Many people dealing with hair loss say hair transplantation would be their ideal method of hair restoration. It gives permanent results and comes with the advantage of natural regrowth. With this, you can once again run your fingers through your natural hair, which does a great deal to restore lost confidence and self-esteem.
However, many opt for other methods such as scalp micropigmentation and hair replacement systems. The reason? Hair transplant surgery can be expensive! But have you ever wondered exactly how much the procedure costs in the US?
If you choose to have your hair transplant surgery in the U.S it will set you back somewhere between $4,000 and $15,000. Read on as we break down the details. It is individual variations of these that eventually determine how much your hair transplant surgery is likely to cost.
Type of Surgery
There are two main forms of hair transplant surgeries. FUT (follicular unit transplantation) and FUE (follicular unit extraction). The two methods are similar in terms of the implantation process but differ in how follicles are harvested.
In FUT a strip of skin containing numerous follicles is harvested and individual hairs extracted from it for implantation. FUE on the other hand has the surgeon extract individual hairs directly from the donor site. These are then transplanted to the recipient site.
FUT is typically less expensive because it is a quick process that can be done in 15 to 30 minutes. FUE is a much more tedious and laborious process that takes up to four hours. Being a minimally invasive process, you could also say there is a cost to the fact that FUE doesn’t leave a scar on the donor site; as is the case with FUT.
A 2021 study found FUT surgeries in the U.S to cost about half as much as FUE procedures at the same facility.
The Extent of Hair Loss
Another dynamic that determines the overall cost of a hair transplant procedure is the extent of hair loss. If you are looking to fill a large surface area, it will require a higher number of grafts than would be required for a small area.
We can measure this using the Norwood scale, the leading classification system used to measure the extent of hair loss caused by male pattern baldness.
More grafts = Higher cost
The Treatment Rooms London gives us an indication of the number of grafts one would need depending on how advanced their hair loss is. For Norwood scale 2a, the earliest point at which one would benefit from hair transplant surgery, a man would require at least 500 grafts.
For Norwood scale 5 when hair loss affects both the front and crown of the head, one requires at least 1,800 grafts for the front and 1,000 for the crown.
Norwood scale 7, the most advanced level of hair loss calls for at least 1,800 grafts for the front and 1,500 for the crown.
Considering that hair transplant facilities generally charge per graft, you can see why a man with advanced hair loss will have to dig deeper into his pocket than a man in the early stages of male pattern baldness.
In the U.S the average cost per graft stands at $4.00 for FUT and $8.00 for FUE.
Some quick math
|Norwood scale||No. of grafts required||FUT||FUE|
|Scale 2a||500||$4 x 500 = $2000||$8 x500 = $4000|
|Scale 5||2,800 (1,800 – front and 1,000 – crown)||$4 x 2,800 = $11,200||$8 x 2,800 = $22,400|
|Scale 7||3,300 ( 1,800 – front and 1,500 – crown)||$4 x 3,300 = $13,200||$8 x 3,300 = $26,400|
From this comparison, it is clear that the extent of hair loss determines the number of grafts required, which in turn determines the overall cost of the surgery.
Location of Facility
When it comes to locations for hair transplant surgery we often think about Turkey and a few other Asian countries which have made a name for professional but inexpensive hair transplant procedures.
However, even if you don’t intend to cross the borders of the U.S, you will find that the costs for the very same procedure vary widely. It is more expensive in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Houston.
High demand in big cities
Higher costs can be attributed primarily to higher demand for the service in big cities. Other factors driving costs up are higher staff costs as well as higher overheads such as rent for business premises.
It must be noted, however, that it doesn’t always follow that quality of service is higher at pricier facilities and lower at less expensive ones in smaller cities. It is best to do your research on the facility and individual surgeon in order to establish the quality of service and results you are likely to get.
Costs related to recovery and post-surgery care are often forgotten yet they should be included when estimating the overall cost of the procedure.
Surgeons typically prescribe pain medication to deal with discomfort immediately after the surgery and anti-inflammatory medications to manage swelling. Antibiotics are prescribed as a precautionary measure to minimize the risk of infection since the implanted area is now covered with hundreds of minute wounds.
In some facilities, costs for these are included in the amount charged while others require you to purchase these medications separately.
In case of infection
That is assuming the recovery process is entirely smooth. However, we know that one of the complications associated with hair transplants is an infection of follicles, a condition known as folliculitis. In the event that this happens, you will need to go back to the facility or see a physician who will likely prescribe more antibiotics. All these, of course, come at an additional cost.
It is difficult to quote an exact figure for the cost of hair transplant surgery in the U.S. We can confirm that prices range between $4000 and $15,000. The wide range can be attributed to the location and facility you choose as well as the type of hair transplant surgery selected.
A key determining factor is the surface area to be covered with transplanted grafts since facilities charge a per-graft rate. Let’s not forget that there is a cost to the recovery process which should not be forgotten when budgeting for the procedure.