Should I Get a Hair Transplant?

Written by
The Manual Team
Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
16th January 2022

In 30 Seconds… 

Hair transplant surgery is one of several hair loss treatment options available today. But should you get one? That’s a question only you and a qualified hair transplant surgeon can answer — and arming yourself with the facts can help you make an informed decision. Start by discovering what a hair transplant is, the different types available, and the costs and timeline involved.

While balding, hair loss, and a receding hairline might seem like a normal part of ageing, it’s not something you simply have to accept. There are several treatments out there to help you tackle hair loss (and the low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression that often comes with it). 

In this post, we explore one of those treatments in a little more detail, helping you answer the question: should I get a hair transplant?

What is a Hair Transplant?

A hair transplant is a proven cosmetic procedure designed to move hair from one part of the body (known as the “donor site” or “donor area”) to an area on your head that’s thinning or balding (the “recipient site”). The surgery is often used to treat a condition called male pattern baldness

If all goes to plan, the transplanted hair will behave similarly to the hair from where it was taken. And by supplementing the transplant with hair growth medication like Minoxidil and Finasteride, you’ll give yourself a great shot at enjoying a full head of hair once more.

What is Male Pattern Baldness?

Also referred to as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern hair loss occurs as hormone levels change and decrease throughout a man’s life. A modified form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) starts to attack the hair follicles, causing them to shrink and produce thinner, shorter hairs.

Read more: Why Do Men Go Bald and How to Treat Hair Loss

What Are the Different Types of Hair Transplant Surgery?

There are two main types of hair transplant procedures, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

The two hair transplants work in a similar way. With both, the healthy follicles on the sides and back of the head are transplanted into the balding area on the top of the head. These follicles are more resistant to DHT, which allows them to keep producing healthy hairs for longer.

1. FUE hair transplant

FUE transplants remove single hair follicles one by one (known as hair grafts). These follicles are then placed into tiny cuts (incisions) made in the scalp, ready to grow strong and healthy hairs. 

2. FUT hair transplant

With FUT surgery, the process is slightly different. Rather than removing individual follicles, the surgeon cuts away a thin strip of them from the back of the head. They are then divided into pieces, each containing one to four hairs (grafts). 

As with the FUE procedure, the grafts are inserted into small cuts in the scalp. The site where the hairs have been removed is closed with stitches. While it will leave a scar on the back of your head, it’s unlikely to be visible. 

Hair Transplant Costs & Timeline

How Much Does a Hair Transplant Cost?

Hair transplants are classed as cosmetic surgery in the UK and are therefore not available on the NHS. This means you’ll have to pay for a hair transplant privately.

Costs for hair transplants vary from clinic to clinic and will also depend on where in the world you decide to get yours done. In the UK, you can expect to pay upwards of £4,000 and £5,000. Meanwhile, in Turkey, costs are generally cheaper, ranging from £2,000 to £3,000. 

You may be able to find clinics offering hair transplant surgeries for less than this, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution. This isn’t a treatment you want to skimp on. The quality of your hair transplant largely depends on the quality of the clinic (and surgeon) responsible.

Did you know you can find a reputable hair transplant clinic via Manual? We only partner with clinics we trust, and if you book with us, you can get a discount on your surgery. Learn more here

How Long Do Hair Transplants Take?

Hair transplants usually take around a day, and it’s very unlikely that you’ll need to stay overnight. However, if a large area of your scalp is being treated, you may require two or more sessions several months apart.

Read more: Hair Transplant Timeline: Step-by-Step

Is a Hair Transplant Right for Me? Should I Get One?

Now that you’ve armed yourself with the facts, should you get a hair transplant? 

Well, there are a few scenarios that might make answering that question a little easier. If you tick any of the following boxes, it could be time to chat with a qualified hair transplant specialist:

  • Your male pattern hair loss has started to affect your confidence and self-esteem
  • You’ve tried other hair loss treatments (such as Minoxidil and Finasteride), and your hair is still falling out
  • You’re in the early stages of hair loss, making you a prime candidate for a successful hair transplant

The good news is that techniques have become increasingly advanced over the years, to the point where FUE and FUT hair transplants can often reverse male pattern baldness

And as long as you choose a surgeon who’s qualified and experienced in this type of surgery – and registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) – it’s a safe and effective procedure.

Key Takeaways 

While hair loss can impact your confidence and self-esteem, you don’t have to suffer in silence. A hair transplant is an effective way to treat male pattern baldness, even stopping it in its tracks entirely in some cases with the right mix of surgery and medication

Take the first steps on your hair growth journey by answering a few quick questions here. We can then pair you with the right clinic for your situation


At What Stage Should You Get a Hair Transplant?

The best time to get a hair transplant is during the early stages of hair loss. The earlier, the better! The longer you leave it – and the more severe your hair loss – the less likely you’ll have enough “donor” hair left to use in a hair transplant.

Is the Hair Transplant Procedure Painful?

No, the hair transplant procedure isn’t painful. In most cases, the surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic, meaning you should experience minimal discomfort.

It’s only after the surgery that you may feel mild swelling, tenderness, or itchiness. This is perfectly normal (it’s all part of the healing process) and should clear up in time.

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Further reading

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