A hair transplant is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat hair loss. Healthy hair follicles are moved from a donor area of the scalp to the balding area using skin grafts. (1)
A hair transplant is primarily used for patients with androgenetic alopecia, also known as pattern hair loss. Often hair transplants are used for androgenic alopecia patients whose hair loss is quite advanced and who may not have found other treatments to be effective. (1)
Choosing the Right Hair Transplant
There are two main types of hair transplants: FUT and FUE. FUT stands for follicular unit transplantation. During FUT, a strip of skin is taken from the back of the scalp from which healthy hair follicles are extracted. The hair follicles are then implanted into the recipient site, meaning the site of hair loss. (1)
FUE stands for follicular unit extraction. This procedure involves the use of a small punch tool to extract individual hair follicle units and place them in the area of hair loss. (1)
Hair transplants are done by hand by very skilled, highly trained surgeons. However, some robotic systems can harvest grafts faster and potentially more precisely. (2)
One example of an automated technique is the Neograft technique owned by Venus Treatments. It’s an automated version of FUE surgery that can be quicker and less invasive than a traditional FUE approach. (3)
Different hair transplant clinics will take their own approach based on the FUT and FUE methods, so you may see different brand names. This is why it’s important to do your research and work out what’s best for your needs.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Hair Transplant?
Patients with androgenic alopecia with fairly advanced hair loss are good candidates for a hair transplant. The hair loss pattern is usually focused on the front and top of the head, leaving an area of healthy hair growth on the back of the head to harvest from for the transplant. Some patients with scarring forms of alopecia can have a successful hair transplant. (4)
There must be a good amount of healthy hair follicles to work with for the surgery to be successful. Patients with over 80 follicular units per squared centimeters get the best results. In patients with extensive hair loss, hair transplant methods may be combined to get the desired results. The surgeon should always discuss the realistic outcomes of the procedure with the patient beforehand, especially if hair loss is severe. (1)
Patients who don’t have enough healthy hair are not good candidates for a hair transplant. Those who struggle with ongoing hair loss conditions that may cause the transplanted hair to fall out would not be suitable for a hair transplant, for example, those with alopecia areata. Patients with other health complications may not be able to get a hair transplant. (5,6)
6 Factors That Influence the Cost of a Hair Transplant
Hair transplants tend to be very expensive. However, there are several factors that can influence the price of this procedure. If you’re seriously considering this surgery and feel hesitant about the costs involved, ask yourself the following questions before signing up for a hair transplant.
1. Where Do You Live – and Where Is Your Provider Located?
Location will be one of the biggest factors in the cost of your hair transplant. Costs can vary significantly from country to country, and even in different areas within a country.
2. Who Is Your Chosen Provider?
Different clinics and surgeons will have different price points. Generally, more qualified, experienced surgeons will be likely to charge more. Some providers will charge for an initial consultation and aftercare, while others may offer packages that include all costs.
3. What Type of Hair Transplant Do You Want?
The type of hair transplant you get will markedly impact the price. In general, FUE is more expensive than FUT as it’s more time-consuming and takes more skill. Robotic or automated surgery methods such as Neograft may cost more because the technology is more advanced. (1)
4. How Many Grafts or Sessions Will You Need?
How many grafts you need will be dependent on the extent of your hair loss and your end goals. Prices are typically charged per graft – so the more grafts you need, the more expensive the hair transplant will be. Patients getting a large number of grafts often need multiple sessions.
Some patients will need additional sessions after a few months to achieve their desired hair density. Clinics will often offer a reduced price for subsequent sessions, but this varies.
5. Will You Want Any Additional Treatments?
Some providers will offer additional treatments before and after the hair transplant to enhance the results. These treatments will add to the price of the transplant.
6. Will Insurance Cover the Cost of a Hair Transplant?
In the majority of cases, a hair transplant is considered a cosmetic procedure. This means it isn’t covered by insurance. But if your hair loss is caused by trauma or burns, insurance may cover the surgery. Most people will need to finance their hair transplant themselves, although clinics may offer credit or payment plan options to help you access treatment. (7,8)
Hair Transplant Costs for FUE vs. FUT
Patients will have an initial consultation with the clinic to determine how extensive their hair loss is and how many hair grafts they will need. Quotes for a hair transplant are typically given as price per graft. A quote will also include consultation fees, subsequent session costs, aftercare costs, and the cost of any additional treatment as we mentioned earlier.
FUT Hair Transplant Cost
There are two main hair transplant types: follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit excision or extraction (FUE). FUT is usually cheaper than FUE because it takes less time and skill to perform the procedure.
In the UK, the price per graft for FUT is typically around £4. On average, a FUT hair transplant cost in the UK may be around £8,000 or more.
In America, prices range from $2 to $10 per FUT graft. On average, the full price of a FUT hair transplant is likely to cost from $12,000 upwards.
In Canada, FUT graft prices are between CA$2.50 to CA$7.00. The cost of a hair transplant in Canada averages between CA$8,000 and CA$16,000.
These prices vary depending on the clinic and the packages offered. Many offer all-inclusive packages or reduced rates for multiple sessions or higher numbers of grafts.
FUE Hair Transplant Cost
Follicular unit excision (FUE) hair transplants typically cost more because they take more time and are more labor-intensive for the surgeon. It’s worth noting that although they cost more, the recovery time can be reduced and the overall result can be better. (1)
In the UK, the cost of an FUE hair transplant is around £5 per graft. In total, the surgery can cost £10,000 or more depending on the patient’s requirements. The more grafts required, the more expensive the surgery. For example, a 2,000-graft hair transplant cost would be £10,000 while a 5,000-graft hair transplant cost would be around £25,000.
In America, FUE grafts can cost around $5 to $10 each depending on the clinic. Clinics often offer all-inclusive services which include aftercare. Bosley clinic is one of the top hair restoration clinics in America. A Bosley hair transplant cost ranges from $6,000 to $12,000.
In Canada, prices can be between CAD$7 to CAD$8 per graft. The total cost can range from $12,000 depending on the clinic.
More advanced techniques such as a robotic hair transplant cost more because the technology is so high-tech. For example, a company called ARTAS uses a robotic arm to carry out the FUE surgery. An ARTAS hair transplant cost can range between $7,000 to $18,000.
Another example is Neograft, an advanced technology owned by Venus Treatments. Neograft assists with the FUE technique. A Neograft hair transplant can cost between $5,000 to $15,000.
Hair Transplant Costs Per Graft
Most hair transplants are quoted as costs per graft. So, the more extensive your hair loss and the more grafts you need, the more the surgery will cost overall.
The cost per graft varies depending on whether you’re getting the FUT or FUE technique, and whether the clinic is using any advanced technology. The cost will also be influenced by location, individual clinics, and any packages offered.
A general guide to average prices per graft is listed below:
- UK: £3.50-£5
- USA: $2-$10.
- Canada: CA$2.50-$12
- Australia: AU$2-$4.60
- South Asia: Indian Rs. 65.
- Turkey: €0.55-€2.50
Choosing a Hair Transplant Surgeon and Practice
Since costs can vary so much it’s important to take your time to decide what’s best for you. Ensure your chosen practice offers the method you desire. Do plenty of research and ensure you choose a clinic with a good reputation and surgeons with appropriate qualifications.
Some people may choose a local clinic while others may choose to travel to a country that offers cheaper hair transplants. For example, a 5,000-graft hair transplant cost in the USA may cost between $10,000 and $50,000. In contrast, a 5,000-graft hair transplant cost in Turkey will be much less expensive, ranging between €2,750 and €12,500
While the lower Turkey hair transplant cost can be appealing, it’s essential to take other costs into account. If you’re traveling to Turkey you will need to pay for flights, accommodation, travel insurance, food, potentially money loss from more time off from work, and so on. You may need to stay for longer than expected while you recover if the surgeon wants to check on your progress. Alternatively, you may need to travel back for subsequent sessions if required.
You should also consider whether the clinic you choose offers payment plans or all-inclusive packages. Think about the costs of consultation fees, pre and post-op appointments, and any aftercare. Many practices offer additional treatments before and after surgery to improve hair transplant results.
Extra Treatments May Improve Hair Transplant Results
Many surgeons recommend combining other treatments with hair transplants to help enhance the results. In particular, two hair loss treatments – minoxidil and platelet-rich plasma treatments – have been shown to improve hair regrowth following the transplantation procedure.
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved topical treatment commonly used to treat hair loss. It’s a vasodilator, which means it helps to increase blood flow to the scalp and widens blood vessels. It encourages thicker, healthier hair to grow from hair follicles. (9)
Minoxidil is available as a solution and foam in concentrations of 2 percent and 5 percent. It’s applied either once or twice a day to the scalp, directly to the area of hair loss. Minoxidil is often used both before and after a hair transplant to reduce hair loss and encourage hair growth. (1,9)
Getting PRP Treatments
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is sometimes used to improve hair transplant outcomes. Plasma is a part of the blood that helps with lots of important processes, including healing within the body. PRP is administered via injections into the scalp. Each injection contains the patient’s platelet-rich plasma, which encourages both healing and new hair growth. (10)
Some clinics use PRP both before and after surgery to improve outcomes. When used like this, research has shown positive outcomes with increased hair growth and improved hair health. (10)
Hair Transplant Side Effects
With any surgical procedure, even a minimally invasive one like a hair transplant, there are risks and side effects. One of the main side effects is edema, meaning swelling in the transplant area. This happens in an estimated 5 percent of patients. (1)
Bleeding can occur, but the risk is low at 0.5 percent. Some people may also experience numbness of the scalp, but fortunately, this side effect is temporary. (1)
As with any surgery, there’s a risk of infection – but this affects less than 1 percent of patients and can be treated. After the surgery, some patients may experience folliculitis, which is an infection or inflammation of the hair follicles. Cysts and ingrown hairs are also possible. All of these side effects are treatable. (1)
Telogen effluvium, known as stress-related hair loss, may occur after the surgery. This causes hair shedding at the donor or recipient site. However, this is temporary, and hair typically regrows within 3 to 4 months. (1)
Alternative Hair Loss Treatments
Aside from hair transplant surgery, there are other hair transplant treatments that can be effective. These options are more affordable than a hair transplant and can be highly effective for people experiencing early to mid-stage symptoms of pattern hair loss.
Minoxidil is the only FDA-approved topical treatment for hair loss. It’s approved for use in both men and women. Low-level laser therapy is also an option for both men and women with androgenic alopecia. Laser hair treatments are administered via devices like laser hair combs, brushes, hats, and helmets. (9)
DHT blockers like finasteride and dutasteride are common oral medications used to treat androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride is FDA-approved for use in men but not women. Dutasteride is more commonly used for male pattern hair loss in other countries. This drug is not FDA-approved for hair loss but is sometimes used off-label, and a topical version of dutasteride is currently in clinical trials. (11)
What’s the Average Cost of a Hair Transplant?
The average cost of a hair transplant can vary greatly depending on your location, the clinic you choose, the type of hair transplant, and how many grafts you need. The hair transplant cost in the USA averages between $2 and $10 USD per graft. If you’re considering getting this procedure in other countries, you might pay as little as $0.55 or as much as $9.50 per graft. Take your time to do your research to find the best option for your needs.
- Zito, P. M., & Raggio, B. S. (2019). Hair transplantation
- Rose, P. T. (2015). Hair restoration surgery: challenges and solutions. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 8, 361.
- Massachusetts General Hospital, (2022), Hair Restoration Surgery Program
- British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, (2022), Hair Transplant Surgery
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons, (2022), Hair Transplantation and Restoration
- NHS, (2019), Hair transplant
- Liza Torborg, (2017), Mayo Clinic Q and A: Hair transplant treatment for hair loss. Mayo Clinic.
- Shalby Hospitals, (2020), What Is Hair Transplant Surgery?
- Badri, T., Nessel, T. A., & Kumar, D. (2021). Minoxidil. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
- Garg, S. (2016). Outcome of intra-operative injected platelet-rich plasma therapy during follicular unit extraction hair transplant: a prospective randomised study in forty patients. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 9(3), 157.
- Zito, P. M., Bistas, K. G., & Syed, K. (2021). Finasteride. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
Last updated July 2023