You have decided that you want a hair transplant, but how much will it cost? In the UK, the price of this procedure can range from £1,000 to £30,000, as the sum depends on a variety of different factors. The type of hair transplant, the extent of baldness or thinning, the size of the treatment area, and the quality of the surgeon all impact the cost of this treatment. Ultimately, the price of a hair transplant is individual and can only be made on a case-by-case basis, but this article will attempt to sketch out a rough estimation of what to expect.
Types of Hair Transplant
The two most recognised types of hair transplants are FUE and FUT.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
Follicular Unit Transplantation (abbreviated to FUT) works by removing a long, thin piece of tissue from the donor site (which is typically the back of the scalp). FUT is sometimes referred to as ‘strip’ surgery because a strip of scalp tissue is used to obtain the hair follicles that are needed for the procedure.
A local anaesthetic will be applied to the scalp to limit discomfort, and once the strip has been removed, the donor site will be stitched closed. The stitches will be removed after ten to fourteen days have passed, and this will result in a single, linear scar. This can be easily concealed by the surrounding hair.
Then, individual hair follicles are excised from the strip of tissue via a process known as stereo-microscopic dissection. This is when a surgeon uses a powerful microscope to extract tiny hair follicles from the strip. The hair follicles are then re-inserted into the balding areas of your scalp. After the procedure, it will take approximately 12- 18 months to see the effect of the surgery.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE):
FUE stands for Follicular Unit Extraction. During this procedure, the donor area will be shaved, and hair follicles are extracted from it individually. They are then transferred directly to the treatment area. The procedure can be carried out manually, using a device called a micropunch, or using a motorised surgical tool.
Unlike FUT, FUE does not result in a linear scar, as it does not require a strip of skin to be removed from the scalp. This also means that the donor area heals more quickly, less scarring and the procedure is generally less invasive. Moreover, as the follicles are harvested in a random fashion, thinning in the donor area is less visible.
As the hair follicles are transferred from the donor area to the treatment area one by one, FUE surgery takes longer to carry out than FUT. Typically, FUE is performed over the course of one day however in some large cases it may need 2-3 days. This can make the surgery more expensive than FUT, as more time needs to be spent at the clinic.
How Many Grafts Will I Need?
Hair follicles are sometimes referred to as grafts. These are the small pieces of skin, containing one to three hairs, which are inserted into the treatment area during a hair transplant.
The cost of a hair transplant depends, among other things, on the number of grafts that need to be transplanted from the donor area to the treatment area. This is because a larger number of grafts requires more labour and takes more time in the clinic to complete. A 1000 graft hair transplant will therefore cost less than a 2000 graft hair transplant, which itself will cost less than a 3000 graft hair transplant, and so on. Our prices begin at £1.80 per graft.
You can use our handy Graft Calculator to figure out the number of grafts that will need during your hair transplant. If you require 5000 or 6000 graft hair transplants, the treatment will be carried out over the course of two separate procedures, and patients must have a suitable donor area for this treatment to work. If you are unsure about whether you are a good candidate for this treatment, arrange a consultation and one of our specialists will advise you.
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Hair Transplant
As with every other treatment, there is a list of factors that could potentially affect your hair transplant cost. Here are a few of them.
Hair loss condition
If the hairless area is large, a greater number of grafts will be needed to fill it in. This will require more time and labour, resulting in a higher price. Small bald areas will be much cheaper, as they require considerably less time and labour.
Generally speaking, FUT is a less expensive treatment than FUE. This is because FUT works by removing a strip of tissue from the patient’s head, and the hair follicles can be removed from the strip quickly. By contrast, FUE requires a surgeon to transfer hair follicles one by one directly from the patient’s head, which is a longer process.
The Surgeon’s Experience
An experienced and highly qualified surgeon will always produce the best outcome. As a result, surgeons with high-level training and significant experience will tend to charge a higher fee.
The number of procedures
If a hair transplant requires a greater number of individual procedures, it will be more expensive. Generally speaking, FUE is performed over the course of several individual treatments and is, therefore, more expensive than FUT. Transplants that involve transferring a large number of grafts will also require several treatments.
The location of a clinic can affect the price of a hair transplant. If the cost of living in an area is high, the cost of a hair transplant is likely to be high as well. By contrast, if there are lots of clinics in one area offering hair transplant procedures, the cost of the treatment is likely to be lower, due to market competition. Additionally, if you have to travel far to reach your clinic, your travel costs will increase your total expenditure on the surgery.
This may not come to your mind initially but, there are also recovery costs that you might have to consider in addition to the treatment cost. If surgery is not performed with due care and attention this can lead to longer recovery times requiring prolonged time off work. In addition to this, there may be a need for additional medication.
Is the Cost of a Hair Transplant Worth It?
A hair transplant, especially one which involves transplanting a lot of grafts, can be expensive. However, if you are spending a lot of money on other treatments for hair loss, such as regrowth shampoo or medication for hair loss, a hair transplant will probably be the more cost-efficient choice in the long term. This is because the cost of a transplant is a one-off payment, whilst the lifetime costs of other treatments can add up over time. Moreover, products such as regrowth shampoo do not always produce results, whilst the effect of a hair transplant is excellent and long-lasting.
Ultimately, if hair loss is taking a toll on your confidence and self-esteem, it is always worth reflecting on your options and doing something about it. To discuss whether a hair transplant is right for you, you can arrange a consultation with one of our specialist consultants.