Hair loss can begin at any time after puberty. It has myriad causes, but among the most common is genetics. Research specialists at GlaxoSmithKline have calculated that just over 14% of men will suffer hair loss because of a specific gene. Half of all women can count on losing at least some of their hair by the age of 50. The statistics may seem ominous, but with modern technology, at our disposal, there’s no need to lose hope. Doctors have been successfully transplanting healthy hair from one part of the body to another since the 1950s. You may have read about the procedure already. Or perhaps you’re already considering it for yourself, but aren’t sure about the cost. Indeed, prices vary depending on which part of the country you’re in.

Some Information About Hair Transplants

Hair transplant surgery is the process of extracting healthy hair follicles from one part of the body and moving them to a place where growth has slowed down or completely stopped. The two main methods surgeons use are:

  • Follicular Unit Transplantation
  • Follicular Unit Extraction

In FUT surgeons remove a small portion of the scalp from the back of the head. The portion is divided into hundreds of small grafts that are fixed to the balding area of a patient’s scalp. For FUE, the doctor shaves the back of the head to remove hair follicles individually. The follicles are then transplanted to the balding area of a patient’s scalp. In 12 to 14 months the entire process is usually complete, with patients enjoying thick, new hair along with increased self-esteem.

Where You Live May Affect The Price of A Hair Transplant

In fact, chances are better that it will. Many surgeons throughout the United States offer attractive sales packages that include features like outpatient care, minimally invasive robotic surgery, and extra “free” follicles per graft. That being said, the very best surgeons in the field operate out of Los Angeles, making that city among the most expensive places go for a transplant. The trade-offs patients enjoy include:  highly experienced doctors with access to the most modern equipment and up-to-date advancements.

For any city you live in, a hair transplant surgeon’s fee schedule will be affected by variables such as local competition, the size—and salary—of staff, and available equipment. If you have medical insurance that covers cosmetic surgery (most companies do not, or will charge extra for the coverage), their fee schedule consists of allowable amounts in payment for the physician’s services. Different insurance companies employ different methods of calculation for these amounts, and most will not disclose what those methods are.

Getting back to geographical location, and how it will affect the cost of your surgery, a successful hair transplant by no means necessitates relocation to the sunny climes of California. Highly skilled specialists exist all over the country; indeed, because there are so many, the competition can sometimes be a boon for patients looking to get the most bang out of their buck.

Your city’s overall cost of living also plays a role in what you can expect to pay for hair transplant surgery. The cost of living is typically defined as the amount of money a person needs to cover basic expenses such as food, housing, taxes…and healthcare. For example:  According to Sperling’s Best Places, a salary of $115,000 in New York City, New York, could decrease to $64,725 in Chicago with little to no sacrifice in the earner’s overall lifestyle. For living expenses valued at $105,000 in New York City, a resident of Cleveland would only need $39,000. Statistics like these often trickle down to the cost of hair transplant surgery in your respective city.

Now let’s look a few more real numbers from different cities across the United States. Shown below is about what patients can expect to be charged, per city, for hair transplant surgery.

  • Los Angeles:  $4000 to $20,000 ($6 to $12 per graft)
  • New York:  $4000 to $15000 ($9-10$ per regular-sized graft (FUT); $10 per graft (FUE))
  • Chicago:  $2000 to $13,000 ($3-$7 per regular-sized graft)
  • Dallas:  $2000 to $12,000 per procedure ($3-$5 per regular-sized graft)

These are fairly accurate estimates gleaned from area clinics. Prices will vary from clinic to clinic. Many of these clinics have finance plans for which their patients can apply. The severity of the patient’s hair loss will also be taken into account. If you’re considering hair transplant surgery, ask your doctor to find out more about which treatment is right for you.