How many grafts are required for a good result vary from individual to individual and there are several factors to consider. In this article, we will go over a few key factors that determine how many grafts an individual requires to achieve a good cosmetic result.
Norwood classification: The amount of grafts one requires depends on the level of hair loss of an individual, for example a Norwood II patient may require 1,500 grafts whilst a Norwood VI patient may require upwards to 7,000. Below is the Norwood scale that list 7 different types of hair loss patterns.
Density: Prior to experiencing any hair loss, most individuals are born with roughly 100,000 hairs on their head. This breaks down to about 50,000 follicular units thus, requiring upwards to 25,000 follicular units to completely restore the entire top of the scalp (assuming the front, mid section and vertex are completely bald). The average donor supply can range from 4,000-10,000 follicular units. Fortunately, the average donor supply can restore the appearance of fullness in the front two thirds of the scalp with light coverage in the crown. Individuals without any androgenic alopecia or genetic hair loss have around 90-100 follicular units per square centimeter, most qualified hair transplant surgeons can transplant around 40-60 follicular units per square centimeter. The naked eye can not detect hair loss until more than 50% of hair has been lost, which means an individual that once had 100 follicular units per square centimeter can transplant 50 follicular units per square centimeter without any decrease in visual density.
Hair Characteristics: The type of hair an individual has will determine the amount of grafts a patient requires. For example an individual with fine straight hair requires more follicular units per square centimeter to achieve visual density than an individual with thick curly hair. Hair characteristics are determined by caliber, length, color and texture. The reason curly and thick hair is more effective for creating the appearance of fullness is because the hair follicles decrease the surface area, which means the hair will block light from reflecting off of the scalp. The color of the hair will also have an impact on the visual density because we see the scalp through hair, the contrast between the color of the hair and the scalp will determine the overall appearance fullness. For example, an individual with light hair and skin will appear to have a fuller head of hair in comparison to an individual with dark hair and light skin because the contrast will be easier to detect visually.
Conclusion: The amount of grafts a patient requires for a good cosmetic result depend on several aforementioned factors. However, the most important factor in receiving natural results that are undetectable and last a lifetime is choosing the right surgeon. The skill, talent and experience of the hair transplant surgeon will determine the outcome of the result find a prescreened hair restoration surgeon in your area and schedule a consultation today.
Melvin (HTSoon) – 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 our new Hair Loss Forum and Social Community.