Question: I am worried about the cost of a hair transplant. How much does a good hair transplant doctor cost? What are the options? If my hair transplant costs more, am I really getting more? I want the best results, but I don’t want to get soaked. How much should a hair transplant cost?
Dr. Shapiro, Hair Transplant Doctor Answers: You need to get reliable information about hair transplant costs and then use your own common sense. Some hair transplant doctors or their salespeople will give incomplete or incorrect information just to get your business, and you won’t get the results you want at any price.
There are three numbers we need to examine:
- How many years of full-time experience does the hair transplant doctor have?
- How many hair follicles can be transplanted in a session (sitting)?
- How much does it cost per follicular unit (hair follicle)?
Experience of the Hair Transplant Doctor
A hair transplant doctor must have medical credentials such as MD or dermatologist. Dermatologists are especially qualified because they specialize in the skin. Hair transplant doctors must receive additional training in hair transplantation, and they should be an active member of a professional hair restoration association.
But if you want the best results, all that is not enough. You want to find a doctor who focuses on hair transplants full-time. If they are running a business such as a cosmetic surgery clinic, and dabble in a few hair transplants a month, they just won’t have as much experience as a full-time hair transplant doctor. Doing hair transplants is a specialized skill that takes a great deal of practice and focus. Don’t let a doctor experiment on you – go to someone who knows what he or she is doing.
The hair transplant doctor should be able to show you thousands and thousands of hair transplant photos. Look at them to see the doctor’s past results. You should be able to meet with past patients on request. You should be able to see an actual surgery, or a video of an actual surgery, during your consultation. Seek a hair transplant doctor with at least 10 years of full-time experience.
Follicular Units Per Session or “Sitting”
When you get a hair transplant, you’ll want to get the most from your session or “sitting.” Most of my patients are eligible for somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 follicular units (average of 2.5 – 3 hairs per follicle) per session, depending on the reason for their hair loss and the quality of their donor area. Some patients only need a smaller number of follicular units transplanted because they haven’t lost much hair. Others can get more than 4,000 follicular units transplanted in a session because they have great donor tissue and a large balding area.
Cost Per Follicular Unit
Some doctors come right out and tell you the cost per follicular unit (FU). Other doctors make you calculate it by giving you a total cost. If that happens, ask how many follicular units they will transplant. If you don’t get an answer, leave. If you get an answer, divide that number into the cost to get the cost per follicular unit.
Now shop around. Filter out the less-qualified hair transplant doctors, no matter how much they charge. Weigh the cost per FU against the number of FUs they tell you they can do – you want to get a lot, if possible. And look at the doctor’s work.
Best of luck!
Dr. Shapiro is a dermatologist and hair transplant specialist with hair transplant clinics in South-central Florida. He has performed over 11,000 hair transplant surgeries in the past 20 years. Dr. Shapiro coined the term Accelerated Follicular Restoration(TM) and created Help Hair(TM) Shake to get faster results after a hair transplant.