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Beauty On A Budget: The Costs of Hair Replacement

written by: ShawnTe•edited by: John Garger•updated: 2/27/2011

Discover the real costs of hair replacement and if the procedure is a one time expense.

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    ivancicas via sxc.hu Hair loss is something that affects men, women and children. Some hair loss is temporary requiring the person to wear a wig for a short period of time until the hair begins to grow again. Sometimes hair loss is permanent. To deal with permanent hair loss, a person may choose hair replacement as an option. Learn what the real costs of hair replacement are and whether you are a good candidate for such a procedure.

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    What is Hair Replacement?

    Hair replacement is the process of replacing hair to the scalp after significant permanent hair loss or thinning. The term hair replacement refers to hair replacement procedures known as hair transplantation, flap surgery, tissue expansion or scalp reduction. People experiencing hair loss use all four procedures but what are the real costs of hair replacement procedures?

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    What are the Real Costs of Hair Replacement?

    According to the Hair Transplant Network, the cost of a hair transplant procedure depends on three things:

    1. The clinic where you have the transplant performed. Each clinic has different rates.
    2. The type of hair transplant procedure: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) or Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
    3. The number of grafts and sessions necessary to transplant your hair successfully

    The Hair Transplant Network gives an estimate of $4 to $8 per graft for a FUT procedure and $6 to $10 per graft for a FUE procedure. For example, if you need 6,800 grafts, you can spend between $27,200 to $54,400 for a FUT procedure and $40,800 to $68,000 for a FUE procedure.

    If you choose scalp reduction, your real costs of hair replacement still vary by clinic. Scalp reduction is a surgical procedure in which the bald scalp is removed and the hair-bearing scalp is stretched over the area the bald scalp once covered. According to Cosmeticprocedureinfo.org, scalp reduction can cost between $1,500 and $4,000 per procedure. Scalp reduction can only be performed on the middle to back of the head and follow-up procedures may be needed further increasing your real costs of hair replacement.

    Flap surgery involves cutting away a section of the bald scalp and sewing a section of hair-bearing scalp in its place. Flap surgery is often lumped into the same category as scalp reduction. Therefore, the prices may be similar for both procedures.

    Another hair replacement procedure is scalp or tissue expansion. Tissue expansion involves the use of a tissue expander (a balloon-like device) that is inserted beneath the scalp. Saline is slowly added to the balloon to inflate it over a period of weeks or sometimes months. As the tension from the balloon increased, the scalp relaxes as new, hair-bearing scalp grows as a result. After enough hair-bearing scalp grows, a second procedure to remove the balloon and stretch the new, hair-bearing scalp over the balding scalp must be performed. The real costs of this hair replacement procedure can exceed $10,000.

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    Permanent hair loss affects men, women and children. The real costs of hair replacement vary based on different criteria including which clinic performs the procedure. Learn who are likely candidates for a hair replacement procedure and whether the costs are different for men and women. Also, learn about follow-up hair replacement procedures.
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    Who Are Likely Candidates for Hair Replacement?

    People who have significant, permanent hair loss are ideal candidates for hair replacement. The type of hair replacement procedure depends on many factors including hair density, pre-existing health conditions such as blood clotting issues, the amount of baldness and where the baldness occurs. A plastic surgeon takes all of these aspects into consideration before determining which hair replacement procedure is right for you.

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    Are the Real Costs of Hair Replacement the Same for Both Men and Women?

    Men and women have the same hair replacement options available to them. However, the real costs of hair replacement for men and woman may vary due to the amount of hair that is replaced. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, women tend to have thinning hair rather than large patches of bald spots like men do. As a result, the real costs of hair replacement for women may be significantly less than the real costs of hair replacement for men.

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    You May Need a Follow-up Hair Replacement Procedure

    Depending on the type of hair replacement procedure you have preformed, you may need a follow-up visit. Follow-up procedures increase the overall real costs of hair replacement. Common reasons for a follow-up procedure include:

    • Needing to perform the hair replacement procedure in smaller grafts due to a large area of baldness
    • Correcting or hiding scarring
    • Evening out the hairline to create a more natural look
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      Conclusion

      The real costs of hair replacement vary based on many different criteria such as the clinic where the procedure is performed, the procedure you choose, area of baldness being treated and required follow-up procedures. Estimates for the costs of hair replacement cover the initial procedure and may not reflect the real cost of follow-up procedures. Speak with a plastic surgeon who specializes in various forms of hair replacement to determine what the real costs of hair replacement will be for you.

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      SOURCES

      American Society of Plastic Surgeons: Hair Replacement - http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Patients_and_Consumers/Procedures/Cosmetic_Procedures/Hair_Replacement.html

      Cosmeticprocedureinfor.org: Scalp Surgery - http://www.cosmeticprocedureinfo.org/scalp-surgery.htm

      Hair Transplant Network: Hair Transplant - http://www.hairtransplantnetwork.com/news/article.asp?CopyID=375&Nav=8

      TLC: Hair Replacement - http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/style/hair-replacement.htm

      Hair Transplant Network: Hair Transplant Costs - http://www.hairtransplantnetwork.com/hair-loss-treatments/hair-transplant-costs.asp

      Image Credit:2005; Ivana/ivancicas via sxc.hu

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