Follicular unit extraction (FUE), also known as follicular transfer (FT), is one of two primary methods of obtaining hair follicles, naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs, for hair transplantation. The other method is called strip harvesting. Follicular Unit Extraction is an outdated term and has  been redefined to Follicular Unit Excision. In 2018, Mejia published the updated guidelines adopted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. This name change came about to accurately describe the procedure  which involves  surgically cutting or incising a full thickness hair follicle skin graft with a circular scalpel , punch or motorized drill and subsequently carefully extracting it from the scalp to be placed in  the donor balding scalp.  Due to the new developments of incision punches and devices and a variety of different extraction techniques, it was necessary to more accurately define the procedure. Additionally, many places were incorrectly marketing the extraction procedure as a simple plucking of hairs and deceiving the public.

The follicular units obtained by either method are the basic building blocks of follicular unit transplantation (FUT).

Follicular unit extraction was first described in 1988 by Masumi Inaba in Japan, who introduced the use of a 1-mm needle for extracting follicular units.