I believe there is a room for unshaven FUE (UFUE) in certain scenarios, but understanding the implications is of paramount importance for the patient.
The basic mechanics of FUE dictates that the surgeon has good access to the donor area in order to pick the healthiest follicles and in my opinion this is limited when operating on long hair. Hence I prefer to shave my patient donor area.
Furthermore I would be concerned about transection rate as well as the healing process, as in my opinion the scalp heals much better with short hair.
The main advantages of UFUE (Unshaven FUE) is that the patient can potentially hide the transplanted hair with existing hair. However I would recommend the patient to discuss in detail with the doctor performing the UFUE restoration procedure what the transection rates is compared to traditional FUE and the number of grafts that they can extract as opposed to traditional FUE.
Just thought I would give a breif summary of my recent FUE with Dr Raghu Reddy and his excellent team at the Private Clinic, London. Over the course of two days I had ~2000 grafts implanted by Dr Reddy's 3G FUE technique. I chose Dr Reddy based on his comparative amazing yields and results with relatively few grafts compared to the commonly discussed other 'top FUE surgeons". First off his team are all pro's and have been working together for years to refine this minimally invasive FUE technique. They were personably, relaxed, funny, and above all caring, profession, and meticulous. I always read that people get experience pain, discomfort, and swelling during and post op. I have to say that with Dr Reddy's technique I have experienced zero pain or swelling both during and post op. The operation finished yesterday and I feel absolutely normal. Not a spot of swelling or even a head ache. It's obvious after doing research on the FUE procedures conducted by the regarded 'best FUE doctors', that Dr Reddy's 3G FUE stands out as being both innovative and geared towards optimal results. He uses specialized techniques to create an extremely non invasive yet high yielding technique, which I am sure he would be more than willing to discuss with anyone interested. In regards to my case, I apparently had really strong, healthy, and "big" grafts (so lots with 3 and 4 hairs). We chose a hairline hat reflects my age (31) and the fact that I have never had sharp temple points. Plus I was strongly advised against having points worked on as many cases are seen where transplanting to this region looks very odd in years to come where further recession occurs. Plus I have a big head so had lots of baldy to cover I am very happy with my results thus far and I am predicted to have a great result due to graft condition and density. One thing worth mentioning is that is became obvious that Dr Reddy's skills are not only recognized by international patients (there was talk of people coming in from all over the world during my visit), but also he is held in high esteem by the other 'best' FUE surgeons discussed on this site, and from what I gathered some of these surgeons .Hairloss Patient in UK
"I'm sure it stil continues to get thicker.. Can't thank you enough totally changed my life!! I am grateful to you each time I look in the mirror... Also what you did in the crown has worked, I don't worry about that anymore, stil take the propecia each day. Every blog I read about not seeing results for 6 months etc none of that was true, I maybe was lucky I don't think I really shed any of the hairs but I have noticed the last couple of months it's got thicker!! All this after 8 months!!!!!"Hairloss Patient in UK