Hair Transplant Clinic

Hair Transplant clinic

Hair transplants are not available on the NHS unless there are exceptional circumstances. The reason for this is that they are viewed as a cosmetic procedure rather than a life saving treatment. They are often performed for lifestyle reasons (known as 'elective surgery') and are a long way down the NHS list of priorities.

If you want a hair transplant then expect to pay for this procedure at a private clinic. Your next step is to find the right clinic and surgeon for you.

Ask your GP

Your GP may be able to suggest a clinic and/or surgeon who specialises in hair transplant procedures. Even though this treatment is not available on the NHS it is still worthwhile asking him/her as they can recommend a reputable clinic.

They will discuss the various procedures with you, outlining each in turn and what you can expect from the results. Your GP may be able to refer you to a specialist.

Obtain expert advice from a respected organisation

Another option is to obtain advice from a reputable body such as BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons). Members of this organisation are highly qualified, experienced and competent practitioners in their field who are also registered with the GMC (General Medical Council). It is difficult to obtain membership of this organisation so you can be sure that anyone who does is at the top of their profession.

Going abroad for a hair transplant

Many people choose to have treatment abroad rather than in the UK. They look for a hair transplant clinic in Europe or the US as this is often cheaper and guarantees your privacy. No-one will know that you are undergoing a hair transplant which is important if you are self-conscious about revealing this to family and friends.

There are reputable surgeons and clinics outside of the UK but it is important that you research this carefully. This means narrowing your choices down to country, clinic and cost. But don't let cost be the overwhelming factor. Take into account the cost of any face to face meetings, return visits and accommodation which will increase the costs considerably.

It is important that you find a well qualified and experienced surgeon. He or she will have qualifications in trichology (study of the hair and scalp) and will also be a member of a respected organisation, e.g. The Institute of Trichologists.

Make a shortlist of potential clinics and then contact them in turn.

The initial consultation

If you have found a suitable clinic in the UK then book an appointment. This appointment will be with the surgeon who will discuss the procedure with you.

This is standard procedure: every hair transplant is preceded by a consultation which enables the surgeon to determine your hair transplant needs and the most suitable form of treatment.

Expect to pay for this consultation unless it is free as part of a package.

The surgeon will:

  • Examine your scalp and hair
  • Use a device called a 'densitometer' which measures the amount of hair loss from the donor site. This will also determine the number of grafts you need.
  • Measure your baldness against a hair loss scale (Norwood or Ludwig scale).
  • Compare both the donor and recipient areas on your scalp

He or she will explain every aspect of the procedure, outlining the risks as well as the benefits. Feel free to ask any questions during this session and make a note of the answers. If there is something you don't understand then ask again until you are satisfied with the answers.

The surgeon will also discuss the fees for the procedure. This will take the form of a quote which will contain a breakdown of the costs for the procedure, medical care, equipment used etc. Make sure that you understand what the costs include as you don't want to be presented with a bill that is much higher than you expected.

There should not be any hidden costs or charges. If there are or you are unhappy with what is being discussed then go elsewhere.

Realistic expectations about hair transplantation

Hair transplants can make a dramatic difference but they do not work miracles. They are not a cure for the ageing process and will need to be repeated to sustain the results.

This is an important point: in some cases, the pattern of hair loss continues, for example male pattern baldness. There is usually a genetic reason for this hair loss which means that it will continue into old age.

In these situations, a single hair transplant will not be enough to prevent this. You will require multiple transplants in order to prevent further loss but there needs to be sufficient donor hair to do so.

Think about this carefully especially if you are suffering from male or female pattern baldness. Be realistic about the results and your expectations. A hair transplant will make a difference in your appearance but it is not an elixir of youth.