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Do Hair Transplants Work?
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Updated on September 26, 2023

Hair transplants are one of the most popular hair restoration methods. In 2021, more than 703,000 hair transplant procedures were performed around the world — a rise of 151% in the last decade [1-2].

Until recently, hair transplants haven’t had the best reputation. Bad hair transplants using outdated techniques and poor safety practices paint an ugly picture of what happens when a hair transplant doesn’t work. However, with modern techniques and experienced surgeons, hair transplant success rates are sky-high. At the Wimpole Clinic, our hair transplant success rates are 97-100%.

So the simple answer is: yes, hair transplants work. When it’s successful, a hair transplant can last a lifetime.

However, it should be noted that the success of your hair transplant will depend on how well you take care of your new hair grafts, the ability of your surgeon, and whether you’re actually eligible for a hair transplant in the first place.

Table of Contents

What is the graft survival rate?

The success of your hair transplant will depend on the survival rate of your transplanted hair grafts. Graft survival rate refers to the number of transplanted hair follicles that take root and produce new hair in the weeks and months following surgery.

It’s very rare for all your hair grafts to survive hair transplant surgery. Highly competent surgeons can achieve graft survival rates as high as 90% [3]. However, hair transplants with lower graft survival rates can still be considered successful if the patient gets the coverage and thickness they’re looking for.

Which type of hair transplant works best: FUT or FUE?

Both Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplants are very successful hair transplant treatments. The success rates for both types of procedures are very high, though some research suggests that FUT surgery has slightly higher graft survival rates [4-5]. Other studies, meanwhile, have found no significant difference in graft survival rates between FUE vs FUT [5-6].

Hair grafts are often damaged in the FUE harvesting process. Lots of factors can impact graft survival, including [5]:

  • The size, shape, and sharpness of the punch
  • Using the punch with too much or too little force
  • The direction and orientation of the punch.

That’s why it’s essential to choose a skilled surgeon who can choose and use the right tools for your hair transplant — especially if you opt for FUE surgery. Using a small punch size can also avoid triggering hair transplant trypophobia.

Graft survival rate isn’t the only consideration when choosing between FUT and FUE surgery. There’s also hair transplant costrecovery time, and the risk of scarring to think about. Since the research into the different graft survival rates for FUE and FUT hair transplant surgeries is far from conclusive, these other factors should arguably be more important to prospective patients.

Take a look at our before and after gallery to see patients who have undergone FUE and FUT hair transplants.

When won’t a hair transplant work?

Hair transplants are usually successful under the right circumstances. Unfortunately, not everyone is suitable for a hair transplant procedure. This is mostly related to the cause of your hair loss. A hair transplant is unlikely to work or be suitable if you’re experiencing any of the following:

Most successful hair transplant patients have permanent irreversible hair loss stemming from genetic hair disorders like male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss.

What can prevent a hair transplant from working?

Even if you’re an optimal hair transplant candidate, hair transplants don’t always work. A failed hair transplant is usually due to one or more of the following:

How to make sure your hair transplant works

Hair transplantation is a big investment in your appearance and your confidence. From the research stage through to recovery, here’s what you can do to ensure your hair transplant works.

Research stage

Hair transplant success starts at the hair transplant clinic research stage. You will need to find a clinic and surgeon with the skill, knowledge, and experience to perform hair transplant surgery.

Many prospective hair transplant patients are seduced by cut-rate hair transplant clinics in Turkey or the UK. However, these are often a false economy. Safety and quality are often compromised to offer cheap hair transplants, which can lead to the need for repair transplants, or additional procedures until you get the result you want. Learn whether hair transplants are safe.

Our hair transplant cost analysis found many questionable clinics operating throughout the UK. Choosing a high-quality clinic with an experienced, highly competent surgeon makes it far more likely that your hair transplant will work which will hopefully save you money in the long run.

Procedure stage

When you’ve found the right clinic to perform your procedure, make sure you follow their instructions carefully. This includes using any hair growth treatments like Minoxidil and Finasteride as directed. As well as stimulating hair growth after your transplant, these solutions can reduce further hair loss and encourage regrowth.

Depending on the cause and extent of your hair loss, your surgeon may also recommend additional intra-operative treatments. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has been shown to be effective if administered during hair transplant surgery [7].

Recovery stage

After your procedure, it’s essential that you take care of your hair grafts to give them the best chance of survival. You should:

  • Follow your surgeon’s aftercare recommendations closely
  • Take any medication as prescribed — complete antibiotic courses in full to prevent infection
  • Avoid strenuous workouts after your hair transplant
  • Protect your grafts from damage or dislodgement, especially in the first couple of weeks after your transplant.

Do hair transplants work better than other hair restoration methods?

Hair transplants are more effective for permanent irreversible hair loss than most other types of hair restoration treatment. Non-surgical medical solutions like Finasteride, Dutasteride, Minoxidil, and caffeine shampoos must be used on an ongoing basis to see long-term results (and in some cases should be used alongside hair transplants to prevent further hair loss).

Unlike these solutions, hair transplants don’t need updating once you’ve achieved your desired result. You can ultimately treat your transplanted hair the same as the rest of your hair.

Will my transplanted hair become thinner over time?

Hair transplants are permanent but like all hair, the transplanted hair will eventually start to thin. This is a natural part of ageing, and affects almost everyone.

This type of hair thinning differs from pattern baldness. Transplanted hair diminishes at the same rate as the rest of your hair, so you’ll continue to have even, natural-looking hair across your head even as you get older.

If you’re concerned about hair thinning, discuss it with your hair transplant consultant. They may be able to recommend products or procedures to minimise hair thinning.

Should you get a hair transplant?

Hair transplants are a highly effective way to restore your hair. At the Wimpole Clinic, we perform hair transplants if:

  • You have male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss
  • Your hair loss is at stage 3 to 6 on the Norwood Scale
  • You’ve tried solutions like Minoxidil and/or Finasteride to slow your hair loss.

Book a free consultation at our Harley Street clinic to find out if you are a good candidate for a hair transplant or if you would like to seek other hair loss solutions.

Do Hair Transplants Work?, Wimpole Clinic

Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)Updated on September 26, 2023
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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