How many follicular unit grafts are available for hair transplant surgery over a patient’s lifetime?
This hair loss question was answered on our hair restoration forum by Dr. Paul Shapiro of Bloomington, MN who is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians. His professional answer is below.
In our experience most hair replacement patients have 6,000 to 8,000 follicular unit grafts that can be safely transplanted over their lifetime.
This brings up the basic question of what we are doing in hair transplantation. We are redistributing a limited amount of donor hair to a potentially expanding bald or thinning hair recipient area.
For the readers of this hair loss blog who are not familiar with the concept of limited donor supply or just want a good review, the Hair Loss Learning Center has a good animated video called “recreating a full look“. This video reviews the concept of moving a limited amount of donor hair and also has an interactive hair graft calculator to help you approximate the number of grafts you will need.
This hair transplant video can be viewed by clicking the link above and explains well the concept of limited donor.
Paul Shapiro, MD