Hair restoration treatments have come a long way since the days of hair plugs and bad toupees. Now more men, women, and transgender people are investing in themselves and seeking treatment for their thinning hair and hair loss, whether it’s a scalp hair transplant, beard transplant, or eyebrow transplant.
Choosing a good clinic is the best way to ensure you get a high-quality hair transplant and avoid any hair transplant regrets. The best clinics prioritise your care while ensuring you get fantastic long-lasting results.
To avoid your hair transplant going wrong, it’s important to do your research. One of the best ways to do this is to take advantage of hair transplant consultations. Our research shows that 87% of UK clinics offer free consultations. So speak to multiple clinics and ask the right hair transplant consultation questions to get the information you need.
Read on below to learn more about what happens at a consultation and what questions you should ask when considering a hair transplant.
What happens at a hair transplant consultation?
The initial hair transplant consultation is a great opportunity for you, your consultant, and your surgeon to get to know each other and agree on a treatment plan for your hair loss.
As part of the consultation process, you’ll need to answer a few questions about your medical history to ensure the chosen treatment is appropriate for you. You might also need a scalp analysis to diagnose the cause of your hair loss. Our patient advisor, Matt Devlin, explains what causes male pattern baldness:
Conditions that can hair loss include:
- Male pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia)
- Female pattern baldness
- Traction alopecia
- Alopecia areata
- Stress, anxiety, and depression
- Autoimmune disorders like lupus or thyroid disorders
- Vitamin deficiencies
At the Wimpole Clinic, many of our hair loss consultants have had hair restoration procedures themselves, so they can guide you through the process based on both professional and personal experience. Marie Royce underwent an eyebrow transplant, while James Walton, our senior patient advisor, documented his own hair restoration experience in this video:
What kind of hair loss treatments will the doctor recommend?
The type of hair loss treatment recommended for a patient will depend on many factors, including the:
- Cause of hair loss
- The extent of your hair loss
- Quality of the remaining hair
Non-surgical options are usually the first port of call, especially if you’re still losing hair. That’s because it’s important to slow the progression of your hair loss, even if you go on to have a surgical procedure. Commonly recommended hair loss medications include:
- Minoxidil — a topical solution suitable for men and women
- Finasteride — this is available as oral medication and as topical Finasteride (though the topical solution is only available off-label, as it’s not approved for general use)
- Dutasteride — this is usually only recommended for patients who have already tried other hair loss medications.
If you’re interested in a surgical procedure, the consultant will assess you to find out if you’re a good candidate for a hair transplant. If you’re suitable, you can choose from the two most popular surgical options:
Your consultant will talk you through the difference between FUE and FUT to help you choose the most appropriate treatment.
What should I ask my doctor at a hair transplant consultation?
Here are the questions you should ask when speaking to any hair loss clinic.
1. Does my surgeon specialise in my type of hair loss?
Find out about the qualifications and experience of your surgical team. Knowing they’ve performed hundreds or even thousands of procedures like yours before gives you confidence in their skill and ability to create a natural-looking hairline for you.
Read hair transplant reviews and browse the before and after hair transplant photos to see how your surgeon has helped previous patients.
The clinic you choose should be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). You can also find out if the surgeon is registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) or another recognised medical body (such as a Fellowship/Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons).
This is especially important if they don’t have a visible surgeon on their website, or the surgeon’s qualifications aren’t listed. You should never turn up at the clinic on the day of surgery without knowing who’s going to perform your procedure.
2. What kind of results can I expect based on my hair loss?
As part of the consultation process, your hair transplant surgeon will create a personalised treatment plan tailored to your needs and condition. A good surgeon will manage your expectations depending on the extent of your current hair loss. Ask them to show you pictures of expected outcomes for patients with hair loss similar to yours on the Norwood Scale.
A prerequisite for a hair transplant is having enough hair follicles in the donor area to cover the number of hair grafts you need. If your donor area has been overharvested, your potential results may be limited. Overharvesting is more common in overseas clinics, where it’s unlikely they’ll see the patient again.
That’s why it’s important to choose a surgeon who has a good understanding of donor area management. A good surgeon will plan for the possibility that you might need a second hair transplant in the future.
3. Are there any challenges specific to my hair?
Hair restoration surgery is available to people with most hair types, including:
But there are some challenges unique to these hair types that surgeons should be familiar with. Ask your surgeon for more information about how they tackle these challenges to make sure your hair looks full and natural.
4. What kind of density can I expect?
This is an important question, particularly for those with a limited supply of hair in the donor area. Make sure to ask this if you’ve had a previous transplant, or you have extensive hair loss (Norwood stage 4 or later).
5. Can I design my own hairline?
While your surgeon will take your ideas into consideration, they’ll ultimately be the ones to design your hairline.
This is for several reasons:
- It takes special skill and years of experience to design a natural-looking, age-appropriate hairline.
- Your surgeon knows what kind of results are feasible, and can design your hairline in line with this.
- Your surgeon will design a hairline that accounts for good donor area management.
6. How safe is the procedure?
Discuss the risks associated with hair transplants with your consultant. They should be honest about the potential for side effects like swelling and scabbing. They should also tell you how to minimise the risk of hair transplant complications with good preparation and aftercare.
7. What happens if my procedure doesn’t go to plan?
All clinics should have protocols they will follow in case of hair transplant complications. While the risks are low in UK clinics, it’s important that the surgical team knows what to do in case of problems either during or after your procedure.
You can also ask what happens if your hair transplant fails and you don’t get the results you want. While there are never any guarantees with a hair transplant, many clinics will do their utmost to give you the real results you want.
8. What do I need to do in preparation for my hair transplant?
Before you undergo a hair transplant, your doctor will provide you with a list of things to do before surgery. These include:
- Avoid taking aspirin in the 7 days prior to undergoing surgery
- Avoid consumption of alcohol at least 48 hours before surgery
- Avoid strenuous exercise at least 48 hours before the procedure
- Avoid smoking and cigarette smoke at least 24 hours before surgery
- Washing your hair either in the morning or the night before the procedure
- Massaging your scalp to encourage blood circulation in the scalp
9. How soon can I return to normal life?
Most patients can return to normal life within a couple of weeks, but your surgeon may be able to give you a more precise timeline depending on your chosen procedure method and lifestyle.
It’s a good idea to mention specific lifestyle queries you might have, including:
10. How soon will I see the results?
When the transplant procedure has been completed, the grafts will be in situ and you’ll have a good idea of what your new hairline will ultimately look like. However, there’s a lot of ebb and flow in the hair transplant growth chart, including shock hair loss and delayed regrowth, so it’s a good idea to raise this with your surgeon so you know exactly what to expect.
You can also get an idea of when you’ll see results in our hair transplant timeline.
11. How much will everything cost?
As of 2023, the average cost of a hair transplant in the UK is £4,820. However, the total hair transplant cost will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- Where your clinic is based
- If you need to pay for a consultation
- How many hair grafts you will need
- The type of procedure (FUT is typically slightly more expensive than UFUE and FUE)
- Any additional hair loss treatments
Your consultant can give you a tailored quote depending on all these factors at your consultation. See our hair transplant prices for more information.
12. Will it look natural or will people be able to tell?
Once the transplant cycle is complete, the results will be natural looking with little or no scarring visible. If you were to meet someone for the first time, they would have no idea that you’d had a hair transplant.
However, while the grafts are healing, those around you may be able to see you have undergone surgery.
The site where the hair is taken from is not likely to attract any attention, particularly if you opt for an FUE hair transplant procedure.
Your hair transplant surgeon can tell you more about how natural your results will look, and what your transplant will look like in the healing stages.
What services does the Wimpole Clinic provide?
If you’re considering hair restoration treatments or surgery, get in touch with the Wimpole Clinic. We offer a free, no-obligation hair loss consultation at our nationwide clinics and Harley Street hair clinic headquarters.
Wimpole Clinic is proud to be named Hair Transplant Clinic of the Year by London and South East Prestige Awards for the past 3 years. All our medical procedures are conducted at our pristine transplant theatres using the most advanced instruments and the latest techniques.
We pride ourselves on offering the best possible customer care, including excellent post-operative care to make sure you get fantastic results.
To learn more about the services we provide, book a consultation today.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.
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