How Much Does Hair Restoration Cost in 2018?

For the vast majority of people experiencing thinning hair or baldness, surgical hair transplants are the first-line course of action and are considered the quickest and most efficacious treatment method available today in 2018.

Involving the relocation of hair from the back and sides of your head to fill in areas that are thinning or completely bald, the transplanting of hair is considered a form of surgery and has been performed in the United States since the early 1950s.

Since those early times, hair transplant and restoration techniques have changed immensely, in addition to skyrocketing in price, as increasing numbers of men are turning to this type of procedure to retain their sense of manliness, virility, and overall pride.

Hair Restoration Treatment Costs

There is no one-size-fits-all price for hair restoration treatment. In fact, the process can range from $4,000 to upwards of $15,000. Insurance plans do not cover the procedure as it is considered a cosmetic endeavor, and as a result, men are left either paying for the procedure in full or getting into high-interest payment plans. As a side note, patients paying in full are often offered sizable discounts.

The cost of a hair transplant is highly variable and can depend on things such as the following:

Your location: Where you live can have a sizable impact on the cost of your surgery. Small towns with very few hair surgeons may end up charging you less (or maybe even more), while big-city surgeons with plenty of nearby competition may charge you less or provide additional payment options.

Consider the following example showing hair transplant prices in major cities:

  • Boston, MA $9,000
  • Hartford, CT $5,800
  • All locations $4,775

Reputation and skill: If your surgeon is widely-respected within the field and is considered to be an expert, expect the price of your hair treatment surgery to be significantly more expensive

Type of procedure and hair quantity: The most important elements determining the cost of your hair restoration treatment is the type of procedure you choose – slit grafts or micrografts. How much hair you want to be transplanted from your head is significant in how much you will pay. Increasing hair across your entire scalp will cost a veritable fortune. However, just a few patches will cost you much less

As mentioned above, the most important elements determining the cost of your hair restoration treatment is the type of procedure you choose, along with the quantity of hair you want.

Other factors that will impact the overall price you end up paying include the following:

  • Will you be opting for a hair transplant that leaves no visible scar? This increases the price significantly
  • How much are you being charged per hair graft? Hair graft prices range from $5 to $9. Multiplying the number of grafts you will be needing by the cost of each individual graft will give you a ballpark estimate of the entire hair transplant process
  • Other factors impacting price: Medical history, any prior procedures that need to be corrected, the size of your head, and the density of your hair 

The Norwood Scale

The Norwood Scale

Educating yourself on the Norwood scale will help you in your journey by preventing you from getting ripped off by an unscrupulous doctor.  The Norwood scale is the standard by which hair transplant surgeons go by to measure male pattern baldness and clearly demonstrates the different types of hair loss issues men experience, in addition to the price associated with the type of hair loss.

Pictured in detail by the American Hair Loss Association, the Norwood Scale is an educational tool for prospective patients to help understand the type of hair loss they have and the costs involved with obtaining a hair transplant for their particular stage of hair loss. 

The stages of the Norwood Scale are as follows: 

  • Stage 1
    Minor hair loss or a minor receding of the hairline
  • Stage 2
    A slight to moderate recession of the hairline, with overall hair loss that is not very noticeable. 
  • Stage 3
    Stage three is where the loss of hair is clearly The hairline may be significantly receding, there may be obvious hair loss around the temples,and the crown of the head may exhibit undeniable thinning
  • Stage 4
    By stage 4, the receding of the hairline around the temples has become very evident, often displaying bridge of baldness between the two points. The hairline in the front may have receded far enough by this point to form a “connection” with the crown of the head that is by now probably almost entirely bald. 

The Later Stages

When a patient reaches stage 4 status, it is clear that there is a balding/hair thinning issue and is usually the point at which men begin consulting with medical professionals. Stage 5 is considered the point at which hair loss is severe and the presence of hair on the scalp is thin while the rest of the hair recedes on all sides of the head.

Stage 6 is where there is predominantly more visible skin versus the presence of hair at every point on the scalp, while stage 7 is the point at which there is barely any remaining hair.

At the cost of $5 to $9 per graft, you can see by referencing the Norwood Chart what your estimated cost could be. 

The Norwood Male Hair Loss Scale and Follicle Estimate Chart 

  • Type 2: Requires about 500 grafts and will cost between $2000 to $4500 
  • Type 2A: Requires about 700 grafts and will cost between $3500 to $7200 
  • Type 3: Requires about 1000 grafts and will cost between $5000 to $9000 
  • Type 3A: Requires anywhere 1000-1,500 grafts and will cost between $5000 to $13,500 
  • Type 4: Requires about 1500 grafts and will cost between $6500 to $13,500 
  • Type 5: Requires about 2000 grafts and will cost between $10,000 to $18,000 
  • Types 6 and 7 are difficult to approximate in terms of grafts and price and will require further analysis through a consultation with a hair restoration surgeon 

Hair restoration surgery has been practiced worldwide for decades. In our contemporary times, beauty and fitness have become overwhelming important in society, with many expected norms for both men and women.

Men who are experiencing thinning hair and baldness not only experience their own inner turmoil at the loss of their hair but are unfortunately judged by many people, from prospective romantic partners, employers and more. While a majority of men end up shaving off all of their hair for a decidedly sleeker look, a majority of men will seek out hair restoration services in an attempt to keep in line with societal expectations and to retain their sense of virility.

In 2018, the price of hair restoration surgery is costlier than ever, but for many, it may be the ultimate fix and well worth the price.

Laura Day

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