My Hair is Thicker on Top Than in the Hair Transplant Donor Zone: Is This Normal?

Sat 11 May 2013

This comment, from a member of our Hair Loss Social Community and Discussion Forums, was answered by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. William Lindsey:

I know that this will sound funny, and it is not a complaint, but it seems like the hair on top is much thicker than my hair on the side. I have been told I have good hair transplant donor hair, but the area that I see scalp when I part my donor region is much larger than, say, if I were to part my hair down the middle. Does this make sense?

My donor part may look like it is a half an inch wide or more, and my hair parted down the center may only be a quarter on an inch. I will see my hair restoration physician sometime this summer and talk to him about it but, until then, I was wondering if this is normal at all. It just seems like my donor is thinner than my non donor, or I could be OCD and over analyzing things? Any thoughts?

0_9369I’d guess that in 40% of the follicular unit transplant (FUT) strip cases we do that the hair is noticeably thinner on one or both of the sides than in the middle or up higher on the head. Then throw in a guy with salt and pepper hair and it can really get dicey as to how many grafts you’ll get from a typical strip.

So you might think, as I did last week, “Well let’s go up a little higher and get better hair”. Then you start to worry if this guy is the one guy in the family who will experience a lot of hair loss and the hair you harvest now might be going. So I always end up with the strip at the normal area and I try to make sure we get enough hair to do the job: If we wind up with a few extra then good for the patient. We don’t up the price for extra hair outside of the goal graft number. However, on really large cases where we’re trying to get as much as possible, then of course the price can be affected but that is not a surprise to the patient since he’s expecting us to get as much as we can.

Occasionally, older white-haired, very fair-skinned guys, and really dense-haired Middle Easterners can really throw us off. The white-haired guys end up with fewer than we expect simply because of the color match with fair skin and the really densely packed donor areas of some Middle Easterners just seem to have an abundance of hair.

There is an example of a guy like this who posted on the forum recently about me giving him a lot of free hair. As I responded to him, I’m not that great of a guy. He just had a ton of hair from a standard smaller strip. That donor area should be a great resource for him as he ages, as he is likely to lose more up front later on.

So, it sounds like your head is in the normal range.

Dr. William Lindsey – McLean, VA


David (TakingThePlunge)
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit the hair loss forum and social community

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