How Many Hair Grafts Do I Need?

Hair transplant surgery has come a long way since the technology’s first development. The specialists at MAXIM Hair Restoration are each trained in the most advanced hair transplant technologies and procedures. We offer two of these specialized procedures, follicular unit transplantation and follicular unit extraction. How many grafts you’ll need depends on the area needing to be covered and the donor area available. Our specialists can develop a plan to provide you with the best treatment options for your specific circumstance. Reach out to the providers at MAXIM Hair Restoration today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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Hair loss can be a very challenging condition for both men and women. It’s often embarrassing and negatively impacts self-confidence. It is a problem that can be caused by a variety of factors that are often irreversible when trying to treat yourself. Fortunately, technology and modern medicine allow you to restore lost hair with outpatient procedures that result in having your own natural hair restored. It is a popular choice nowadays for many people who are experiencing hair loss, thinning, and bald spots.

During the procedure, hair grafts from the back of the head are taken and transplanted to the areas where the hair is desired to grow. When you research and determine which hair transplant clinic is right for you, you will find that different centers give widely varying estimates of the number of hair grafts you will need. This can lead to uncertainty and confusion about the procedure and the wisdom of the clinics. It can even make you doubt if you should get the hair transplant altogether.

Number of Hair Transplant Grafts

The number of grafts you will need will give you information about the extent of the procedure and the costs involved. Therefore, having an accurate number of the grafts required to achieve the results you’re looking for is very helpful in providing an idea of what to expect. During your initial consultation, your specialist should be able to make a proper assessment and give you a fairly accurate estimate.

Unfortunately, some doctors are even transplanting donor hair into areas where the patient still has hair. Perhaps this is easier than placing it where it rightfully belongs – on the balding spots. These cases of poor ethics by surgeons is a concerning problem, especially when you do not know the clinic well and have no idea of who the doctor is. A patient places their trust in the clinical teams hands, which is why it is very important to choose a clinic that has proved to be ethical and can provide the results of real patients whom they have helped.

For various reasons, many hair transplant patients are not receiving the number of grafts on their problem areas relative to what they are billed for. This can often go unrecognized by the patient, but it’s often recognizable to professionals. The density of hair on these patients’ heads is not commensurate with the number of grafts they supposedly received. Fortunately, once you select a trustworthy clinic, you will have peace of mind that who you are dealing with are people who take their medical oath seriously and are not conspiring lab coats.

How To Calculate How Many Hair Transplant Grafts You Need

The best hope a patient has of getting what he or she pays for in a hair transplant surgery is to learn to calculate the number of grafts they need to cover the balding area. When you are trying to find the best hair transplant team, they should be someone who gives you an honest estimate with logical reasoning as to why that number is required. A good clinician should articulate why or why you do not need grafts. It’s important to understand that one graft does not equal one hair. Each graft could be 1-6 hairs, most commonly 2-4, and even if you consider 1500 grafts to be a small number, that is a substantial volume of hairs. If you have had previous consults, it is helpful to share the information provided by your previous consult. The team may be able to analyze why that was likely offered and why their clinic recommends against it.

Being an informed consumer is the best way to protect yourself from scammers that take advantage of patients who are not aware of the implications of the procedure and trust the physician blindly. There are several factors to take into account to calculate exactly how many grafts you will need. Once you become familiar with these details, you will feel confident when you shop around for a clinic and will be able to discuss the procedure with the clinician, using your deeper understanding to generate well formulated questions..

The following factors are to be taken into consideration when determining the number of grafts that you need:

  • The thickness of the hair shaft makes a difference in how easily the area where the hair is missing is repopulated. You should inquire about this topic to gauge the clinical team’s understanding of hair transplants. This topic is easily discussed by experienced professionals who will understand and discuss your candidacy respectively.
  • The texture and foundational design of hair also impact the candidacy and requirement of grafts. For example, curly hair is much thicker than straight hair and will create a more appealing density with fewer grafts. Additionally, thicker hair means you cannot transplant as many in as close of proximity as you can with straight hair, but the results can be equally effective. Oftentimes, individuals with curly hair do not have as dense of a donor area and consequently, the benefit of being thicker is offset by lesser volume. Effectively, the numbers change, but the procedural outcome is similar. This is another important concept that is analyzed during the consultation to determine an accurate estimate.
  • The color of the hair in contrast to the color of the skin is another factor to consider. For a light-skinned person with light-colored hair, it will take more hair to create a visual impact on the thinning or bald area. In contrast, for a dark-skinned patient with dark-colored hair, it generally takes less hair to make a visual impact. A light-skinned man with dark hair could be seen as an in-between..

You should figure that the average number of hair transplant grafts needed to cover a balding area is 25% of the original hair that was there. You can move up or down from this estimated number according to your other measurements such as thickness, texture (curly or straight), the color of hair, skin type, and quality of donor area. After determining your unique specifications, this number is used to figure out how many hair grafts are required to provide the desired result.

Hair Grafts Based on Hair Transplant Procedure

Based on the fact that the average Caucasian male has a density of two hairs per millimeter, it can be assumed that the average density of hair is 1250 hairs per square inch. Figuring this at an average of two hairs per follicular unit, it would take 625 follicular units per square inch. Using this basic formula will help you determine an accurate figure precise enough to make a proper estimate. FUE hair transplant involves a mathematical approach.

In order to get 25% of the amount required, you would need 156 follicular units per square inch. All that remains to figure out is to measure your balding area and multiply the number of square inches by 156. When you know what number of grafts to expect during your hair transplant procedure, you will be a savvy consumer. It does not hurt one bit to go into the process with an idea of your own about how the treatment should go, but it is important to know that due to a variety of reasons, a clinician may have strong reasoning for a much lower or higher number. After all, a hair transplant is not as simple as the equation itself. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt for you to know what your case involves and inquire as to the treatment logic being provided.

Another consideration is the fact that hair density varies by ethnicity. Asian, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Hispanic, or Indian people would have different densities compared to their Caucasian counterparts. It is important for you to become familiar with the type of hair that you have so that you can make proper adjustments to your hair care routine and develop realistic expectations for your treatment outcome.

Find The Right Hair Replacement Treatment Center

A quality hair transplant center or surgeon can treat each case based on its own merit. Each patient is completely unique and requires an individual plan to fulfill their specific needs. Your input is very valuable as it is you that will determine the look you are going for and what you expect from the surgery. However, to reiterate, your desired goal may require more or less clinical effort and only the experts can accurately depict the requirements of a procedure. That said, patient education is of the utmost importance and postoperative care is just as important as the technique involved in performing the procedure. You are responsible for the majority of your postoperative care but you should find a team that will be with you if you have any questions or concerns. The more you involve yourself and take a proactive approach, the better your overall experience will be.

Rather than choosing the hair graft center nearest to you or the least expensive option, it is advisable to select a center that specializes in hair transplants rather than a center or surgeon that does multiple procedures such as liposuction, breast augmentation, injectables, or even dermatology. Furthermore, look for a clinician that has vast experience in the type of case that you are coming in for. Many proceduralists have different skill sets. Some can do it all, some vary in their particular skill relating to women versus men, hairlines versus crowns, or eyebrows versus beards. Asking who the best clinician for that specific procedure is will place the thought in the team’s head to place you with the respective talent. Extensive knowledge and experience are key in obtaining the best possible experience with that team.

Contact your Hair Transplant Specialist

Contact our center for more information about how we can help you achieve the set of hair you are looking for OR submit the contact form on this page to request your complimentary hair loss treatment consultation by phone, Skype, or with a MAXIM hair transplant physician or surgeon near you. We have clinics in New York City, NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, Dallas, Houston, Texas, Northern Virginia, D.C. Area, Maryland, Indianapolis (Indiana), Chicago, Illinois, and California.

You can also email your pics to MAXIM Hair Restoration to find out if you are a good candidate for a hair transplant OR to obtain an estimate for your procedure and the approximate number of grafts that would be required to give you a great result.

What Is A Hair Transplant Graft?

Patients considering a hair transplant must understand that there are several terms that carry very different definitions despite appearing to be some what inter-changeable like hair graft.

What Is A Hair Transplant Graft?

The term “hair transplant graft” is one of the most commonly misunderstood, which is quite problematic considering the fact that the majority of hair transplant clinics charge according to the number of grafts transplanted.

During a hair transplant procedure like FUT, for example, the hair transplant doctors in New York; Greenwich, Connecticut; Chicago, Illinois; Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia; Houston, Dallas, Texas; Manila, Philippines; Dubai, Abu Dhabi,U.A.E.; and Karachi, Pakistan, will create a hair transplant graft from the strip of surgically removed donor tissue. Each graft may contain between one and three follicles, which can then be surgically transplanted into the patient’s recipient site. Since hair naturally occurs in similar groupings of hair follicles, hair transplant grafts make it possible to closely replicate a patient’s naturally occurring hair in the areas most affected by thinning hair or hair loss.

It is important to note that hair transplant grafts typically include the majority of the dermis and epidermis that surrounds the hair follicle. This is done to ensure that the graft — which is taken from an area of the scalp resistant to DHT, the hormone most often responsible for causing hair loss — is likely to survive the transplantation process and contribute to the creation of a natural-looking hairline along with vast improvements in the fullness of the patient’s hair.

The term “hair transplant graft” is not the only term commonly misunderstood or improperly applied, so clarification of each of the following terms is necessary so patients can feel confident that they are fully informed regarding all aspects of the hair restoration process:

  • Hair follicle
  • Micro graft
  • Mini graft

With an understanding of the subtle differences in commonly used hair restoration terms, patients can confidently pursue the best procedure based on their unique individual needs.

What is a hair graft follicle?

A hair follicle is a narrow and tube-shaped cavity that contains the actual root of the hair. This cavity is located within the skin’s corium and the epidermis, and it is from this cavity that individual hairs emerge and grow. A hair follicle is made up of several different structures, including each of the following:

  • Bulge
  • Papilla
  • Matrix
  • Root sheath

In addition to these structures, a hair follicle is affected by several other associated structures, including the arrector pili muscles, apocrine sweat glands, sebaceous glands, and the infundibulum, which is the “cup” in which the hair follicle grows.

Hair follicles go through a repeating cycle of growth that includes the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases,  are responsible for the continued growth and production of hair. As damage accumulates in these due to the natural aging process, the hair follicle itself begins to age and becomes more susceptible to hair loss associated with the hormone DHT.

During the hair restoration process at a hair transplant clinic in Houston, New York; Greenwich, Connecticut; Chicago, Illinois; Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia; Houston, Dallas, Texas; Manila, Philippines; Dubai, Abu Dhabi,U.A.E.; and Karachi, Pakistan, hair follicles are surgically excised — sometimes in groups of two to three follicles — from areas of the scalp that are most resistant to the effects of DHT. When these DHT-resistant follicles are transplanted into the areas that have already been adversely affected by DHT, the follicles begin to cycle through the typical anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. This results in renewed hair growth in areas of the scalp previously displaying evidence of hair loss or thinning hair caused by DHT.

What is a Hair micro graft?

A micro graft is a small piece of donor tissue prepared by the hair restoration surgeon for the purpose of a hair transplant procedure. Micro grafts usually contain multiple hair follicles — typically between one and two total follicles — that can then be transplanted into a surgical incision created by the doctor in the patient’s recipient site. The micro grafts are placed with a great deal of precision throughout the recipient site to ensure that the transplanted follicles yield the greatest amount of coverage possible and contribute to the creation of a natural-looking hairline and the restoration of a thick head of hair.

Micro grafts are utilized in a number of hair restoration procedures, including FUT — also known as strip hair restoration. Once the strip of donor tissue has been surgically removed from the scalp, the hair transplant surgeon in New York;Greenwich, Connecticut; Chicago, Illinois; Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia; Houston, Dallas, Texas; Manila, Philippines;Dubai, Abu Dhabi,U.A.E.; and Karachi, Pakistan.  will begin a process in which the micro grafts are created using the excised strip of donor tissue. These micro grafts can then be inserted into the small incisions already made in the recipient site. With each graft containing one or two hair follicles, a micro graft typically measures about 1.5 millimeters.

What is a Hair mini graft?

Mini grafts are a type of donor tissue utilized in hair transplants, with each mini graft possessing multiple follicles. These mini grafts — which typically include three to five hair follicles — are designed to yield greater coverage and volume when utilized in a hair transplant. Although a mini graft is slightly larger than a micro graft, both types of grafts are quite similar and serve a critical purpose in the hair transplantation process.

Hair transplant surgeons in New York; Greenwich, Connecticut; Chicago, Illinois; Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia; Houston, Dallas, Texas; Manila, Philippines; Dubai, Abu Dhabi,U.A.E.; and Karachi, Pakistan, often utilize mini grafts during the hair transplant process while using the strip hair restoration technique. Mini grafts, just like micro grafts, are created from the excised strip of donor tissue and subsequently transplanted into the small, pre-made surgical incisions created by the doctor in the patient’s recipient site. Since the mini grafts are slightly larger than the micro grafts, the doctor is able to ensure the grafts yield the appropriate amount of coverage and restore a great deal of volume to the areas in which the patient is experiencing thinning hair or hair loss.