Page: 3 of 4
In this report

Hair transplant surgery is costly but effective

Reviewers say that hair transplants have come a long way since the days of hair plugs. The old versions used grafts containing several hairs that created unnatural-looking results, but today's technology allows surgeons to dissect sections of hair from the back of the head to create grafts of just one to four hairs. This type of operation, performed under local anesthesia, is called the follicular-unit grafting technique. The micro- or mini-grafts are then inserted with hypodermic needles or with a small scalpel into slits between existing hairs in thinning areas. Doctors say that the transplanted hair will fall out after approximately two to four weeks followed by new hair growth about three months later. This new hair is permanent and has little to no risk of balding or thinning.

Specialists interviewed at USA Today all agree that hair transplant surgery is by far the "most effective method" for hair-loss treatment, but few recommend it as a first choice. That may be due in part to the high costs involved -- most prices range from about $5,000 to $10,000 per session (reaching as high as $30,000 per session with some surgeons) and may require multiple sessions depending on the extent of hair loss. Another reason might be that doctors usually prefer that a patient's balding pattern has stabilized and suggest that only men who have experienced hair loss due to AGA for more than five years go forward with the surgery. The American Hair Loss Association explains that "not everyone is a good candidate for the surgery and those who are must have realistic expectations before undergoing a hair transplant procedure."

Most women aren't good candidates for hair transplants due to the diffuse pattern in which they lose their hair. Women tend to lose hair evenly over the entire scalp, making all hair susceptible to loss and not ideal for transplanting. Exceptions to this are women who have permanently lost hair due to trauma, burns or cosmetic procedures.

Experts across the board warn that careful consideration is required when choosing a surgeon. That's because any licensed physician in the United States and Canada can legally perform hair transplant surgeries without any professional training.

According to the manufacturer's website, the HairMax LaserComb is a nonsurgical laser device that supposedly delivers laser energy to the cells, increasing blood flow and circulation in the scalp, which promotes a healthy hair follicle. The FDA approved the LaserComb in January 1997 for the promotion of hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia. However, according to an article in Men's Fitness, the comb is best for men in the early stages of hair loss -- it may help you retain the hair you already have, but it most likely won't grow new hair.

Back to top