I am a category 7 on the Norwood scale of hair loss with a horse shoe pattern. Two hair transplant doctors gave two totally different opinions. The first one said that for $5000 he could do a great job on me. the second one said I did not have enough donor hair so to forget about a hair transplant. Which one is correct?
Regarding the advice you've been given so far, be cautious. Since the average cost is around $5 per follicular unit, $5000 would only cultivate 1000 or so grafts for you. Frankly, 1000 follicular unit grafts is hardly enough for men and women with minimal let alone significant hair loss. The physician who claims you don't have donor hair is accurate depending on your goals. If your goal is to restore a full head of hair, you do not have enough donor hair.
Men with extensive hair loss such as those at class 7 on the Norwood Scale of hair loss may be candidates for a hair transplant depending on an individual's available donor hair supply and expectations. Developing realistic expectations is vital and should be discussed in detail with a quality hair restoration surgeon. Men at this level of hair loss at best, can expect to restore a mature natural looking hairline with some density and coverage trailing behind midway into the top of the scalp. Density and coverage will depend on the amount of available donor hair, the number of hairs per follicular unit, hair characteristics, and scalp/hair color contrast ratio. These patients will still have a large untouched bald area from about the mid section of the scalp to the crown and below. Alternatively, a very thin covering of hair can be placed throughout the scalp with very little density. Typically, the latter isn't all that cosmetically significant and in my opinion, probably isn't worth it.
To see examples of what leading hair transplant surgeons in the profession have accomplished on class 7 patients, visit "Hair Transplant Photos by Norwood Scale".
In my opinion, consult with a few leading hair replacement surgeons in person and garner their professional input. Ask about realistic expectations and what can be accomplished for you given your level of baldness and donor hair availability.
Bill Seemiller - Associate Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
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