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How many Follicular Unit Grafts Do I Need to Restore My Hair With Hair Transplant Surgery?

2/20/2008 9:43:38 PM

Question:

How many follicular unit grafts do I need to restore my hair?

Answer:

The number of follicular unit grafts needed to achieve both full coverage and adequate hair density with hair transplantation depends on a number of variables. I've listed some of these considerations below:

  • The extent of your baldness: The more hair you've lost, the greater number of follicular unit grafts you will need to meet your hair restoration goals

  • Hair characteristics: Though the number of follicular unit grafts makes a huge difference in the overall appearance of the hair replacement result, hair characteristics also play a major role. Those with a thicker hair shaft diameter will be able to obtain a greater illusion of hair density with the same number of follicular unit grafts as someone with thinner hair characteristics (assuming the same level of hair loss). Therefore, those with thicker hair characteristics will be able to achieve a greater illusion of hair density and coverage with a lesser number of follicular unit grafts. Hair / Scalp color contrast also plays a role in the overall appearance of the hair transplant result. Those with less contrast between their hair and scalp typically need fewer follicular unit grafts to meet their hair restoration goals.

  • The size of the balding area of the head: Some balding men and women have bigger heads than others. Therefore it goes without saying, the larger the head, the more follicular unit grafts needed

  • The number of follicular unit grafts available: It is important to recognize that each hair transplant patient has a finite donor hair supply that is dependent on both scalp elasticity and donor hair density. In the hands of a world class hair transplant surgeon, those with greater donor hair density and laxity will have more hair grafts available. Donor laxity impacts the width of the strip taken for follicular unit hair transplantation (FUT) / Strip Surgery (FUSS). Scalp elasticity doesn't play as much of a roll for follicular unit excision (formerly known as follicular unit extraction) (FUE) / follicular isolation technique (FIT) however. A hair transplant patient may need more than one hair restoration session to achieve his/her goals. However, one cannot keep going back for hair transplant surgery forever, as I stated, the donor hair supply is finite.

  • Your hair restoration goals: You will have to decide how much hair you want to make you happy. Developing realistic goals however, is important. One should never expect to obtain a full head of hair with hair transplant surgery, especially those with higher levels of baldness.

Considering all of the above, I recommend consulting with a first-rate hair restoration physician to see how they can help you form and meet your hair restoration goals.

All Articles by Bill Seemiller

Bill is the managing publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and The Hair Loss Learning Center. He is 4 time hair transplant patient and has over 15,000 helpful posts on our hair restoration discussion forum. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a Master’s in Christian Counseling. In addition to his work in helping hair loss experiencing men and women finding the best hair transplant surgeons, he helps people with various addiction and mental health related issues in his free time. He enjoys weight lifting, kickboxing, movies, researching conspiracy related topics and spending time with his family.