• 8 August 2023
  • Dr. Ossman Ashraf

Last updated on November 29, 2023

Hair loss can be a distressing experience for many individuals, leading them to explore various options for regaining a fuller head of hair. In the past, hair plugs were a popular technique for hair restoration.

However, advancements in technology and techniques have brought about a more refined and effective approach known as Micro FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction).

In this blog, we will delve into the differences between hair plugs and hair transplants, with a focus on why FUE is now the preferred method.

What are hair plugs?

Hair plugs were an outdated technique used in the past to address hair loss. Small and large plugs, resembling miniature circular grafts, were harvested from the donor area and transplanted into the recipient area.

These larger plugs often resulted in a “toy doll” appearance, with an unnatural hairline and noticeable scarring.

hair plugs before and after - Hair Doctors

Micro FUE hair transplants are the preferred technique when it comes to superior hair restoration results.

What is a hair transplant?

Hair transplant, on the other hand, is a modern technique that offers a more natural and refined result. Micro FUE, or Follicular Unit Extraction, is an advanced method of hair transplantation.

It involves extracting individual hair follicles from the donor area and grafting or transplanting them into the recipient area, resulting in a more seamless and natural-looking hairline. FUE leaves minimal scarring, as the follicles are extracted one by one, making it virtually undetectable.

Understanding the difference between hair plugs and hair transplants for hair loss

Plugs were done in the past, where large circular sessions of the scalp were cut out and grafted in the donor areas resulting in a ‘toy doll’ look. This often led to an unnatural appearance and noticeable scarring.

In contrast, FUE hair transplantation provides a more aesthetically pleasing outcome, with a natural-looking hairline and minimal scarring. The precision of FUE allows for a meticulous placement where follicles are taken one by one, ensuring a seamless blend with existing hair.

what are hair plugs - Hair Doctors

FUE Hair transplants result in a more natural look with less scarring.

FUE Hair transplants result in a more natural look with less scarring.

Pros and cons of hair plugs and hair transplants

Hair plugs, despite being an older technique, did have some advantages. They were relatively less expensive compared to newer methods, and in some cases, they could provide coverage for larger areas of baldness.

However, their disadvantages outweighed the benefits, as they often resulted in an unnatural look and required additional corrective procedures.

Hair transplants, particularly the Micro FUE technique, offer numerous advantages. They provide a more natural and aesthetically pleasing result, with minimal scarring and a quicker recovery time.

FUE allows for precise placement of each follicle, resulting in a more seamless blend and a hairline that matches your natural hair growth pattern.

hair plugs - Hair Doctors

These hair restoration procedures can help improve hair thickness and volume.

These hair restoration procedures can help improve hair thickness and volume.

FUE is the superior technique

FUE hair transplantation has become the preferred method for hair restoration due to its superior results. The ability to extract individual follicles allows for a more refined and natural-looking outcome, with minimal scarring.

FUE also offers the flexibility to target specific areas, ensuring a customised and personalised approach to hair restoration.

Hair plugs, with their outdated techniques and less desirable aesthetic outcomes, are no longer performed. The advancements in FUE have revolutionised hair transplantation, providing patients with a reliable and effective solution for their hair loss concerns.

Hair Doctors can help with your hair restoration

Hair Doctors are Sydney’s leading hair loss clinic for men and women, offering comprehensive doctor-led modern hair transplants. Our services include hair loss consultations, digital scalp analysis, medication and growth factor treatments, as well as medical and surgical hair restoration.

Hair Doctors is an excellent option to assist with your hair loss treatments.

Meet our hair transplant surgeons

dr ateka khanDr Ateka Khan

Hair transplant doctor

Dr Ateka obtained her qualification from the University of Dundee in the United Kingdom in 2006 and has gained over a decade of experience in Aesthetic Medicine and Minor Surgery. She also received Anaesthesia and Acute Care training from the London Hair Restoration Academy.

She specialises in performing hair implants using advanced techniques.

dr ossman ashrafDr Ossman Ashraf

Hair transplant doctor

In 2009, Dr Oz graduated from the University of Dundee in the United Kingdom with a degree in medical education. He currently serves as the Medical Advisor and Educator for MOSH, Australia’s leading online Men’s Health platform.

He also holds additional qualifications from the London Hair Restoration Academy and is proficient in performing micro FUE extraction and DHI implantation transplant surgery.

How to schedule a consultation

To schedule a consultation with one of our hair loss experts, please contact us as follows:

Our Location

We are located at Level 1/5A Bronte Rd, Bondi Junction, NSW 2022.


If you require more information please read our most frequently asked questions:

Are hair plugs and hair transplants the same?

Hair plugs and hair transplants are not the same, although they both involve addressing hair loss. Hair plugs refer to an outdated hair restoration technique that was commonly used several decades ago. During a hair plug procedure, large grafts containing multiple hair follicles were transplanted into the scalp, resulting in a noticeable and unnatural appearance.

On the other hand, modern hair transplants predominantly utilise a technique called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) or Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). FUE is the more advanced and preferred method.

It involves extracting individual hair follicles from the donor area (typically the back of the head) and transplanting them into the recipient area with precision.

This technique allows for a more natural-looking hairline and minimises scarring.

Why do we recommend an FUE hair transplant instead of hair plugs?

We recommend FUE hair transplants over hair plugs for several reasons:

  1. Natural Results: FUE hair transplants provide more natural-looking results because individual hair follicles are extracted and transplanted, mimicking the natural hair growth pattern.
  1. Minimally Invasive: FUE is a minimally invasive procedure that involves tiny incisions and does not require the removal of a large strip of skin, as is the case with traditional hair plugs. This results in less scarring and faster recovery.
  1. Precision and Customisation: FUE allows for greater precision and customisation in terms of hairline design, density, and overall aesthetics. Each hair follicle can be placed strategically to achieve the desired outcome.
  1. Donor Hair Preservation: FUE hair transplants preserve the donor area by selectively extracting individual hair follicles, leaving the surrounding hair intact. This ensures that the donor area retains its natural appearance.
  1. Technological Advancements: FUE has benefited from advancements in technology, such as robotic assistance and specialised tools, making the procedure more efficient, accurate, and comfortable for patients.

Are hair plugs still used to treat thinning hair?

Hair plugs are rarely used today to treat thinning hair due to their unnatural appearance and outdated techniques. The field of hair restoration has advanced significantly, and FUE hair transplants are the preferred method for addressing thinning hair.

This procedure offers more natural-looking results, improved techniques, and greater patient satisfaction.

This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a prescription. Anyone experiencing a medical condition should consult their doctor.

Dr. Ossman Ashraf
About The Author

Dr. Ossman Ashraf

In 2009, Dr Oz graduated from the University of Dundee, UK with a qualification in Men’s Health and Aesthetic Medicine. He then furthered his qualifications in medical education and is currently the Medical Advisor/Educator for MOSH, Australia’s leading online Men’s Health platform. He is accredited by the London Hair Restoration Academy and specialises in using the most up-to-date micro FUE extraction and DHI implantation techniques for transplant surgery.

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