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How many grafts will I need?

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The amount of grafts you need for hair transplantation depends on how advanced your balding is, how large your head is, and the quality of your hair. For example, if you have thick, curly hair then you will need fewer grafts than someone with thin, fine hair because the curls and density of the thick hair will cover more scalp per hair. Likewise, if your hair is close to your scalp in colour then you would require fewer grafts because it will appear thicker than hair and scalp colours which are highly contrasted. For example, if you have black hair and pale skin, there will be a large juxtaposition between the two and the gaps between your hairs will be more visible than someone with blonde hair and pale skin. You can gauge how many hair grafts you will need according to the Norwood Scale if you’re a man and the Ludwig Scale if you’re a woman, but the only real way to know how many grafts you’ll need is to go in for a consultation and have a professional measure your hair with a densitometer.

If you are at a Norwood level 2 or lower, it is generally not recommended that you should have hair transplantation. At those minor stages in the balding process medical treatments like minoxidil or finasteride can slow the thinning and can keep your hair intact for years depending on your individual rate of hair loss and how successfully your hair reacts to the drugs.

For men with Norwood 3 hair loss, or balding around the front and sides of the hairline, it is common to have anywhere from 500-2,500 grafts depending on the type of your hair and your ultimate goals.

Norwood 3A is slightly more balding in the same regions as Norwood 3 and you will generally need about 3,000 hair grafts. If this is done with micrografting, it can be done in a single session. FUE may need several sessions to complete that many grafts.

Norwood 3V has hairline loss and the beginning of hair loss at the crown of the head. This procedure will need the same amount of grafts as a Norwood 3. If you are including the crown in this graft, then it can be 1,100-2,000 additional grafts to cover the crown.

Norwood 4 is more advanced balding in the front and on the crown of the head. The range for the hairline without the crown is 1,100-2,000 grafts. If you want to include the crown, then it can be 1,500-1,800 grafts.

Norwood 4A does not have balding at the crown, but has a larger region of baldness at the hairline and may take between 2,100-3,600 grafts depending on the extent of the hair loss.

Norwood 5 has the same hairline as Norwood 4A but also has a balding patch on the crown of the head as well. You may need 2,400-4,000 grafts.

Norwood 5A is a completely bald patch on top of the head and the front of the hairline, but the sides of the scalp are still quite thick. This procedure will take 2,000-4,400 grafts.

Norwood 6 and Norwood 7 both involve total loss of hair at the front of the scalp and a full horseshoe pattern-bald patch on the crown. Only the sides and the back of the head still have a significant amount of hair. These stages can take about 2,400-6,600 grafts including the crown. It is important to remember that you will need multiple sessions and that you may not have enough donor hair at these advanced levels of baldness to complete full hair transplantation. Make sure this is the proper treatment for you before you begin the surgical process.

These are all generalised figures for the average number of grafts you may need. Only your surgeon can help you determine how many would be right for you. Unfortunately, there aren’t generalised figures for women’s hair grafts. Women’s balding processes are more complicated than men’s and the type of hair to be transplanted affects the outcome more so than men’s. Please consult a surgeon or dermatologist for more information.

Read more in the Hair Transplant Surgery Information Guide

Further Information about Hair Loss




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