if at any time you are feeling uncomfortable or want to take a break you will be able to communicate this.

Step 5 – Extraction of Follicular Units

An FUE Hair Transplant procedure starts with the extraction. This involves using a specialised punch device, ranging in diameter from 0.6mm – 0.9mm. This device is used to puncture the skin around the follicle 1-2 millimetres from the surface. The hair follicle bulb is then removed using fine forceps with the aid of a powerful magnifying glass to ensure precision.  Once the hair follicle bulb has been removed, it is then placed into a glass tray. The follicles are then kept in a solution to keep them at a perfect range of hydration, temperature and humidity until the extraction process is complete.

FUE Hair Transplants have a very high success rate. This is because each individual hair follicle is taken from areas of the scalp where there is healthy and permanent hair growth. Donor hair is most commonly taken from the back of the head. This is an area of the male scalp that is resistant to DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) which is the typical cause of balding for the front and crown/top of the head – also known as male pattern baldness.

Step 6 – Harvesting the Grafts

Once the extraction process is complete then you are usually given a break. During this time, you will be given the chance to stretch your legs and have something to eat. The Private Clinic provides patients with lunch, snacks and drinks throughout the procedure. We will be in touch prior to your procedure to understand your dietary preferences.
During this time, your surgeon will be starting to examine the extracted grafts. They will make a selection of which ones are suitable for use, and which are not. The grafts are then separated into groups by thickness, size of the bulb and number of hairs. This is to make sure that there is enough variation to provide the patient with the most natural-looking result.

Step 7 – Implantation of the grafts

Once your surgeon and their team have selected all the grafts, you will then be ready for the implantation stage of the FUE Hair Transplant procedure. You may need to have your local anaesthetic topped up at this stage. This will ensure that the procedure is still pain-free and comfortable. Each follicle is then manually implanted into the recipient area of the scalp by your hair transplant surgeon. The implanter tool will first penetrate the skin. The hair follicle bulb is then placed 1mm below the surface into the intradermal layer of the scalp. The number of hair grafts being inserted will vary between each patient. In large cases, this stage of the procedure may take place over 2 days.

When the DHT resistant hair follicle is placed in the new area, it retains this element. As a result, your new hair growth should therefore remain permanent. The transplanted hairs also successfully root in your recipient area as it is your own hair. There is a common misconception that donated hair from someone else will be used and this is certainly not the case.

Step 8 – Aftercare

The next step of the FUE Hair Transplant procedure is all down to you as the patient.

Once the process is complete, your surgeon will place bandaging on your head. They will also go through a full aftercare routine which you will need to follow. You will be advised to avoid touching your new hair grafts for the first 3 days which includes wearing a hat. You will need to spray the new follicles every 30 minutes. We recommend doing this as it prevents the formation of scabs and keeps your new hair follicles well-hydrated. Medication will also be provided that you will need to take as prescribed by your surgeon. The initial healing of the donor area will take 5-7 days and at this point, any redness or swelling should have subsided. Your surgeon may request to see you at this stage to check that everything is healing correctly.

Taking proper care of your newly transplanted hair for the next 12 months is a really important part of your FUE Hair Transplant procedure to ensure that you achieve the best results. You will be given a series of post-op appointments throughout this time where your surgeon will be able to check your results and provide any additional information on how to care for your new hair follicles.

Find out more about Hair Transplant aftercare here.

Step 9 – Final Results

After 12 months your FUE Hair Transplant journey should be near enough complete. You will have noticed a difference in your hairline or hair density in the areas treated. A hair transplant is designed to last for decades, as the hair taken from your donor area is known to be resistant to male pattern baldness. However, it is important to remember that other untreated areas of your scalp may still be prone to male pattern baldness. Over time thinning and baldness may still occur in areas not treated, which could result in an additional hair transplant procedure being needed. Our surgeons at The Private Clinic are highly experienced and will take care to foresee any potential future hair loss patterns to ensure that your results are long-lasting.

fue hair transplant before after photo temple resultsfue hair transplant before after results crown area
hair transplant crown temple area before after photomale hair transplant before after photo

See more FUE Hair Transplant before and after photos here.

Why choose The Private Clinic for a FUE Hair Transplant?

  • We’ve been treating our patients for over 40 years and have an excellent reputation for patient satisfaction, safety and outstanding care offering all of our patients transparent and honest advice.
  • We’re proud to have the highest TrustPilot rating in the industry.
  • You will be treated by highly experienced Doctors who are highly skilled in FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and treat hundreds of patients every year.
  • FUE is a minimally invasive treatment (meaning there is no cutting of a strip), carried out under local anaesthetic. Many patients either watch TV, or even fall asleep during the procedure.
  • You won’t require any stitches after your treatment. This means the recovery time is also reduced compared to the Strip surgery (FUT).
  • We use the finest instruments, resulting in as minimal trauma to your scalp as possible.
  • Thanks to our advanced skills and techniques, our team ensure that the donor looks intact after the hair transplant procedure and you can keep your hair really short if you prefer without any obvious scarring.
  • Following treatment, there will be no linear scarring across the back of your head as seen with the strip method (FUT) – you’ll be free to wear your hair long or short.
  • We choose the best follicular unit (a group of hairs), this ensures that only the strongest, healthiest grafts are used for your hair transplant procedure.
  • Natural results with denser packing as the hair is implanted in the direction that matches your hair growth.
  • We are one of the very few clinics able to offer the Unshaven Hair Transplant (U-FUE) (the long-hair hair transplant), to those who prefer not to shave beforehand. At your consultation, we will be able to advise you on whether an unshaven procedure is suitable for you.
  • 30% of all patients that come to us have been somewhere before and need further work to improve on a disappointing result. Find out more here.
  • We treat Afro-Caribbean hair loss, as well as eyebrowsbeard/facial hair.
  • You will be provided as many post-treatment appointments as you require, and will be provided comprehensive patient information at every stage. Find out more about our aftercare here.

Helpful Links

We offer hair transplant consultations with our patient advisers across the UK, and FUE Hair Transplant consultations with our industry leading hair transplant surgeons in several locations.

Expert Hair Transplant Surgeons at The Private Clinic

If you would like to arrange a hair transplant consultation please call 0333 920 2471 or use our online hair transplant contact form.