I had a hair transplant 10 years ago and another hair transplant last year. Now I am interested in having another procedure to address my crown. How many hair transplants can a person have?
There is no clear cut answer, because every person is different. Some individuals can have 4-5 hair transplants without compromising their donor site. While some individuals can only withstand 2-3 hair transplant procedures. The amount of procedures a person can withstand depends on the overall donor density of the individual. However, it doesn’t only depend on the donor density, but also the patients scalp elasticity.
In the old days, patients only had Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS), as a viable surgical technique. Each time a patient had a strip surgery, the scalp would become tighter and tighter. Once the scalp becomes too tight, the patient is no longer eligible for surgical hair restoration utilizing the strip method for donor harvesting.
However, in recent years the donor harvesting technique called Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) has become a viable option for most patients. The only difference between both surgical techniques is the donor harvesting. FUSS is performed by excising a strip of hair-bearing donor tissue. The donor tissue is then dissected in to the 1,2,3, and 4 follicular units. The method of implantation is the same for both methods.
FUE is performed by a physician or technician extracting the follicular units one by one, with the use of a small surgical punch. The surgical punch varies from 0.7mm-1mm in circumference. Today, most hair transplant clinics/surgeons use 0.8-0.9mm punches to extract grafts. The FUE donor harvesting technique leaves tiny circular scars that are almost undetectable to the untrained eye. The strip method leaves a pencil thin linear scar in the back and sides of the scalp.
Traditionally, patients could only use one method to harvest their donor hair. However, most modern hair transplant surgeons perform both harvesting techniques regularly in their practice. Most hair transplant clinics/surgeons recommend patients exhaust their donor utilizing the strip method first and then moving on to the FUE method. This ensures that the patient is maximizing their donor supply and maximizing the amount of hair transplant procedures they can have, while safely harvesting their donor supply without compromising their overall cosmetic results.
Written and published by,
Melvin- Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network and The Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians