As much as we don’t like to admit it, many people take an exceptional amount of pride in their appearance. One of the parts of our appearance that we treasure most is our hair. When we begin the process of balding, it can be both embarrassing and frustrating. If balding upsets you, there is a treatment for it. Hair transplants can be used to help cover bald or thinning spots of hair. This appears natural, and uses your own hair to cover existing bald spots. This option is far more natural than wearing a wig.
Hair Transplant Costs: Everything You Need to Know
The Procedure: Slit Grafts versus Micrografts
The procedure is typically performed in a doctor’s office, and there are two common types of hair transplants. Slit grafts involve harvesting small units of follicles, typically between ten to fifteen hairs at a time, from a donor site. Typically, the donor site is on the back of the head, where it can be easily covered by existing hair. This method consists of smaller grafts in higher amounts, making the process less painful and invasive.
The micrograft option involves removing and transplanting only one to four hair follicles at a time. These hairs are removed in thin strips and transplanted without damaging the hair unit. This process involves higher survivability rates than other types of hair transplantation.
Prior to these procedures becoming popular, hair follicles were removed in large sections and therefore transplanted in large sections. These would produce scars and make it incredibly obvious to a passerby that a hair transplant had been completed. This alone could be considered embarrassing for the person undergoing the procedure. Since the grafting technology came along, however, hair transplants look far more natural. Additionally, patients are able to wear short hair without having to worry about extensive scarring.
The Average Cost of Treatment
Hair transplants can be expensive, although a number of factors need to be considered before a final price is determined. One drawback is that in most instances, hair transplants are considered cosmetic and therefore insurance companies are less likely to cover them. The average cost of a hair transplant can range from four thousand to fifteen thousand dollars. Additionally, there are risks involved which can lead to more costs in the future.
What Affects the Cost of the Procedure?
A number of factors play into the cost of the procedure. First, hair transplant costs can vary based on where you live. If you live in an area where hair transplants are uncommon, prices may be higher based on that factor alone. If only one doctor in the area performs the procedure, prices may be driven up due to supply and demand. If zero doctors within your area perform the procedure, you may need to consider traveling to have a hair transplant performed. This drives up the cost because now it’s not just the procedure that you have to consider, but also the cost of gas or an airplane ticket, a hotel for the time it takes to have the procedure completed and for you to minimally recover, as well as food and other travel expenses.
Surgeon skill can also influence cost. The more well-known and well-established your physician is, the more the procedure will cost. Let it be known, however, that cost doesn’t necessarily equate to skill and success. Be sure to research any involved doctors prior to having the procedure done to gauge their experience level and whether or not they are worth the cost they charge.
Finally, the procedure itself can vary in cost depending on type. Slit grafts and micrografts cost different amounts of money. Furthermore, how much hair you choose to have transplanted can also affect the cost. The more hair that needs transplanting, the more the procedure will cost. On the other hand, if only a small section of your head is thinning, the procedure could be relatively inexpensive in comparison.
One thing to note about hair transplant procedures is that they are cost-effective when compared to other possible procedures. Some medications that boast the ability to increase hair growth can be costly and time consuming. It may take a long time to reap the benefits. Hair transplants, however, involve only one procedure and only incur additional costs if excess treatment is needed to cover infections or other problems.
What Are the Risks Involved?
Every surgery, no matter how seemingly minor, has some element of risk involved. Patients receiving a hair transplant may need to take several days off from work due to the resulting pain. Pain medication can help, but not all patients like the idea of taking these prescriptions. Most of these aches and pains are a result of inflammation of the scalp, which can also cause itching. Though these particular risks are minor, they can still pose difficulties for patients.
A more serious risk when it comes to hair transplantation involves loss of hair. Despite using your own hair follicles, sometimes the follicles can be rejected and as a result, the graft won’t take. Additionally, the shock of being transplanted is sometimes enough to kill the hair follicles. Though this loss doesn’t typically include all of the transplanted hair, it can be disheartening.
Finally, bleeding, numbing, and scarring can also occur as a result of a hair transplant. These are minor issues, but they can be troublesome and frustrating as the patient attempts to resume normal activities following the surgery.
Does the Risk Outweigh the Cost?
This is up to the patient to decide. If the idea of a one-and-done doctor’s visit sounds appealing, understand that infections can occur. After all, the area has undergone trauma and there are several open wounds. Though these wounds are small, dirt and bacteria can still get in. This means that you may incur other costs from follow-up visits, as well as from the purchase off antibiotics. If your insurance does not cover these, then the total cost of your procedure will go up.
Nonetheless, hair transplants can be life-changing for those suffering from baldness. Appearances help to make first impressions, so a lack of confidence caused by thinning or balding hair can be incredibly detrimental. For these purposes, hair transplants may be worth the cost, helping to restore your physical appearance, self-image, and feelings of self-worth.