The cost is steep, but worth it if you want quality.
Of course, this type of procedure will cost you a bit of a grip. But sometimes, you’ve got to pay a little extra in order to get amazing results. Both types of transplants can range in price from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the practitioner performing the procedure and the number of hair follicles that need to be harvested.
COURTESY CARLOS K. WESLEY
5. The procedure can take as long as eight hours.
Patients can expect to spend a good chunk of their day in their surgeon’s medical facility, and they will very likely need a friend or family member to transport them home when it’s over if their doctor uses mild sedation, like Wesley does for his patients. “The surgical procedure is an all-day affair, ranging from five to eight hours in length. It is performed under local anesthesia, and patients are in a comfortable twilight,” he says. “They spend the majority of the day watching movies while resting in a reclining chair.
The results, however, are not immediate. One of the biggest myths about hair transplants, Fusco says, is that “you can immediately have full, long hair.” It can take several months for the transplanted follicles to grow new hair.
6. Hair transplants can look completely natural — as long as you go to the right surgeon.
Hair transplant candidates may be concerned about the conspicuousness of their results, but with a talented and qualified surgeon, “Your scalp will not look like a doll’s head. When performed by a credible physician, the results should not be too obvious,” Fusco says. Technically, any physician can perform a hair transplant, so when looking for that credible physician, it’s wise to seek out someone with extensive surgical hair transplant experience. In fact, hair transplant surgery and hair restoration procedures have no approved medical specialty board sanctioned by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), according to the American Hair Loss Association.
COURTESY CARLOS K. WESLEY
“The subtle nuances and artistry with which the surgery is carried out are what set the most natural-appearing results apart from those that draw unwanted attention to themselves,” says Wesley. “The best hair transplants involve mimicking nature. Poorly performed hair transplants, just as with a number of aesthetic practices, are those that don’t take into account the current features of that patient’s appearance. It doesn’t make sense to approach every single patient the same way. Every man and woman has a different hair density, hair caliber, hair color, hair curl, hairline, etc. Even the angles and directions of a patient’s part line and cowlick differ. All of those have to be recreated in order to have the most natural appearance.”
7. You might lose more hair before you grow new hair.
Although hair transplantation is a relatively low-risk procedure, Wesley says the side-effect most concerning to patients is something called “shock loss,” a temporary thinning of the pre-existing hair caused by the micro-trauma of having tiny incisions made between the existing hairs. “While the hairs do grow back in, about 10 to 20 percent may go through a new cycle, falling out temporarily, before growing back in,” Wesley explains. “This can last for a few weeks following the procedure, and the positive impact of the transplanted hairs can be appreciated about six months after the procedure and thereafter.”