I hear that question all of the time. The answers often vary from 1000 to as high as 6000 grafts, sometimes regardless of the balding pattern. We focus on the number of grafts because more grafts move more hair into the balding area. But the real numbers depend upon
- hair thickness,
- the balding pattern,
- the color of your skin and hair,
- the character of your hair, the thickness of the hair shafts (fine, medium or coarse)
- and most important, something about your donor supply capacity to support the balding pattern at the time the question is asked.
Note that I am putting in a time factor, because balding is a progressive process and how bald you are today, might be distinctly different than how bald you will be tomorrow.
Some young men fly to Turkey, get 5000-6000 grafts for minimal cost. Then they come home to wait and watch it grow. Assuming that the clinic did it right (not the case in many Turkey clinics that don’t have a doctor but sell grafts (like potatoes were sold to the Irish at the time of the famine in the 1800s), they may run out of grafts (or potatoes) before they finish balding.
Hair transplants need to be part of a Personalized Master Plan that incorporates how you are going to manage fixing the balding problem against a progressive balding process. If you use up all of your donor hair before the balding is complete, you may end up looking freaky for the rest of your life. I hear the young man tell me that they are not worried about their hair loss when they get to 30, or 35 or 40. I speak with many 30, 35 and 40 year old men and they ALL CARE about what their hair looks like. Poor planning is almost always a disaster for sometime down the road. All doctors are not equal. Some doctors are in it for the money, so selling more grafts means making more money. You have to identify those doctors and make sure that you don’t get one of them. I always say that a good decision today is a good decision tomorrow.
So to answer the basic question “How many grafts do I need?”, take it easy, digest what you read above and the look to some of the following links below: