Demand for hair transplants has risen dramatically in recent years, with ‘how much does a hair transplant cost?’ one of the most frequently asked questions with the MEDIGO care team. There are a number of different techniques involved in hair transplantation, and the overall cost depends on a number of factors such as the number of grafts required, the method of chosen transplantation, and the location of the clinic. A hair transplant is one of many hair restoration techniques.
The lack of sufficient information on price and availability means that many people who are considering a hair transplant are reluctant to make the jump and go ahead with the procedure. The significant cost of the hair transplant is another obstacle. Advances in technology and further investment in the development of hair restoration techniques, however, have resulted in hair transplants becoming both more accessible and more affordable. A hair transplant is a permanent and non-reversible procedure that will last a lifetime, which makes thorough research of clinics, doctors, specialists, and techniques especially important.
If you are thinking about a hair transplant but need more guidance, the MEDIGO guide to hair transplant cost can help you make the right decision.
How much does a hair transplant cost abroad?
The price of hair transplants in the UK, the US and Australia is a major obstacle for many patients, which is why the idea of traveling elsewhere for more affordable hair transplantation is becoming increasingly popular. Whilst the cost of hair transplants abroad is considerably lower, the quality and results are not compromised. Hair transplant specialists often choose to train and gain experience outside of their native country, which allows for a constant exchange of ideas and expertise. This means that many hair transplant specialists from countries such as Spain, Turkey and Thailand are likely to have have gained experience around the world, whilst many American and British doctors also choose to leave their home country to work abroad.
When researching the possibility of hair transplant abroad, there are many factors to consider besides cost. The qualifications of the hair transplant team, review of former patients, and clinic accreditations are all important factors to take into account.
Whilst the price of hair transplants abroad are generally cheaper, the cost still varies from country to country.
Why is a hair transplant so expensive?
The cost of hair transplants is usually given per graft, with the overall cost of the procedure depending on the number of grafts required. The more grafts a patient chooses to have, the lower the cost per graft. It may also be necessary to have more than one procedure to achieve the desired results, which will entail additional costs. Other factors that influence cost include the amount of donor hair that is available and the texture, color, and overall condition of the hair.
Hair transplants tend to be more expensive as they are a permanent, long-lasting solution to hair loss. One-off treatments like lotions, corticosteroid injections and finasteride tablets can provide cheaper, short-term solutions, but their repeated expense and unsustainable results make a permanent hair transplant a better solution.
Male pattern baldness is a varied condition, and being able to pinpoint the exact type of baldness will affect the number of grafts needed and the overall cost. Baldness is divided into classes, with class 1 representing no visible hair loss and class 7 being significant baldness across the whole the head. Identifying the extent of hair loss in this way is key to assessing the overall chances of success of a hair transplant. Hair transplants are generally performed on patients who fall under classes 3-6, with the significant hair loss identified in class 7 cases making the chances of a successful implantation minimal.
In general, the minimum number of grafts required is 600, which is usually only done in cases of minimal hair loss. For more extensive hair loss, 1,500 grafts is the accepted minimum for effective results, whilst most hair transplant specialists will offer a maximum of 3,000 grafts. Though a consultation with a specialist hair transplant doctor will help to clarify the extent of the required work, the amount spent on the procedure is ultimately down to the patient – you can spend as much or as little as you like.
The average cost per graft in the United States can vary anywhere between $5-10, with overall cost of a full hair transplant therefore costing anywhere in the region of $3,000-30,000, depending on the desired results. If the number of grafts needed is between 600 and 1,200, the cost per graft will usually be around $8. On the other hand, for more extensive procedures requiring more than 1,500 grafts, the price will fall to between $5-7 per graft. A hair transplant is considered an elective (non-essential) procedure, and is therefore not covered by most medical insurance schemes.
In the United Kingdom, hair transplants are not available on the NHS, with only private clinics offering the procedure. The cost of a hair transplant in the UK will range from £3,000 to £15,000 ($4,300-21,500).
In Australia, hair transplants are similarly priced. Most procedures over 1,000 grafts will cost approximately $5.50-$7 per graft. Similarly in the UK and the US, hair transplantation is classed as cosmetic surgery in Australia and is therefore only available privately.
Hair Transplant in Poland from $1,565
Located in the heart of Europe, Poland is a popular choice for patients from across the continent looking for hair transplants. Hair transplants in Poland start from around $1,565. Poland is most well-known for its cultural history, with cities such as Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow amongst the most-visited in central Europe.
Hair Transplant in Thailand from $1,939
Thailand has gained a reputation for quality plastic and cosmetic surgery and has a number of specialist clinics offering hair transplants. Whether in the bustling capital city Bangkok or in the beach resort of Phuket, Thailand offers hair transplants from as little as $1,939 as well as the opportunity to combine treatment with a vacation.
Hair Transplant in Hungary from $1,972
Much like Poland, Hungary’s location in central Europe makes it a favored destination for patients from across Europe looking for affordable hair transplants. The capital Budapest is home to a clinic dealing exclusively in hair transplants, with specialists trained in the United States.
Hair Transplant in Malaysia from $2,747
Malaysia is another popular destination for cosmetic procedures, with specialist clinics offering hair transplants from as little as $2,747. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, has built a reputation in recent years for quality cosmetic treatments.
Hair Transplant in Brazil from $3,392
Brazil is one of the world’s leaders in advanced hair transplants, with clinics in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Curitiba. Hair transplants in Brazil start at $3,392.
Hair transplants in Mexico from $3,853
Many patients from the United States choose to make the journey across the border in order to find affordable and accessible hair transplant procedure which they cannot find at home. Hair transplants in Mexico can be found for $3,853.
Hair transplants in Turkey from $2,178
Although Turkey is well-known for its ophthalmology treatments, it also home to specialist clinics in Istanbul offering hair transplants from $2,178.
Hair transplants in Spain from $3,212
Alongside dentistry, fertility treatment and cosmetic procedures, Spain also has a reputation as one of Europe’s leading destinations for hair transplants. With clinics in cities like Palma de Mallorca and Alicante, Spain offers patients the chance to combine hair transplant treatment with a vacation.
How does a hair transplant work?
The most common form of hair transplant is Follicular Unit Extraction, which takes groups of 1-4 hairs (units) and transplants them in the desired area. The grafts are removed using precision tools which are minimally-invasive, which results in a natural looking transplantation and minimal damage to the scalp area. With the aid of microscopes during the extraction, hair transplant specialists are able to preserve the follicular units in excellent condition, leaving transplants which closely resemble the appearance and growth of natural hairs. No stitches are required for Follicular Unit Extraction and the procedure leaves no scars or noticeable marks.
The main benefits of Follicular Unit Extraction include:
- Natural-looking implants
- No scarring or stitches
- Scalp appearance returns to normal within a week
- Short recovery period
- Long-lasting results
- Performed on an outpatient basis
In order to insert the extracted units, small incisions are made into the areas most affected by hair loss, with the grafts then strategically placed to provide the most natural-looking results. The incisions will heal within a few days, with any marks left behind by the procedure gone after about a week.
The time needed for the transplanted hairs to fully regrow varies. The first sign of growth will be seen approximately 3 months following the the procedure, with full regrowth expected after around 6 months.
Another form of hair restoration is hair thickening, which a non-surgical procedure aimed at thickening out thin and brittle hair without the need for transplantation.
Can I get a beard transplant?
Yes. Demand for beard transplants has grown exponentially in the past couple of years, and many hair restoration clinics are now choosing to offer the procedure. In 2014 it is estimated that in the UK alone, over 4,500 beard transplants procedures were performed.
A beard transplant can be performed on the moustache, goatee, cheek and sideburn areas, and is most often undertaken by those who are unable to grow sufficient facial hair. The beard transplant procedure works in the same manner as a standard hair transplant, with donor hairs taken from elsewhere on the body and implanted into the desired areas of the face. For a beard transplant, hairs are often extracted and implanted singularly, rather than taking grafts of 2-4 hairs.
Transplants can also be performed for hair on the eyebrows and eyelids.
Beard transplants cost around $7,000 in the United States and as much as $22,000, but in countries such as Turkey and Thailand they can be found from as little as $1,921.
Hair transplant – patient story
James had always been proud of his full head of hair, so when he started to notice it thinning he decided to take action. After looking online at various options, he came across MEDIGO. Travelling abroad for treatment was much more affordable and after initial contact the MEDIGO care team came back with a number of options for James. Knowing that Turkey had a good reputation in the field of hair transplant surgery, and on the advice of his GP friend, he decided to book at the Clinicana Centre in Istanbul. He made the enquiry in July and had the surgery in August, a three-day trip.
The day, though tough, went well with the team in Istanbul providing excellent level of service. Three weeks later he’s already starting to notice considerable regrowth.