Hair loss can be an unfortunate and distressing event for many men and women. If you’re unhappy with a receding hair line or thinning hair, and you’ve started to research your options, then you’re probably ready to get into the nitty-gritty details. And one of the top questions on everyone’s mind at this stage is, “What will it cost to fix my hair loss?”
When it’s time to address your hair loss, you have several alternatives. The simplest options are topical treatments, like the well-known Rogaine brand, and custom hair pieces. A more aggressive and more effective solution is a hair transplant, whether using the older, invasive strip method or the newer NeoGraft FUE transplant system.
All these options have varying costs, not just financial but also in terms of the time investment and the risk involved.
Costs of Topical Hair Loss Treatments
Topical treatments for hair loss are often a person’s first resort when attempting to regain a full head of hair. After all, there’s no harm in stopping by the drug store for a hair regrowth product and seeing if it works, right? However, in general, these products have limited effectiveness and can add up to a significant amount of money in the long term.
Financial Costs: An initial purchase of one topical hair loss product can quickly turn into a money pit. We often see clients who have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on different hair growth treatments in hopes that the next one will be the magic bullet.
If you do find a serum that works for you, keep in mind that this will be a recurring cost for as long as you need to use it. That amounts to $25, $50 or even $100 a month, indefinitely, which can certainly become a significant investment over the course of years.
Time: In addition to the time spent researching options and buying products, topical treatments for hair loss involve a daily time commitment for as long as you want to see results from the treatment. These products require daily application that should take no more than 10 minutes per day.
Risk: As with any drug, there are risks and side effects involved with topical hair loss treatments. The most common risks include acne, itching and swelling. There are more severe risks involved and you should always discuss any new drug treatment with your doctor before use.
Costs of Hair Pieces and Hair Systems
Hair pieces are a popular hair loss alternative for those who need more than a topical hair loss treatment can provide, but aren’t ready for a surgical solution. While hair systems a generation or two ago were typically uncomfortable and somewhat unnatural-looking, modern hair pieces can provide a natural look and a much-needed confidence boost.
Financial Costs: A quality hair piece will cost anywhere from $200 to $400 or more for the initial purchase. There are reoccurring costs involved for maintenance and replacements. More advanced systems like the lace system require a professional to remove and clean the unit, which typically cost around $100 per visit.
Time: When assessing the time it will take to both choose and maintain a hair piece there are many different factors to consider. You can order a ready-made hair piece from an online retailer and receive it in a few days, although it may not give the most natural effect. A custom hair piece, by contrast, could take several months to receive from measurements to receiving the finished piece.
Additionally, there are recurring time costs for most hair pieces. Top-of-the-line pieces require a professional to apply and also need regular appointments for cleaning and maintenance.
Risks: There are very few risks associated with hair pieces, which accounts for their popularity even when they are not the most discreet solution. Hair pieces are made of a variety of synthetic and natural materials, including glues, so there is always the risk of allergy. Additionally, depending on the quality of your hair piece and your level of activity, there could be some moderate discomfort in wearing it.
Costs of Strip Hair Transplants
The old-fashioned “strip” method of hair transplants has been around since the late 1950s, with varying levels of success depending on the technology available and the skill of the surgeon. This is the classic method of hair transplanting that most people think of, although it is now considered more invasive and less effective than Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
Financial Costs: Hair transplants are usually the most expensive way to deal with hair loss, although many people consider the results to be worth it. Costs for a strip hair transplant procedure can range from $4,000 to $15,000, and insurance typically does not cover any expenses.
Time: The strip hair transplant refers to a surgical process during which the doctor removes strips of skin and hair follicles to be placed where needed on the scalp. This process typically takes four to eight hours, with a two to five day recovery time. Patients wear bandages for several days while their scalp heals, and should be able to return to work after a week.
Risk: As with all surgical procedures, risks are involved. Most patients have a prominent linear scar where the strip of skin is removed, although this is usually covered up by hair. There are associated risks of infection and “shock loss,” which is the loss of your original hair after being transplanted. It is important to fully discuss the risks with your doctor.
Costs of the NeoGraft FUE Hair Transplant
Unlike traditional strip-method hair transplants, Follicular Unit Extraction removes the hair follicles from the donor site (typically the back of the head) individually with the use of gentle pneumatic pressure. This is less traumatic to the scalp, results in no linear scarring, and reduces the risk of damaging individual hair follicles to under 5%.
Financial Costs: The cost of a NeoGraft hair transplant procedure depends on a number of factors, including the size of the area that needs to be filled and how many grafts this will take. A typical NeoGraft procedure may cost between $5,000 and $10,000, and you can request a consultation with us to get a customized estimate for your specific case.
Time: The NeoGraft process takes a varying amount of time depending on the amount of hair coverage that the patient is looking for. The procedure can usually be completed in one or two sessions, and most patients can return to work in only 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
Risk: With the NeoGraft follicular unit extraction procedure, there is no risk of linear scarring. There may be small points of discoloration where the hair follicles have been removed, but these are usually not noticeable, even with closely cropped hair. Nevertheless, this is a surgical procedure, and you should fully discuss any medical risks with your doctor.
What Is Your Hair Loss Costing You?
Whether you opt for a topical solution or a hair transplant, all hair loss solutions have a price. But to truly assess the cost of hair loss treatments, you also have to take into consideration what doing nothing is costing you.
Are you losing confidence in the workplace or socially? Have you been feeling down because of your changing physical appearance? Investing in your personal appearance and self-esteem comes with rewards that can outweigh the costs, regardless of which hair loss treatment you choose.
If you’re ready to begin your journey back to a full head of hair, give us a call. We’re standing by to discuss your options and create a personalized hair restoration program just for you.