I am considering hair transplantation. How many follicular unit grafts do I need?
A good rule is to take your norwood scale rating and multiply it by 1000 (on the conservative side) to 1500 (on the liberal side). This will give you a good idea of how many follicular unit grafts you will need to achieve decent coverage and density. To read more about coverage verses density see the following Hair Loss Q&A Blog.
Keep in mind, however that the donor supply (the hair on the sides and back of your head where hair is removed for hair transplantation is finite. This means that a first-rate hair transplant doctor must make good use of your available donor. Those who are higher rated on the norwood or ludwig scale may have to sacrifice a bit of density to receive the coverage they want. On the other hand, a patient may decide they want more density in an area and decide not to transplant hairs in other areas.
Though numbers certainly are important, I have found that hair and skin characteristics make a big difference in order to achieve the illusion of density. Those with thicker hair, for example may need fewer grafts than those with thinner hair to accomplish their goals.
I recommend therefore, discussing your hair characteristics as well as the number of grafts with your hair transplant physician and how it will relate to accomplishing your goals.