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Can A Hair Transplant Increase Hair Density?

A hair transplant is one of the best ways to improve the thickness and density of your hair after hair loss. In fact, thinning hair is one of the most common reasons for getting a hair transplant. Thin or patchy hair growth can also make you feel self-conscious about your hair, which is why many people turn to hair transplantation to improve their hair density.

The average person can lose up to half of their hair before it becomes noticeably thin [1]. Needless to say, a 50% decrease in natural hair density sounds like a substantial amount of hair loss.

So how much can a hair transplant improve your hair density? In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Whether a hair transplant can increase hair density
  • What to do if you don’t see an increase in density after a hair transplant
  • How to boost hair density following FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) or FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplant surgery.
Table of Contents

Low density vs high density hair

A comparison of low density vs. high density hair
A close-up comparison of low density vs high density hair. The first image shows hairs growing in mainly 1-2 follicle units. The second image shows as many as 3-4 follicles growing together.

Normal hair density is approximately 100 follicular units per cm², although this varies between people of different ethnicities [2-3]. White people typically have a higher hair density than people of Black or Latino descent. Age is also a major factor in the density of hair. As we get older, our hair becomes thinner, even in the absence of male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss [4].

These differences along with your own hair characteristics can impact your hair transplant procedure. For example, people with fine hair, or lower hair density, must have more follicular units extracted to achieve the same result as someone with thicker, higher-density hair [1].

Can a hair transplant increase hair density?

Hair restoration surgery can successfully increase hair density. In fact, you only need to create 50% hair density to create the illusion of thick, full hair [1]. Steve Carell’s rumoured FUE procedure is a great example of a hair transplant increasing hair density. Post-transplant density of around 35-40 follicular units per cm² is often enough to achieve this [1, 5].

In one study of multiple hair transplant patients, surgeons achieved a mean density of 50 hair grafts per cm² with FUE hair transplantation and 75 grafts per cm² with Direct Hair Implantation (DHI).

The photos below show the hair transplant results of 2 patients in this study before surgery, immediately after surgery, and 1 year after their DHI transplant [5].

1 patients before hair transplant surgery, immediate after surgery, and 1 year post-transplant.
Patients before, immediately after, and one year after hair transplantation. As you can see the transplanted hair is lush and full.

Some people also choose to get a hair transplant for a fuller buzzcut. While this is an option, particularly for people who might want to grow their hair out again in the future, scalp micropigmentation may be a more cost-effective way to achieve similar results.

What is a high-density hair transplant?

In recent years, researchers have experimented with hair transplant density by packing more hair grafts into a smaller area to improve the final results. This is known as a high-density hair transplant.

High-density hair transplants can have excellent results. One study found that densely packed grafts survived and grew at a higher rate than less densely packed grafts [6].

However, you’ll need a highly skilled hair transplant surgeon to pull this off. Poor surgical technique is a key reason for low graft survival rates, so it’s better to find the best hair transplant surgeon who can provide excellent hair transplant success rates than to seek a high-density hair transplant.

Can you get a second hair transplant to improve hair density?

If your first hair transplant has gone wrong, you have hair transplant regrets, or you haven’t seen the results you want, you can get a second hair transplant to increase hair density.

32% of hair transplant patients have more than one hair transplant to get the results they want [7]. Even celebrities like Wayne Rooney and Elon Musk have had multiple hair transplants to improve the fullness of their hair. (See more in our gallery of celebrity hair transplants before and after.)

However, you will need enough native hair in your donor area to have more than one hair transplant. If a previous surgeon has overharvested your hair follicles, you might not be eligible for another hair transplant. Patients must usually have at least 40 follicular units per cm² in their donor area in order to have a hair transplant [8]. Patients with higher donor hair density can have 3, 4, or even 5 hair transplants if needed.

No density after a hair transplant: What went wrong?

If you don’t see an improvement in hair density 5 or 6 months after your hair transplant, many factors could be to blame. First, you may need to wait a little while longer to see results. According to the hair transplant growth chart, final results start to be seen around 4-6 months after surgery, but it may be 12-18 months before your final density is visible.

If there’s still no improvement in hair density, it may be down to:

  • Unrealistic expectations — If your surgeon has overpromised your results, you may be disappointed with your final hair transplant density. Choose a reputable surgeon to design an appropriate and more realistic hairline.
  • Poor surgical technique — An unskilled or inexperienced surgeon may impact the success of your hair transplant, leading to low graft survival rates.
  • Poor aftercare — If you don’t follow your surgeon’s aftercare advice, it may lead to a failed hair transplant.
  • Incorrect or inappropriate technique — Your unique circumstances may make you better suited for certain techniques. For example, FUT is usually more successful than FUE in patients of African descent, while attempting to pack too many grafts into a hair transplant on scar tissue is unlikely to succeed.
  • Hair transplant side effects — Complications like hair transplant infection and necrosis can cause your hair transplant to fail.

Choosing a skilled surgeon at a reputable clinic is the first step to getting a successful hair transplant. But what else can you do to get great hair density after a hair transplant?

How to increase hair density after a hair transplant

Choose a hair transplant clinic with a 97-100% success rate

At the Wimpole Clinic, we have more than 45 years’ experience of providing state-of-the-art hair transplants with excellent success rates. We’ve worked with thousands of patients to create full, thick hair that restores your confidence.

Before and after Rob Holding's hair transplant at the Wimpole Clinic

See more of our results in these hair transplant before and after photos, and read our hair transplant clinic reviews to learn more. Then book a free consultation with our team to see how we can give you the hair density results you want.

Can A Hair Transplant Increase Hair Density?, Wimpole Clinic

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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