Hair Transplant FAQs

Hair Transplant FAQs

Here is a list of the most commonly asked questions about hair transplants.

  1. What is a hair transplant?
  2. Is there more than one type of hair transplant?
  3. Do I need a hair transplant?
  4. What is a 'FUT?'
  5. What is a 'FUE?'
  6. What is the difference between FUT and FUE?
  7. How many hair grafts will I need?
  8. Is a hair transplant painful?
  9. Will it cause any scarring?
  10. Is there a minimum age for a hair transplant?
  11. Can women have hair transplants?
  12. What are the risks of a hair transplant?
  13. How much do hair transplants cost?
  14. How long will my new hair take to grow?
  15. Will the results of my hair transplant look natural?

Q1. What is a hair transplant?

A1. A hair transplant is a surgical procedure in which permanent hair is taken from the back of the scalp and inserted into bald patches on the front and top of the head.

The hair at the back and sides of the head is 'balding-resistant' which makes it a good choice of donor hair for transplantation.

Find out more in our hair transplants section.

Q2. Is there more than one type of hair transplant?

A2. Yes there is. There are several procedures for dealing with hair loss which include follicular unit extraction, micro grafting and body hair transplantation. There are also various scalp surgeries such as scalp lift, scalp reduction and scalp flap surgery.

Your surgeon will discuss the most appropriate procedure for your individual hair loss needs.

Find out more about these procedures in our hair transplant surgery section.

Q3. Do I need a hair transplant?

A3. That is a question that can only be answered by you but if you tried various treatments such as hair loss drugs but with no success then consider a hair transplant. A hair transplant is a surgical procedure but it is performed under a local anaesthetic which means that you can return home on the same day.

The result is a healthy looking head of hair which looks and feels as natural as the rest of your hair. But it is important that you find the right surgeon and clinic for you.

Learn more about the benefits of a hair transplant.

Q4. What is a 'FUT?'

A4. FUT stands for Follicular Unit Transplantation: it describes a hair transplant procedure in which donor strips of hairs are removed (or 'harvested') from the back of the head and dissected into smaller follicular units before being transplanted into the bald areas of the scalp.

The area of the scalp where hair is taken from is known as the 'donor area'.

The bald patches of the scalp are known as the 'recipient areas'.

Find out more about this procedure in our Follicular Unit Transplantation section.

Q5. What is a 'FUE?'

A5. FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction is a technique used during a hair transplant in which individual hair follicles are removed (or extracted) from the donor area of the scalp.

The surgeon uses a delicate instrument to remove these units, one by one, which leaves a series of small holes on the surface of the scalp. These will heal after a few days and are covered by new hair growth.

This is a painstaking procedure which takes longer than many other types of hair transplant. But it is less invasive and ideally suited to people who engage in strenuous occupations such as professional sportspeople.

Find out more about this technique in our Follicular Unit Extraction section.

Q6. What is the difference between FUT and FUE?

A6. This is one of the most commonly asked questions. Many people think these are two separate procedures but they are in fact the same except for one important distinction:

The method used for removing the donor hairs.

FUT removes these donor hairs as a series of strips containing several hairs which are then cut into smaller graft units underneath a microscope. These units are then placed into a set of incisions in the bald area of the scalp.

FUE is a minimally invasive method for removing donor hairs which are then inserted into the recipient areas. These hairs are removed individually as single follicular grafts and are placed into tiny incisions made on the front and top of the scalp (recipient areas).

The method used for removing the donor hairs differs between the two but the rest of the procedure is the same. In both procedures the follicular units are transplanted into the balding areas of the scalp.

Learn more about these two procedures in our FUT versus FUE section.

Q7. How many hair grafts will I need?

A7. That depends upon the extent of your hair loss and the type of hair transplant required. Large areas of balding will need more grafts than smaller ones which increase both the time and the costs.

You may require 700 grafts or as many as 3,000 grafts. It all depends upon your individual requirements.

Your surgeon will discuss this with you beforehand.

For more information visit our hair transplants section.

Q8. Is a hair transplant painful?

A8. You will be given a local anaesthetic during the surgery which numbs the area so you won't feel any pain.

But you may experience some soreness and inflammation after the surgery although this can be eased with painkillers and if appropriate, an ice pack applied to the sore areas.

Any pain and discomfort will disappear after a few days.

Q9. Will it cause any scarring?

A9. A hair transplant does cause scarring although this is minimal especially with techniques such as follicular unit extraction. Any scars caused in the donor area will heal over a short period of time and are hidden by the growth of new hair in that area.

Scarring was a problem when hair plugs were used but this is no longer the case.

Q10. Is there a minimum age for a hair transplant?

A10. Many surgeons are reluctant to perform a hair transplant on anyone under the age of 21 although there are exceptions to this. But generally, surgeons are reluctant to operate on patients under 21.

If surgery is carried out to treat male pattern baldness then surgeons recommend that men wait until they are in their 30's as their hair loss is more established then. This is preferable to undergoing this procedure in the early stages when there is a greater risk of things going wrong.

A reputable clinic and surgeon will put your interests and wellbeing first. If you are too young then they will say so and will suggest alternatives.

Want to know more about male pattern baldness? Then visit our causes of hair loss section.

Q11. Can women have hair transplants?

A11. Yes they can. Although women are less likely to go bald compared to men it is no less distressing and in some cases, is worse for women as they are judged more on their appearance.

A full head of head is seen as part of a woman's femininity so a loss of hair is seen as freakish and a slur on their identity.

Women lose hair in a different way to men: they experience this hair loss from the top of the scalp only. This can be treated with hair loss drugs such as Minoxidil but in many cases a hair transplant is the only answer.

Find out more in our hair loss in women section.

Q12. What are the risks of a hair transplant?

A12. There are few risks with hair transplants but nevertheless, it is as well to be aware of these. They include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Formation of scabs on the incisions
  • Scarring

Other less common risks include bleeding and infection but these tend to be rare.

In the case of scabs and scars: the scabs fall off after a few days. Scars form as a result of the incisions but these are made in areas of the scalp which are usually covered by hair, e.g. the back of the scalp.

If you opt for follicular unit extraction then these are a series of tiny pinpricks which heal quickly and are covered by new hair growth.

Another side effects is 'shock loss': this is where transplanted hairs fall out as a result of the stress of the procedure but they re-grow after 3 months. They then follow the normal hair growth cycle.

Find out more in our hair transplants section.

Q13. How much do hair transplants cost?

A13. Hair transplants vary in price according to the type of procedure and the nature of the hair loss. Every patient is different and has individual hair loss requirements.

Prices are based on the surgeon's reputation and experience, the clinic and its facilities and your condition.

The most costly procedure is follicular unit extraction where prices range from 6,000 up to 25,000 or more.

If you require several transplants then this will increase the costs.

The more hair you have lost the greater the number of sessions (and grafts) required which becomes very expensive.

Price is not the main factor: the skills and experience of the surgeon are more important so use these as a benchmark when deciding upon clinics. Obtain several quotes and compare these.

We have listed a set of prices for hair transplant procedures which are designed as a rough guide. Have a look at these in our hair transplant costs section.

Q14. How long will my new hair take to grow?

A14. It takes on average, around 4 to 6 months for new hair to grow.

There will some hair growth after the surgery but these often fall out due to the stress of surgery. But these are replaced with new hairs 3 to 4 months later.

Be patient. It does take time for the new hair to grow but the results are usually worth it.

One thing to remember: if your hair loss is caused by genetic reasons such as male pattern baldness then you will need further procedures if you want to maintain the results.

Your balding will continue irrespective of the hair transplant. This means that agreeing to a hair transplant is agreeing to a lifelong commitment.

Q15. Will the results of my hair transplant look natural?

A15. If your hair transplant is performed by a highly competent and experienced surgeon then the results will natural. You will not be able to distinguish between transplanted hair and your natural hair.

Even your family and friends will be unable to tell the difference.