Perhaps no question comes up more often in our hair transplant discussions and consultations than the question – how much coverage will my hair transplant give me? Will it give me full coverage?
Understandably, when a patient seeks to invest the time and effort into receiving a hair transplant, he or she would like to know just how much of a revival of hair coverage and density they are going to receive.
Hair Transplants Do Not Generate New Hairs
It’s important to remember what the hair transplant procedure involves. Follicular Unit Extraction, or FUE, is the surgical re-placement and redistribution of existing hairs, usually taken from the back or side of the scalp, to areas that are balding or thinning. Those hairs on the scalp that are thickest and most resistant to hormones and hair-threatening enzymes are what will become the brand-new hair a patient receives. There is no such thing as magical creation or generation of new hair follicles in a bald patch or area of thinning – science has yet to reach that frontier!
Hair Harvesting and Coverage
The question of coverage is an impossible one to answer in the abstract because each patient and each scalp will require unique and different treatment answers. A follicular unit, or graft, contains 1-5 hair strands and on average there are 90-120 units, or 100-250 hairs, per square centimeter. It is estimated that around a third of all follicles in the donor area – the back or side of the scalp where hair is most resistant – may be extracted. So there is not an unlimited supply of ready to distribute grafts.
A patient can desire or require the near maximum number of grafts to be transplanted – around 6500 units – or only need to round out his temples or extend his hairline, which may require 1500 to 2500 units. Coverage depends on the patient’s needs, and it is rare for total baldness or thinning on the top of the head to be filled in completely by a hair transplant – the lack of substantial grafts to take from and area needed to be covered are too large.
Understanding What You Need
At Modena Hair Institute in Newport Beach, we recommend being evaluated by a board-certified transplant surgeon like Dr. Yazdan to discuss your medical and family history to better understand the nature of your hair loss and possible treatment options. A careful and experienced hair transplant doctor will scrupulously plan, design and execute on coverage options which you will find most pleasing and attractive.
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.