This question, from a member of the Hair Restoration Social Community and Discussion Forums, was answered by recommended hair restoration physician Dr. William Lindsey:
I went in person to several hair transplant doctors here in NYC and then I emailed three other doctors nationally and abroad with detailed descriptions and photos. Each doctor gave me a different estimate of grafts based on my degree of hair loss. The estimates ranged from 1,000 grafts to 2,700. Most of the estimates were around the 1,600 mark. So why all the different estimates?
Well, it varies from patient need to patient need, and from physician to physician. For example, a young African-American man came to my office today for a consultation. He’d been to 3 other hair transplant surgeons and had a list of questions.
First off, I thought he needed maybe 1500 grafts to the front only. That way he’d save hair for the future and limit the width of his donor scar. Plus, with that curly black hair, he needs way less hair to cover an inch of balding scalp than a thin-haired Asian or Caucasian. I told the fellow that 2200+ grafts and dense packing would be pushing it. I find that, not only do black men and curly haired Middle-Eastern men not need as much density (due to the caliber of the hair shafts and the waviness of the hair), but when we try to pack it too tight, there is just too much popping out of the grafts when placing nearby grafts.
So there are many factors in determining what is best for each individual and then different hair restoration physicians have their own philosophies. In general though, for thin or straight haired men, I suggest lots of follicular unit grafts packed tightly in that first 3/8 inch of singles, then followed by doubles and triples a bit more spread out. In the hairline area in particular, hair can be like money with more being preferential to less for most patients.
Dr. William Lindsey – McLean VA
David – aka TakingThePlunge
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