Can A Hair Transplant Restore A Full Head of Hair

hair transplant restore

Society today is very demanding. We want everything bigger, better and faster. Unfortunately, this attitude bleeds into other facets of life including medical and cosmetic procedures. 

Some day, perhaps in the distant future hair loss will be a thing of the past, but until then we must rely on surgical hair restoration. So, is it surgically possible to fully restore a completely bald individual? 

In this article, we will be discussing donor supply, density, and coverage with hair transplant surgery.

Supply and Demand

Surgical hair restoration can be broken down in several ways, but ultimately it comes down to simple supply and demand. A patients donor supply is a finite resource and the balding area is always growing and expanding. 

No two people are the same, the donor supply will vary from person to person. Some individuals are born with dense hair. One person may have 80 follicular units per square centimeter (cm2), while another person may have 100-120 follicular units per cm2. 

Conversely, one person may have a minor temple recession, while the other person may be completely bald on top. The individual with a dense donor supply and minor hair loss is able to surgically restore most of their hair. 

However, the bald person with a sparse donor supply is not able to restore all of their hair surgically.

Coverage vs Density

Another factor to consider is choosing coverage or density. As previously stated, a completely bald person cannot fully restore their hair. Therefore, they must choose between covering their entire scalp with low density or restoring specific sections of their scalp with high density. 

The majority of hair transplant surgeons recommend density over coverage. The reason why surgeons prefer to restore strategic places on the scalp with high density is because this will enable the patient to style their hair in a way that provides the "illusion" of density". Many patients find this unacceptable and the patients that feel this way are not suitable candidates.

What Does The "Illusion Of Density" Mean

The "illusion of density" is described as a perceived full and visually dense head of hair. However, the "illusion of density" is not true density, because a hair transplant can never restore a persons hair loss hair for hair. 

Surgical hair restoration does not create new hair, it simply relocates existing hair to another location. Prior to experiencing any hair loss, most individuals have approximately 100,000 hairs on their head. This breaks down to roughly 50,000 follicular units. 

We know that hair loss does not become visible until more than 50% of the hair has been lost. This means that an individual who once had 100 follicular units per cm2, only needs 50 follicular units per cm2 to restore the appearance of fullness. This is how hair transplantation is successful.


Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry answer. The truth is that, yes a hair transplant can restore a full head of hair in some individuals. However, the vast majority of individuals with moderate to severe hair loss will require several hair transplant procedures and in severe cases, only a portion of the scalp can be surgically restored. 

Many hair loss sufferers participate in popular hair loss forums such as the hair restoration network. Online forums are an excellent resource for reviewing and researching hair transplant surgeons and to learn more about hair loss and hair restoration.