Dermatologist Vs Plastic Surgeon for Hair Transplant

Im a 24 year old woman with a naturally sparse and patchy hairline (especially at the temples) but normal thick hair.

Would a dermatologist be more experienced vs a plastic surgeon? And whats the average cost for this procedure?

Doctor Answers 7

Experienced doctors in hair transplantation

Of course you should find the most experienced doctors before selecting a surgeon. They could be dermatologists, plastic surgeons or other specialties. For example, I am a general surgeon and have been doing these for 26 years, wrote all of the classic article in the field and have performed over 15,000 hair transplant procedure.

Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Dermatology or plastic surgery

These are the 2 main specialties that have some basic training in hair during the years of residency preparation.    But as mentioned, it is good to review skill and history of the doctor.  At the very least, some say this is a good place to start with one of these training as you would be surprised that even gynecologists and family physicians market themsleves as hair doctors.

Rashid M. Rashid, PhD, MD
Houston Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Hair transplant surgery is performed by hair transplant doctors.

Hair transplant surgery is performed by hair transplant doctors.  Dermatologists or plastic surgeons are not necessarily trained in hair transplant surgery.  Some are.  Some are not.  

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Experience is key to your answer

Consider non surgical methods such as Rogaine for now. There are many methods of hair transplantation.  Wanted them RFUE and another can be a surgical flap.  Grafts can be taken with as few as one hair follicle or multiple follicles.  The quality of the hair, the number of follicles per unit and the location in which the hair is to be placed are all important determinants in the final result.  While it is a common misconception that hair can and should be taken from any location, taking appropriate hair from an appropriate location is key to success.  For instance, one cannot always use hair from a beard to replace a frontal hairline.  The orientation in which Harris placed is also important.  If the frontal hairline is being created then it is important to make sure that hairs are aligned in the correct orientation.  The way the hair is also laid down, for example a staggered pattern versus a straight line will also change the quality of the result.  You should certainly visit with a surgeon who does many of these types of transplantations as well as offers multiple options for hair restoration.  The cost can vary by geographic locale.  In general they can arrange from $7000-$25,000.  When you go over consultation ask for before and after photographs.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Choosing a Dermatologist or a Plastic Surgeon For Hair Transplant.

Actually qualified hair restoration surgeons will either be board certified in plastic surgery or dermatology. But even with the right credentials, it is still important to evaluate the doctor’s expertise.

This can simply be done by reviewing their past work on actual patients. Look at before and after images. Videos can provide more information, especially when the patient provides feedback.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Hair grafting- who to choose to do the surgery

Cost will need to be determined by your surgeon after a full examination and consultation.  Prices may vary around the country, and you will need to accept this difference.  The number of grafts required will weigh heavily on this determination.


As far as what type of specialist to consider for this procedure is concerned,  I guess I would have to express a strong bias toward you choosing a Plastic Surgeon, provided the physician is skilled in performing hair graft procedures.  Plastic Surgeons are trained as very complete surgeons.  Dermatologists do have some exposure to limited training in surgery, certainly enough to perform a grafting procedure.  You will have to decide this for yourself.


Good luck to you.


Frank Rieger M.D.  Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Depends on the experience level of the physician

The cost really depends on the experience level of the physciain and where in the country you live.  Both plastic surgeons and dermatologists are capable of hair transplant, it is more important to find the doctor with the most experience in your area - specifically with hair transplant for WOMEN.  Lastly, beware of any 'price deals' as you usually get what you pay for.

Peter Goldman, MD (retired)
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.