In a caucasian male with brown, straight, fine hair…what sorts of transplant density would start to appear ‘full’? Is it possible to get a thickness so that the hairs can stand up or will they always ‘fall down’ because of the lack of surrounding hair?
There is no magic number for density. Hair transplantation is about using a limited number of hairs to make your overall scalp hair appear fuller. The density varies from location to location to achieve this look.
For example, if we put a density of 10 hairs per square centimeter all over the entire bald area on a Norwood 6 patient, it will look very sparse with no significant cosmetic improvement. If you put 100 hairs in a square centimeter on the same patient you will quickly run out of hairs and will only be able to cover a small / partial area on the bald head. But if you vary the density from 50 hairs to 10 hairs and focus with the higher density in the front AND combine it with hair styling, you can achieve a full appearance.
Thus, the overall result of a hair transplant is not only about the density. It involves hair texture (thicker and curlier is better), hair color contrast against the skin (low contrast such as black hair on dark skin is better), and hair styling (longer hair, wavier hair is better than a straight buzz cut).