The prices in this guide were updated in July 2018.
Demand for hair transplants has risen dramatically in recent years, and “how much does a hair transplant cost?” is one of the most frequent questions the MEDIGO patient Care Team gets asked.
There are a number of different techniques involved in hair transplantation, and the overall cost depends on a variety of factors such as the number of grafts required, the method of chosen transplantation, and the location of the clinic. A hair transplant is also just one of many hair restoration techniques.
Many people who are considering a hair transplant are reluctant to make the jump and go ahead with the procedure without clear information on price and availability. The significant cost of the hair transplant is another obstacle. But advances in technology and further investment in the development of hair restoration techniques have resulted in hair transplants becoming both more accessible and more affordable. All the same, a hair transplant is a permanent and non-reversible procedure that will last a lifetime, so it’s important to thoroughly research clinics, doctors, specialists, and techniques.
How do doctors decide how much a hair transplant costs?
Hair transplant costs are based on a variety of factors, and it can be tricky to work out exactly how much your hair transplant will cost. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when researching your hair transplant.
Hair transplants are charged per individual graft that you receive. This can be confusing, as you will see hair grafts charged at something like “$5 per graft”, which of course seems very low! But the average amount of hair grafts per procedure are 1,500. You may need more or fewer depending upon your own hair loss, and this will be the main factor influencing the cost.
Different clinics will package hair grafts in different ways. For example, in Thailand it is common to see hair grafts becoming cheaper the more you get, i.e. 1,000 hair grafts at $8 per graft but 1,500 hair grafts at $6 per graft. Other countries and clinics charge fixed rates that do not change no matter how many grafts you receive.
Other factors that influence the cost of a hair transplant include who performs the procedure. Many clinics offer a reduced price for hair transplants that are performed under doctor supervision by a team of nurses or assistants. In these cases, the hair transplant is still perfectly safe and performed by skilled staff, but the doctor themselves does not perform the transplant and so the price is reduced.
How much do hair transplants cost around the world?
A hair transplant in the United States can cost up to $25,000, but the cost of a hair transplant varies hugely from country to country. For example, hair transplants in Turkey start at $2,000. The final price depends on the amount of hair being transplanted.
The average cost per FUE graft in the United States can vary between $6-11, with the overall cost of a full hair transplant costing anywhere in the region of $10,000-25,000, depending on the desired results, the clinic and the city you are treated in. For example, FUE grafts tend to be more expensive (in the $8-11 range per graft) in Chicago than in New York (where they are more likely to be $6-8). A hair transplant is considered an elective (non-essential) procedure, and is therefore not covered by most medical insurance policies.
In the United Kingdom, hair transplants are not available on the NHS and only private clinics offer the procedure. A small hair transplant (up to 1000 FUE grafts) in the UK will cost from £3000 to £6000, but most patients require more grafts and the price can quickly rise to £9000 or more. NHS guidelines state that hair transplant costs in the UK can be as much as £30,000.
In Australia, hair transplants are similarly priced. Most procedures over 1,000 grafts will cost
approximately $8-12AUD per graft. Like in the UK and the US, hair transplantation is classed as cosmetic surgery in Australia and is thus only available privately.
When researching the possibility of a hair transplant abroad, there are many factors to consider besides cost. The qualifications of the hair transplant team, reviews of former patients, and clinic accreditations are all important factors to take into account.
While the price of hair transplants abroad are generally cheaper, the cost still varies from country to country.
Why is a hair transplant so expensive?
Lots of factors influence the cost of a hair transplant. The biggest one, as outlined above, is the amount of grafts you need to have. It may also be necessary to have more than one procedure to achieve the desired results, which results in 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.
Male pattern baldness is a varied condition, and the exact type of baldness will affect the number of grafts needed and the overall cost. Baldness is divided into classes, following the Norwood style of classification, which was first published in 1975 and has become the most widely used classification of hair loss for men. Class 1 represents no visible hair loss and class 7 is significant baldness across the whole head. Identifying the extent of hair loss in this way is key to assessing the overall chances of a hair transplant’s success. Hair transplants are generally performed on patients who fall under classes 3-6. Class 7 cases and their significant hair loss have very low chances of a successful implantation.
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, and most hair transplant specialists 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.
Hair transplants tend to be more expensive than other hair restoration techniques 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.
How does a hair transplant work?
The most common form of hair transplant is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), 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, resulting in a natural looking transplantation and in minimal damage to the scalp.
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.
- 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, and any marks left behind by the procedure fade after about a week.
What's the difference between FUE and FUT?
The main difference between FUE and FUT techniques is the way in which the donor hair follicles are harvested. With the FUT method, the doctor removes a section of scalp and dissects the individual hair follicles from the strip under the magnifier before they are grafted into the desired area using an Implanter Pen. With the FUE method, the doctor uses an FUE machine to remove individual hair grafts from the area of scalp, and then grafted to the desired area with the Implanter Pen. Both methods have advantages for different patients, but in general the FUE technique is associated with more comfort and a shorter recovery.
How long does it take for hair to grow after a transplant?
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.
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 now offer the procedure. It is estimated that in the UK alone, over 4,500 beard transplants procedures were performed in 2014.
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 from around $7,000 to $22,000 in the US, but in countries such as Turkey and Thailand they can be found from as little as $2,000.
Hair transplant – patient story
James had always been proud of his full head of hair, so when he noticed 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 an excellent level of service. Three weeks later he’s already starting to notice considerable regrowth.
“I would definitely do it again,” James said. “The operation itself was tough, but having had good hair right up until my late 30s, having the treatment is a definite boost for my confidence. The hospital was state of the art and the care was excellent. Don’t expect the treatment to be easy, but the results will be worth it.”