How Much Density Will a Hair Transplant Give Me?

hair graft density

Perhaps the most pressing concern for potential hair transplant patients, besides the safety and permanence of their procedure, is the amount of density they can achieve. Most men and women want to return to the density they had when they were in their late teens or early 20s. While this is usually an impossible ideal, an experienced and highly skilled hair transplant surgeon can add a great amount of density to give a strikingly full appearance.

When considering the question of density, the amount a surgeon can transplant is determined by many factors. Including the hair thickness and quality, donor density, age and family history of hair loss. A conservative approach to follicle extraction is always best as one should preserve the donor site for future sessions as one ages.

The color of the hair is also important in contrast to the color of the scalp. The more contrast, the more hair is required to achieve optical density. Dark hair on a Caucasian scalp is going to appear thinner or sparser than lighter color hair such as blonde, gray, or white. The same is true of lighter color hair on an African-American or darker pigmented scalp.  The quality of the hair is also important for determining density. Hair that is curly or wavy appears to achieve more optical density since it camouflages the skin to a greater extent than straight hair. In the 1970s men would perm their thinning hair to reduce the visual contrast between hair and scalp.

The texture of the hair is one of the most important factors influencing the number of grafts required for a specified area of the scalp. Hair shafts can either be very fine, fine, medium, medium-coarse, or coarse. The difference is in the width of the hair; the wider or thicker the hair, the more optical surface density will be visualized. As follicular unit grafts heal, as in any skin graft, the skin contracts or shrinks to its center. The result of this contraction leads to small gaps between each graft which can be improved during a second surgery to fill in these spaces.

Techniques for density creation vary from surgeon to surgeon. At Modena Hair Institute, Dr. Yazdan utilizes an extremely fine 0.7mm punch and implantation technique that allows for density optimization and a natural looking hairline. This not only reduces the risk for scarring, but reduces the risk of shock loss in surrounding follicles.

Patient Warning

Find a board-certified hair transplant specialist who is highly experienced in adding the kind of density you desire. It is of the utmost importance to conduct thorough research and find an experienced and technically advanced hair restoration specialist to diagnose and treat your specific hair loss situation. A veteran hair transplant physician or surgeon will be able to accurately assess and evaluate your individual hair loss needs and provide the best surgical outcome for you.

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, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.