How many grafts do I need? (photos)
Doctor Answers 10
Grafts needed for hairline
How many grafts do I need
Estimate the number of grafts
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Your photos show early genetic male pattern balding. You may eventually end up with a completely bald head (You can't tell without an exam). If you are trying to cover your entire head, you may need 6000+ grafts over your life time. You may need much less for an improvement. Maybe 1200 to 1300 will do it for now (but what if you lose more hair in 1 year?). What a doctor considers an improvement may not be what you consider an improvement. The result will depend on how you style your hair and what your ultimate expectations are. This may sound extreme, but that is the reason why you need to see a doctor in person for a personalized understanding of the treatment plan.
A non-surgical solution may stop your progressive hair loss, and thicken hair with better volume and density than a transplant
We also ask about the medications that you are taking. In the United States, there are two FDA-approved drugs for hair loss in men, one is finasteride which is a pill you take daily. Finasteride works by inhibiting an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. This is the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is responsible for causing thinning of DHT-sensitive hair follicles. If you diminish the DHT, you diminish the triggering factor that causes the hair to thin. Minoxidil is the other drug that is used topically which prolongs the hair growth cycle so that you appear to have more hair in the scalp. Currently, there is a lot of concern about finasteride because of its possible sexual side effects.
Before considering a hair transplant, you have to understand that you don’t stop losing hair especially if you are not able to take any medication like finasteride. Regardless of the number of grafts that are placed, you’ll continue to lose hair. Another thing to consider is that you only have a limited area to transplant hair from. Currently, it’s very popular to look at follicular unit extractions as “scar-less surgery”. However, in order to do follicular unit extraction, you have to go way outside of the true donor area or the genetically resistant area where hair is taken from for hair transplant. Unfortunately, this area only has limited number of hairs available and is not enough to cover a lot of area in the bare scalp. You also need a lot of hairs to achieve density. During a hair transplant, you have to place grafts as close as possible and a certain amount of hairs will not survive. You would need more than one transplant to fill in those corners to get the volume that you want in the face of progressing hair loss.
In our practice, we have developed a non-surgical method of restoring hair called Hair Regeneration. In male pattern hair loss, the hair is going through progressive hair loss, but with a microscope, we can see a lot of potential hair. In Hair Regeneration, we are using extracellular matrix which was originally used for wound healing and is combined with platelet-rich plasma derived from your own blood. Through a formulation and method of technique of delivery, it treats the thinning hair and reverses hair thinning so that hairs start to become thicker. We have hundreds of patients to prove the validity of this procedure. We have been able to demonstrate this exceeds the results of almost any transplant. For younger people, without surgery, they can have an injection that results in significant correction of volume and area of coverage and halting of the hair thinning progression. We have patients who come from all over the world and we have tremendous data to support its benefit.
When you come to our practice asking for hair transplant, I discuss the number of grafts and look at the area of hair loss to estimate the number of grafts that you would need to fulfill that requirement. However, before doing the surgery, I would actually insist that you would first do the Hair Regeneration procedure so that you would benefit from the reversal of hair thinning and thickening of the existing hairs. At the end of 18 months, you get the full benefit. If you want more hair, then we can be more secure in the strategy of doing a transplant because we know that your progression of hair loss won't continue. We can also be more strategic where we place the hairs.
The typical approach is letting patients understand their limitations and avoiding surgery because they might end up having a short-term benefit. With surgery amidst the progressive thinning, you might end up having only the grafts left. That’s why a lot of people are dissatisfied with hair transplant. Hair Regeneration has become the treatment of choice for people who are thinning and are having existing hair before moving to a hair transplant. Fortunately, more than 90% of our patients, once they have Hair Regeneration, they don’t feel that they need a hair transplant. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your question.
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Recession of Corners
All depends on your expectation
Number of grafts needed, it's a good question
Number of grafts needed for density?
Determining # of grafts for hair transplant
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