Hair Transplants FAQ: Myth Vs Reality

Will it be obvious to my friends and family that I’ve had a hair transplant?

Tell your friends and family that you just returned from a two-week vacation at Club Med, and are looking good because you are tan and rested.

Today’s modern hair transplant results are virtually undetectable to the untrained eye. If you are considering a hair transplant in the near future, rest assured that technology has caught up with vanity and a well-qualified, experienced surgeon will be able to achieve a natural and realistic result for you, depending upon the availability and quality of your donor hair.

A 2010 survey conducted by the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) determined that the majority of people could not identify a hair transplant when shown a series of photos comparing actual patients to non-patients.

How much will it cost? I’m confused. I’ve been quoted different methods of calculating the cost. Should I pay by the procedure, by the graft or by the hair?

As a ballpark figure, a hair restoration procedure can cost between $4,000 – 10,000, depending on your needs.

Obviously, someone who requires more hair to be moved, will be charged at a higher rate than someone who needs a more minimal procedure.

Try to find a practice that prices in cost per hair, not cost per graft or follicular unit.

Request an estimate as to how many hairs it will take to fill in a particular area and get a good idea of the density in that area.

Many doctors will charge by the graft. However, this can be misleading. The average consumer doesn’t know how many hairs are in a graft. For example: if you are quoted a set price per 1,000 grafts – what does that mean? You need to know how many hairs are in each graft.

Are you getting 1,000 hairs or 2,000 hairs? Or, are you getting 4-6,000 hairs? Obviously, this makes a difference in your results.

Will it be painful?

No. Most hair transplants are done in an out-patient office setting under local anesthesia. Sometimes a mild sedative such as Valium or Xanax is prescribed to relax the patient. You might experience a degree of discomfort or feel a mild pinch when the anesthesia is injected into the scalp; otherwise you will be fully awake and able to watch a movie, listen to your I-pod or relax.

After one procedure, will I be all set for the rest of my life? Are the results permanent?

Results are permanent unless you opt to have the grafts surgically removed. Discuss your long-range hair goals with your physician during your initial consultation. Keep in mind that hair loss is a progressive condition and you need to take this into account when considering remediation.

The number of the sessions you require depends on the area of scalp being treated, the number and size of grafts, the desired density and the type and quality of the donor hair (coarse hair provides a denser look than does fine hair).

If I need a second transplant, how soon is too soon?

Since it can take up to 12 months to see the full results from a procedure, it is best to wait one year after surgery to decide whether another procedure is warranted. If you have a second procedure before all the grafts can grow, the doctor may inadvertently make an incision in the same spot as a previous placed graft.