FUE Hair Transplant Common Questions

John Maddock

John Maddock

Hi, I'm John. About age 30 my hair started receding. After trying lots of products I eventually decided on a hair transplant. And now I have my hair back.

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FUE Hair Transplant Common Questions

1. What is the cost?

2. What is the difference between grafts and hairs?

3. How many grafts or hairs will I need?

4. Where is the cheapest place to go?

5. Is it safe to go abroad?

6. Where does the hair come from?

7. Will I reject the hair or have complications?

8. Is it painful?

9. How long does the procedure take?

10. How long does the healing take / How long before it looks good?

11. Will there be scarring?

12. Will I lose more hair or need further procedure?

13. How many procedures can I have?

1. What is the cost?

This depends where you go. Prices in the UK are high, prices abroad are much lower. I chose to go to Budapest and paid £2000 for 1000 grafts (3000 hairs). This procedure in the UK would cost between £7000 and £10,000.

2. What is the difference between grafts and hairs?

A graft is a small circular piece of skin taken from the back of your head approximately 1mm in diameter. This graft will contain between 3 and 5 individual hair follicles. I paid for a package of 1000 grafts. They took just under 950 in the end, but from that got over 3300 individual hairs.

3. How many grafts or hairs will I need?

This depends on what the extent of your hair loss is, and the result you want to achieve. I wanted my hairline back at the front. The hairline requires more hairs than the top or back of your head as it’s the most visible area. I needed 1000 grafts or 3000 hairs. If you are bald on top or at the back you’ll need a similar amount, but spread thinner over a larger area. If you are bald on top and at the front you may need 2000 grafts (6000 hairs) for a complete reconstruction.

4. Where is the cheapest place to go?

Currently it’s Turkey. I paid £2000 in Budapest. The same procedure would on average cost between £1500 and £1750 in Turkey. And they have one of the largest concentrations of clinics. After Turkey its Budapest, and then Poland. The same procedure costs around £3000 in Poland. 

5. Is it safe to go abroad?

Absolutely, but do your research. Make sure you read reviews and be mindful of how the staff speak to you, and the quality of their communication and paperwork. This was by far the scariest part for me. So I read lots of reviews and asked for sample pictures. I chose to go to the Hair Palace in Budapest because their communication, knowledge, sales process and clinic all looked amazing – and they were!

6. Where does the hair come from?

The back of your own head. The back of your head is also referred to as the ‘permanent zone’- you don’t lose this hair.

7. Will I reject the hair or have complications?

The odds of this happening are incredibly slim because it’s your own hair, your own tissue. It’s just moved from the back to the top or front of your head. And the procedure is not invasive, it’s cosmetic, just on the outside of your scalp. Your clinic will be able to go into this thoroughly with you.

8. Is it painful?

Not really. You arrive on the day of the procedure and take a few pain killers and other medications. You then have a couple of injections to numb the pain in your scalp – this part hurts a little but the painkillers kick in almost immediately. You don’t actually feel the procedure at all because by this point you are numbed. Afterwards you are little bit sore and red, but for me it was hardly noticeable.

9. How long does the procedure take?

The procedure in total took about 6 hours. The first half was extraction, the second half was spent inserting the hair into the front of my scalp. I arrived at the clinic at 9am, and was in a taxi on my way back to the hotel by 3.30pm. Honestly I fell asleep during the extraction in the morning. I woke, had some lunch and went back in for the hair insertion. This is the fun part, the part when you actually see your hair coming back. You get the option to select a film to watch in the background. I got almost to the end of Iron Man and I was done. A bigger procedure may be split over 2 days, an extraction day and a insertion day.

10. How long does the healing take / How long before it looks good?

In total it takes around 12 months to fully heal and to see the final completed result. By 6 months you look fairly normal. It’s the early months that are the most difficult. For me there was redness and swelling for the first few weeks. The new hair falls out and slowly starts growing back between 4 and 12 weeks – so you look sunburnt for the first couple of months. By 6 months my hair was back and although there was some redness you could no longer see it because the hair covered it. And from that point progress speeds up.

11. Will there be scarring?

Because I chose to have a FUE hair transplant I do not have any scarring. You cannot tell that I have had a procedure, in fact most people are shocked when I tell them I have. I can shave my head all the way down to a grade 1 or a skin fade and there are no noticeable scars.

12. Will I lose more hair or need further procedures?

The back and sides of your head do not bald (typically that is, other conditions or forms of Alopecia will affect you differently). When it comes to male pattern baldness (MPB) it’s the hairline, crown and top that thins and goes bald. If you go bald completely on top then you’ll probably just need the one procedure to reconstruct your hair. If you have a procedure to reconstruct just a part of your hair, then as you grow older you may recede further and require a top up (unless you take hair loss medication). So it depends at what stage in life you decide to have a procedure. I had a procedure to reconstruct my hairline at the front. My crown is thinning slightly at the back. So I will mostly likely go back for a second procedure as I go in to my 40’s.

A second option is to manage your hair loss with medication. In which case you may not suffer further hair loss and may not need further procedures.

13. How many procedures can I have?

This depends on how many grafts are taken per procedure. The numbers vary widely on this topic. You could have 4 or 5 smaller procedures, or 1 or 2 larger procedures. You have to asses this on an individual basis.

Hair Transplant Common Questions

Check out the FAQ’s section for more.

How much does it cost?

Prices in Europe are between 50% and 75% cheaper than in the UK or US. Packages start from £1500 and include accommodation. I paid £2000 for 1000 grafts (3000 hairs) in Budapest, which is less than a 3 hour flight from the UK. I was quoted between £8000 and £12,000 for the same procedure in the UK. Adding £200 for flights I paid £2200 in total - so it is very affordable!

Does it hurt?

No! A hair transplant is painless. On the day of the transplant you are given a few local anaesthetic injections into your scalp. You may feel the first one or two. From that point on your are numbed and you don't feel anything. Most people actually fall asleep - I did for most of the day!

How long before it grows back?

A few weeks after your transplant your new hair starts to fall out. It then takes a couple of months to start growing again. Between month 1 and month 3 post-op your hair is thin. They call this the 'ugly ducking' phase. This soon passes and it starts getting really exciting. Around month 4 I had good coverage and was going to the hair dressers again. By month 6 you could not tell I had a transplant. When it got to 12 months post-op I was a different person.

Regaine is an FDA approved treatment for hair loss, suitable for both men and women. The active ingredient it contains is called Minoxidil. Minoxidil is clinically proven to prevent further hair loss in around 80% cases. It works by enhancing the blood supply to your hair follicles.

Naturelo Multivitamins are fantastic! They contain 110% of your recommended daily allowance of Biotin, as well as a host of other vitamins that are great for your hair and general well being. I love them!

Keratin is a basic protein that makes up your hair, skin, and nails. Biotin improves your body’s keratin infrastructure. It adds colour and thickness to your hair.

Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo is a really nice shampoo to use. It claims to boost blood flow to the scalp which promotes hair growth. It’s not as effective as Regaine, but it’s still a really nice cost effective shampoo.

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