Hair transplants are a permanent solution to balding and hair loss. Unlike many other cosmetic surgical procedures that wear off and require patients to return, again and again, a hair transplant will result in real, natural-looking hair that will last a lifetime and increase hair density.
What is a Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a medical procedure performed by a qualified surgeon, like those at NHI Medical, where hair “transplants” are taken from a donor area on your scalp (most commonly the back of your head) and grafted or inserted into the balding part of your scalp. These new hairs eventually work to stimulate your hair follicles and create new hair growth where you previously may have thought it impossible.
What Are the Types of Hair Transplants?
There are two types of hair transplant methods: FUT procedure (Follicular Unit Transplantation) and FUE hair transplant(Follicular Unit Extraction). The hair transplant option varies from patient to patient. Your surgeon should only make a recommendation after examining your scalp and discussing your unique situation without you.
The FUE technique of hair transplantation was developed as a solution to some of the touted “drawbacks” or the FUT method. Rather than removing a strip of tissue, like in a Follicular Unit Transplant, a Follicular Unit Extraction is done by a skilled surgeon, whoremoves individual follicles one-by-one and then implants them into their new location on the balding area of your scalp.
On the plus side, this method does not create a linear scar, and it also gives your surgeon a great level of control over the final appearance of your hair restoration procedure. Unlike certain other surgeries, which are strictly “mechanical,” hair transplant procedures that involve a high-level of surgeon artistry—this is part of the reason why it is so important that you have a doctor who is qualified and experienced.
When it was first developed over two decades ago, the FUT method was a revolution. It resulted in fantastic looking hair transplants that had never before been achieved. The concept of hair transplants has actually been around since the late 70s. Since the development of this concept and through the 90s, hair transplants carried a bad reputation for looking fake or unnatural. These results were due to the newness of the procedure, lack of microscopic technology, and few experienced physicians capable of performing natural-looking hair transplants. Many resorted to hair “plugs.”
How Much Does a Hair Transplant Cost?
The cost of a hair transplant varies greatly depending on several factors. In general, though, you can expect a hair transplant to cost between $5,000 and $20,000.
The reasons for the wide cost range include:
- How Much Hair Is Being Replaced? Because hair transplants are done on a per-graft basis, it takes more time and energy for surgeons to perform transplants over large portions of your scalp than it does over smaller ones. For example, if only the crown of your head is bald, but the larger frontal area still looks good, you may expect the transplant costs to be lower than they might be if it were the other way around
- What Type of Hair Transplant Are You Getting? The FUE method of hair transplant is generally more expensive than the FUT method.
- Who Is Your Surgeon? Like with most professions, the more experienced and accomplished your surgeon, the more money he or she can reasonably charge. With cosmetic procedures like hair transplants in-particular, it is essential for those interested in having work done to do their research and choose the most experienced surgeons they can find because there is a tremendous difference in terms of overall and long-term results between an average versus high-level hair transplant doctor.
- Location: The location of your doctor’s office may also impact the costs. Offices in places like LA, NYC, and other metropolitan centers typically charge more. This has to do with both the economics of living in a city as well as the fact that many of the world’s top-surgeons migrated to those areas.
Specifically, on a per-graft basis at theNHI Medical, the FUT method costs $6 per-graft, and the FUE method costs $8 per-graft.
How Long Do Hair Transplants Take?
FUT hair transplants typically take between 4-7 hours. Then ten or so days later, when you return to your doctor, it will take another few minutes to remove the stitches or staples from the donor area of your scalp.
FUE transplants take longer but do not require stitches or staples to be removed. An FUE transplant can take as long as several seven-hour sessions. Remember, during an FUE procedure, your surgeon is literally going in one-by-one and removing hairs from the donor area of your scalp and then grafting them into the recipient area. While the results are often phenomenal, it is not something that can be done quickly!
Do I Keep My Hair Transplant Hair?
You do not keep your initial transplant hair. Your initial hair that is grafted onto the bald area of your scalp will fall out a few weeks after your surgery. Afterward, your new, permanent hair will begin to grow. You will see some of these new hairs relatively quickly, but it can take up to six months or longer to see the final, natural results.
At What Age Should I Get a Hair Transplant?
Although you can, and many people do start losing their hair soon after puberty, most will not experience significant baldness until their late twenties or early thirties—although, for most people, it is later. If you experience premature balding in your mid-to-early twenties, most surgeons will still recommend that you wait a few years until you are likely in your early thirties before you look into having a hair transplant. The reason for this has to do with your individual baldness pattern. For most people, this pattern will not be clear until they are at least in their early thirties, and without it, surgeons are unable to perform to their full potential when doing your hair transplant.