Author Bio: Dr. Sanusi Umar MD is the author of this article.
Hair Transplant Cost in Los Angeles: One of the main questions people have when seeking a hair recovery surgery is; How much is a good hair transplant ? The question of cost can influence whether the person takes the plunge or not. Factors that could influence hair restoration price include the complexity of the case and the “individual hair characteristics.” Another factor is technique. Before the procedure for the potential candidate, the physician will review the patient’s history/situation and probability for potential hair loss in the future and how to best use the available donor hair for the patient’s lifetime. Many people feel dissuaded from a hair transplant because of cost. Although the hair transplant cost is one of the most important factors in taking a step towards hair restoration, a positive self-image is the most important for one’s well-being. The most significant achievement and outcome a patient can have is a boost to their self-confidence and freedom from the anxiety of hair loss.
What Factors Can Influence Your Hair Restoration Price?
There are four main factors to look into when researching the cost implications of your future hair transplant. Below lists these as well as explains why the “cheapest” option is not always the best financial decision in the long run. The cost factors include:
- Needs and goals of the patient
- Surgeon skill level and expertise
- Technique employed [FUE vs. FUT, or body hair transplantation (BHT)]
- Long-term satisfaction with results
Needs and Goals of the Patient
The needs and goals of the patient would influence the magnitude of work required. This includes the extent of a patient’s hair loss, if there is adequate hair for donor supply, probable past issues from other hair transplants and the desired cosmetic appearance. For instance a severely bald patient with a Norwood 7 level of baldness would need more grafts for transplantation compared to a less bald patient. More grafts equals an increase in hair transplant cost.
Surgeon Skill Level and Expertise
When choosing the right hair transplant surgeon, skill level and expertise need to be taken into account when considering cost. Although a newer doctor in the field may provide better initial prices, the possibility of requiring a second surgery to correct his / her mistakes is significantly higher. As with any service, those who have a high level of expertise and a reputation for a high satisfaction rate, will always have a slightly increased cost from those who don’t. Picking the best surgeon you can find, because of their advanced knowledge and technical skill will always save you money in the end. Dr. Umar is a leading surgeon in the FUE field, having invented his own advanced Dr.UGraft hair FUE technique. With his skilled precision and advanced technology, the cost of his surgeries are competitive.
Technique employed [ FUE vs. FUT, or body hair transplantation (BHT) ]
What are some different methods of hair transplant? Which is more expensive?
- Follicular unit transplant/FUT/strip surgery: Also known as FUSS/strip harvesting. With this procedure the surgeon excises a strip of flesh from the mid-rear scalp (the safe donor zone). This strip is dissected into follicular units (grouping of one to four hairs) to be implanted into the recipient area.
*Although FUT and Strip Surgery are often used interchangeably, it should be noted that FUT is the umbrella term for all surgeries that use one follicular unit at a time. The medical term for strip surgery is actually Follicular unit Strip Surgery – FUSS, but for the sake of common understanding we will continue calling it FUT.
- Basic Follicular unit extraction / FUE: FUE harvests grafts in individual follicular units, instead of in a strip of flesh. These follicular units are excised with a punch tool anywhere from .8 to 1.2mm in diameter.
- Advanced FUE: An example is Dr. UGraft advanced FUE Invented by Dr. U, this method does everything the basic FUE does and more. This system is able to extract hair from any ethnicity and from anywhere on the body. For instance, Dr U has invented the only hair transplant tool capable of successfully extracting hair by FUE in all patients with tightly curled African type hair. This is a capability beyond conventional FUE tools at present. The process comes at slightly higher cost than typical FUE processes however.
- Body hair transplant / BHT: BHT is made possible by advanced FUE such as the Dr UGraft and makes use of donor hair from all over the body, to include the beard, chest, stomach, arms, shoulders, and legs.
Although the FUT hair restoration surgery may be cheaper, the scarring can be significant and often times requires a Dr UGraft FUE surgery to cover the previous mistakes. FUE techniques, although slightly more pricey compared to FUSS, is a much better solution for scarring as it does not centralize in one large spot and has very tiny puncture scars that are so cosmetically insignificant that (unlike FUT) people can typically shave their heads after with this transplant. Other factors that make FUE a more favorable procedure in spite of higher cost are its minimal invasiveness, the elimination of a linear scar in the donor area, avoidance of nerve damage and the ability to select from a wide area most suitable hairs for specific purposes (e.g. softness for hairlines and temples, eyebrow and eyelashes etc) , and overall better outcome.
After undergoing a cheap strip surgery FUSS / FUT, which he regrets, this patient ended up with two huge scars which cost him some more to get them camouflaged using Dr UGraft advanced FUE
Long-term Patient Satisfaction
When Potential candidates are considering a hair transplant, they should keep in mind the eventual goal of the surgery and what they wish in terms of an aesthetic outcome. While an FUT strip surgery is less expensive and may offer appealing initial results, individuals with increased hair loss may require additional scar concealment surgery. Furthermore, an FUT strip scar is unquestionably difficult to hide and eliminates the option for short haircuts later down the road.The psychological toll of a lifetime of hiding a scar and not being able to be carefree with the wind, play and romantic partners carries a far higher price tag.
Considering short-term versus long-term patient satisfaction, Dr.UGraft FUE or BHT is the best hair loss treatment in regards to long-lasting results. Typically these procedures do not require another surgery or leave invasive scarring.
Various Methods Used By Different Hair Transplant Clinics in Los Angeles To Assess Fees
Various Hair clinics in Los Angeles would typically employ one of four different methods of charging for transplantation.
- Per graft: Total cost is based on total grafts needed. The fee is dependent on how many grafts are used for the total procedure, each graft having its own fixed rate. (Dr Umar uses this method)
- Sliding scale: Clinics charge based on how many total grafts are needed based on per graft totals in different price point ranges. This method is typically used by FUT-FUSS clinics and not by FUE clinics.
- Per session: For example, If a clinic charges a flat fee of $5,000 for a 600-graft session, it would charge three sessions for a patient needing 1,800 grafts
- Per Zone: In this case using a scalp zoning system similar to the one shown in the diagram below (Zone 1-6), cost quotes are given based on the zones to be covered in the hair transplant.
While cost is an important factor in determining if a hair transplant is even an option, the quality and experience of a physician and the technology used should be the first factor a potential candidate should have. Going the “cheaper” route or going to a clinic that may offer “specials” or advertising the lowest rates on hair transplants is probably not the best choice. Thorough research on clinics and their customer’s feedback is advised.
Hair Transplant Cost On A Per Graft Basis
By this method of costing, hair restoration surgery price is determined by the number of grafts used. A graft is a cluster or grouping of natural hairs (generally 1-4 hairs), also known as a follicular unit. This is hair transplant costing method favored by Dr Umar and Dr U Hair Clinic in Los Angeles. Dr U considers this to be the most fair method for determining cost for both the patient and the hair transplant team and clinic. It is very objective and not arbitrary like the other costing methods. The patient knows what to expect in terms of cost and how many grafts to expect for price paid. If you are interested in knowing the cost of a Dr.UGraft advanced FUE for your hair restoration needs visit this page of our website.
Hair Transplant Costing On A Per Session Basis
Dr U does not use this method. Some clinics may charge by the “session” but this isn’t always good practice as a small session for one person might be a large session for another. There thus remains the question of how many grafts were actually utilized? Did I get my money’s worth? This method places the patient at a great disadvantage as the per session procedure is unclear to the exact number of grafts the patient would expect to get. Some may say that with per session procedures you are paying for the time of the surgeon and not the actual price of the hair. So what if your surgeon is just having a bad day and going at half his / her normal pace? With a cost per graft procedure, the patient knows exactly how many grafts they are receiving, thus being more accurate. The quality of the surgery should always set a primary priority over price. In many situations, choosing price over quality ends up costing a patient more in the long run. Not just financially, but emotionally and psychologically as well.
Hair Transplant Cost On The Basis Of A Sliding Scale
The sliding scale method is mostly used in strip surgery clinics (Not Dr. U). Hair transplant cost reduction is based on the number of grafts to be transplanted, reducing in cost per graft as you get more.
This is less often used at boutique practices (like Dr. U Hair Clinic) that prefer, in the interest of the patient, to value quality of the result over quantity. This practice is not well suited for genuine FUE practices such as Dr. U since the number of grafts done per day typically has a ceiling that is not determined or influenced by the patient’s financial capacity.
How To Determine the Amount of Hair Grafts Required
The amount of grafts required for surgery is determined by a few factors and differs from patient to patient. One of the factors is the size of the area or areas that require coverage. When determining the size of the area that requires coverage, a second factor comes in, is the characteristics of the hair. Certain characteristics favor better coverage and the use of a relatively lesser number of grafts. These include:
- The texture of a patient’s hair: Patients with finer hair, often require more grafts to cover the same area than those that have coarse hair, thus changing/raising the price for individuals with finer hair.
- The curliness of the hair: a curly hair would cover more ground than straight growing hair
- The color of the hair: Lighter colored hair gives the illusion of better coverage
After the physician determines the amount of grafts that are required to provide the necessary coverage for maximum results, the donor area of the potential candidate is then assessed (the range of the head where the healthy hair is accumulated from) to ensure the volume of grafts needed are available. A potential candidate with severe hair loss will likely require more graphs than a potential candidate with minimal hair loss. A difference in graft count between a patient that requires 1000 graphs versus a patient that requires 12000 graphs will greatly influence the cost as surgery with more graphs takes a longer amount of time. Likewise, from a mild case of female pattern baldness to a severe male receding hairline, costs can vary.
Graft count influencing cost of hair restoration: This Dr U patient with minor frontal hair loss needed only 600 grafts to meet his needs
Cost of Hair Restoration: Comparing Cost of Commonly Used Methods
When contemplating the cost of something, we must also look at the cost of the alternatives. For example, by the time a person is ready for a hair transplant, they could have gone through many expensive hair treatments and spent a great amount of time on research. The cost of some common alternatives to hair transplants that could have been considered are compared to the cost of hair transplants as follows:
- Hair Transplant Cost Vs Cost of Hair Loss Concealers and Wigs: Some individuals might even purchase hair loss concealers or overly expensive wigs and hair pieces to cover their hair loss. Although the results of using hair loss concealers and wigs are immediate and some individuals might find temporary psychological comfort, these solutions are very limited. These solutions are just maintenance, and not a cure. For individuals trying to hide their hair loss, this is an on-going treatment and expense that can eventually become more expensive than a hair transplant in the long run.
- Hair Transplant Cost Vs Cost of Hair Loss Medications: Other individuals may resort to prescription and non prescription hair loss medications. However, these solutions are unpredictable, and in instances where they work, the results are usually minimal. Any results observed would be lost within 4 months of stopping the hair loss medication, hence the patient is forced to use the medication for a lifetime for a result that might not be very impressive. A lifetime use of these medications adds up in cost that may rival the overall hair restoration price.
What Are Some Good Hair Restoration Price Reduction Options?
Saving money legitimately doesn’t mean you must sacrifice good long-term results. Some frequently practiced hair transplant cost reduction choices offered by many clinics include:
- The sliding scale (mostly practiced for strip surgeries)
- Granting rights to your clinic to use your results for publications and marketing
- Standby booking
- Take advantage of promotions run by clinics.
- Go for a more conservative restoration that is supported by your budget and donor supply as well as consider a less is more approach with a shorter hair cut to support a low graft count restoration
High Volume Hair Restoration Surgery Cost Reduction Through A Sliding Scale:
Already discussed, this method can be viewed as a cost saving measure. It is however not necessarily the best since it is usually a practice of strip surgery clinics and other production line hair transplant clinics (popularly referred to as “hair mills”). Not practiced by practitioners of advanced FUE.
Hair Restoration Price Discounts By Granting Rights to Your Clinic to Use Your Results for Publications and Marketing:
Another way to save money on hair transplant cost is granting the rights use your images. Even the most small and boutique clinics use this option. With this option, the patient signs over the before and after photo/video documentation to the clinic for commercial use purposes. As this option may not be ideal for someone who is concerned about their identity being online or promoted, patients have the option to blur their face or distort their voice. Disclosing the patient’s results helps the clinic obtain more clients, thus giving the patient a discounted rate. This can also be seen as helping others understand and fix their problem of hair loss.
Hair Transplant Cost Reduction Through Standby Booking:
With this option the patient agrees to a standby status. This ultimately means the patient is willing to fill in a last-minute gap/cancellation in the clinic’s scheduling. By the patient accepting the appointment on such short notice, the clinic may offer a discounted rate.
Dr. Umar offers the disclosure agreement and also the standby discount to help patients with the best hair transplant cost they can receive. Most patients have only 2 hair transplant procedures in a lifetime, one being the initial hair FUE transplant, the second being to generally graft hair follicles in areas that the hairline receded to later (after the initial transplant). With Dr. Umar’s Dr.UGraft hair FUE procedure, hair restoration is considered a lifetime investment that offers results that are natural and priceless.
Hair Transplant Cost – Clinic Discount Promotions:
Sometimes clinics would offer a promotional periods in which they offer discounted prices for procedures. You can inquire if a clinic is about to run a promotion. You may want to time your booking plans to coincide with the timing of such a promotion if it exists.
Low Budget Hair Transplant Cost Cutting Considerations: Low Graft Count Procedure
For budgetary imperatives as well as practical donor supply to projected hair loss considerations, a patient should work with his provider looking into a lower graft count procedure that makes judicious use of the patients grafts by a more conservative approach either by way of a higher hairline or a less is more approach that works well with a very short hair cut. This approach is best achieved using advanced FUE techniques
Dr U Hair Clinic: Peace of Mind In Hair Surgery Is Priceless
Dr. U provides Dr.UGraft advanced hair FUE which in turn carries several advantages over basic hair FUE. Dr.UGraft hair FUE heals better, results in better surviving grafts and enables consistent and efficient use of body hair grafts as well as enables FUE in even the most difficult of cases, such as patients with tightly curled kinky hair. The quality and workmanship in Dr. Umar’s hair FUE procedure can be seen in the patient’s satisfactory outcome. Dr. Umar’s cost for an Dr UGraft varies from patient to patient (hair type, donor source, etc) and time of surgery, granting of rights to the use of photography, whether or not the patient is on a standby booking list etc. Patients interested in knowing the cost of their hair FUE surgery should complete our free online consultation form for a specific plan of action and price quote.
Hair Transplant Cost Frequently Asked Questions
So how much does a good hair transplant cost?
The more advanced technology that is used, the more expensive the procedure. FUT strip surgery is the least expensive but it is also an “older” type of procedure and becoming increasingly outdated. With an FUT surgery, many times the patient will end up paying twice as much because there is such a high chance of scarring. Many patients seek Dr UGraft linear scar free surgery to cover the scars of the FUT. Dr UGraft advanced FUE and BHT are more evolved procedures with better results and little downtime in healing as well as resulting in an overall customer satisfaction. That is what should constitute a good hair transplant. These should be the factors to consider in answering the question: “How much is a good hair transplant”
How Can I Finance My Hair Transplant Surgery?
An average hair transplant would cost between $4000 and $15000, and being a cosmetic procedure, it is not covered by insurance. Thus, being able to afford and finance a hair transplant is a crucial step in order to move forward with the procedure. Some people have the following option of payment:
- Savings account
- Getting a loan
- Credit cards
- Financing through companies that offer medical care (Many of Dr U’s patients have utilized M-Lend Financing)
What are the bad ways to reduce cost of hair restoration surgery?
The following practices should be avoided as the candidate will likely return to their surgeon to have a repair surgery in the future:
- Medical tourism for the sake of getting a hair transplant on the cheap should be avoided
- A cheaper procedure likes scalp reduction or hair flap surgery
- Choosing a clinic that is known for quantity over quality (they produce transplants like a factory)
- Settling for a novice surgeon
More questions? Ask the expert himself: our Ask Dr. U form allows you to submit your questions to Dr. U himself: