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Can You Get A Hair Transplant On The NHS?
Paru Shukla
Medically reviewed by
Paru Shukla
Updated on February 2, 2024

Hair transplants are a treatment that has steadily risen in popularity over the last few years. It’s now expected that every 13th man will get a hair transplant [1], and there are many women out there suffering from female pattern baldness who also view hair transplants as the perfect solution to their hair problems.

Although hair transplant surgery is an effective way to reverse the effects of hair loss and balding, many people are still concerned about the cost. On average, a hair transplant costs around £4,820 in the UK.

This has led many people to wonder whether it’s possible to get a hair transplant via the NHS. In this article, we’ll answer this important question and help you find the best professional to carry out the hair restoration procedure for you.

Table of Contents

Should you see your GP about hair loss?

If your hair is falling out, seeing your GP is a good place to start. They can help you discover why your hair is falling out by monitoring your diet, lifestyle, stress levels, and any medications that cause hair loss.

Some anxiety-induced stress disorders can cause hair loss. These stress-induced conditions can be treated by a GP. Unfortunately, for genetic hair loss conditions like male pattern balding or female pattern hair loss, there’s not much GPs can do to reverse it. Treatments like Minoxidil aren’t available on the NHS, as hair loss is usually considered a cosmetic condition.

In these instances, you’ll need to seek specialist advice from a hair loss clinic. They can advise you on the best course of action to address your hair loss which might include hair loss treatments and /or having a hair transplant.

What is a hair transplant?

A hair transplant is a method that’s used to take healthy hair follicles (donor hair) from areas of your scalp where hair is growing, then reimplant  into areas where hair isn’t growing.

You have two procedure options: FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation). 


Informational graphic explaining the differences between the FUT vs FUE hair transplant procedure

With an FUE hair transplant, your surgeon will extract hair follicles one by one using a punch trumpet. These hair grafts are then reimplanted into small incisions in areas of the scalp where you want hair to grow.  There might be very tiny scars as a result of the hair transplant procedure, however, these won’t be very noticeable. With an FUE hair transplant, your surgeon will extract hair follicles one by one using a punch trumpet. These hair grafts are then reimplanted into small incisions in areas of the scalp where you want hair to grow.  There might be very tiny scars as a result of the hair transplant procedure, however, these won’t be very noticeable over time with recovery and hair growth.

patient before and 10 months after transplant
patient before and 10 months after FUE hair transplant

FUT transplants, on the other hand, work by extracting extremely thin strips of skin in areas of the scalp where hair is growing normally. Your surgeon will then take this graft and split it into very small pieces (hair grafts) to separate the hair follicles, before reimplanting them into very small puncture holes in bald patches on the scalp. As a result of this surgery, patients might have a linear scar where the strip of skin had been taken out. This scar might be noticeable if the patient has a very short hair style.

before and 10 months after hair transplant
Before and 10 months after FUT hair transplant

Can you get a hair transplant on the NHS?

If you were hoping to save some money by getting NHS hair transplant surgery, unfortunately, that’s not an option.

Despite hair transplants being considered one of the best treatments for hair loss according to the NHS, hair transplantation procedures aren’t available on the NHS because they are classed as cosmetic procedures. As a general rule, the NHS does not offer treatment for hair loss or alopecia. The only time cosmetic surgery is available on the NHS is if there will be lasting health problems without it. This might include reconstructive surgery following trauma such as a severe burn.

The NHS will normally only cover certain essential treatments that unfortunately don’t cover hair transplants – even though they can provide physical and psychological benefits to an individual’s life.

Since NHS hair transplants are not an option, you must choose a private clinic to perform your procedure instead. This is also true for forehead reduction surgery, which is a purely cosmetic procedure.

Does the NHS provide hair transplants for mental health reasons?

Unfortunately, the NHS does not provide hair transplants for the purpose of improving mental health.

For some individuals, the stigma of hair loss is often correlated to more severe mental health issues such as anxiety, body dysmorphia, depression, and other social phobias.

Although hair transplant treatment can provide some sort of therapeutic comfort to individuals suffering from these conditions, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which approves treatments for the NHS based on strict criteria does not consider hair transplant surgery as a life-saving treatment.

Does the NHS provide transgender hair transplants?

Hair transplants provide crucial gender-affirming attributes to transgendered individuals. However, due to NICE’s classification of hair transplant surgery as being a cosmetic procedure, transgender hair transplants are not available on the NHS.

However, there are a variety of hair loss clinics out there that can help transgendered individuals with creating a more masculine or feminine hairline as well as offering non-surgical treatments to aid in the restoration of lost hair.

Certain hormonal therapies can even help with the hair regrowth process. For example, some studies have shown that oestrogen promotes hair growth, which depending on the level of hair loss, could minimize the number of hair grafts needed to meet your hair transplant goals.

The benefits of a private hair transplant

Going private means you’ll need to pay for your hair transplant. However, there are lots of advantages to undertaking hair transplant surgery with a private clinic, such as:

  • No long waiting lists before you’re seen
  • High-quality care in a fantastic facility
  • Personalised treatment, especially if you have phobias like a fear of needles or trypophobia
  • Exceptional aftercare to check your hair transplant recovery
  • The power to choose the right clinic and surgeon for you.

How to choose the right clinic for your hair transplant

Choosing to get a hair transplant is a big decision. After all, very noticeable hair transplants are difficult to hide, therefore it’s important to choose a company that gives you professional and expert results.

When you’re browsing for practices, make sure they’re registered with the Care Quality Commission. This is a requirement of all independent clinics and hospitals that provide cosmetic surgery in England.

You can also find the best hair transplant surgeon by checking their qualifications, previous experience, and hair transplant success rates.

Most clinics will show before and after shots of some of their previous clients. This should give you a good idea about what you can expect during your experience.

Get a hair transplant with the Wimpole Clinic

At the Wimpole Clinic, our hair transplant surgeons helped hundreds of people through the hair transplant process and we’d love to help you too.

Offering both FUE and FUT procedures, we can find the transplant option that works for you. We’ll create a professional result that you’re extremely happy with.

On our website, you’ll find plenty of hair transplant before and after photos, as well as hair transplant clinic reviews from some of our previous clients.

To find out more, book a no-obligation consultation with one of our experts today where you can get a personalized treatment plan and answers to any questions really want to ask about hair transplants.

Can You Get A Hair Transplant On The NHS?, Wimpole Clinic

Paru Shukla
Medically reviewed by Paru ShuklaUpdated on February 2, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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