California has more cosmetic surgeons and higher demand for cosmetic surgery than any other state in the U.S. . This shouldn’t come as a surprise as the city of Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood, where there’s enormous pressure to conform to celebrity beauty standards.
As a result, LA is also one of the most popular cities in the U.S. for hair restoration surgery. In fact, the United States is also one of the best countries for hair transplants, too. Nearly half of all LA hair restoration clinics (48%) are based in Beverly Hills, one of the most desirable areas in the city.
Many celebrities have alopecia and Hollywood stalwarts like John Travolta and Mel Gibson have been rumoured to have had hair transplants in recent years to help restore their hair loss. Hair restoration procedures aren’t just for movie stars and musicians though. In 2021, almost 150,000 hair transplants were performed in the U.S. and Canada .
But does the cost of getting a hair transplant in Los Angeles price non-celebrities out of the market, forcing normal individuals to turn to medical tourism for their hair loss in countries with lower safety standards? Furthermore, are all LA-based clinics worth the money?
As part of our series of studies into hair transplant costs around the world, we’ve surveyed 42 LA hair restoration clinics to find out how much it costs to get hair restoration treatment in the home of the rich and famous.
We requested hair transplant quotes from 42 LA clinics, using the same photos and asking for the same desired result. Here’s what our research shows:
Beverly Hills is famous as the home of the Hollywood elite. It’s also the most prestigious medical district in Los Angeles. Like London’s Harley Street, Beverly Hills is where many of the best hair transplant surgeons operate.
Since surgeons here tend to be highly experienced, and based in an expensive part of the city, prices are a little higher than elsewhere in the country. This phenomenon is similar to the slight premium you pay at a Harley Street hair transplant clinic in London.
The average price for a 2,000 graft hair transplant at a Beverly Hills clinic is $11,590, or £9,200. For the same procedure at a Harley Street clinic, you’ll pay around £5,692 ($7,166). Therefore a Beverly Hills hair transplant is 62% more expensive than those on Harley Street.
The LA hair transplant cost average was brought down significantly by a clinic that charged just $3.50 (£2.78) per graft. This is substantially less than every other clinic. Notably, this clinic didn’t advertise a surgeon on their website. This should ring alarm bells for any prospective hair transplant patient.
It’s important to avoid websites that don’t list a surgeon on their website. Thanks to the booming popularity of hair restoration surgery, there are more clinics cropping up that don’t always have the right credentials to perform FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and FUT (Follcular Unit Transplantation) procedures. This often includes not listing a surgeon, making it impossible for patients to know exactly who will perform their procedure.
14.3% of the clinics we surveyed didn’t list a surgeon on their website. When we removed these clinics from our results, the average graft recommendation for our mystery shopper fell from 2,120 grafts to 1,815 grafts.
As in the UK, affiliate hair restoration clinics in Los Angeles (which typically don’t advertise a surgeon) often inflate how many grafts are needed. This allows them to charge more and cover their referral fee.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only change we saw when we removed these affiliate sites from our dataset. The average price-per-graft decreased by almost 50%, while the surgical experience was inflated to entice more people to choose these cut-rate clinics. Furthermore, because the surgeon’s name is hidden, it’s impossible to verify their actual experience.
When you don’t know who your surgeon will be, you’re taking a big risk on safety and surgery success. Reading reviews for the clinic can give you a false sense of security. However, the surgeon may change often, so while some people may see good results, there’s no guarantee that you’ll achieve the same.
Many established LA clinics have outdated websites. This suggests that word-of-mouth is the most common way for reputable clinics to find new patients. Meanwhile, the internet is the best place for rookie clinics to find clients, thanks to the ease and affordability of setting up a flashy new website. Websites without surgeons seem to rank better on Google, so they’re easier for patients to find online .
There are many risks associated with affiliate hair transplant clinics, from misdiagnosis to invalidating insurance . That’s why prospective patients must know the signs of black market hair transplant clinics operating in LA.
Most clinics in the U.S. operate in a safe way, adhering to strict safety laws and using approved modern techniques. However, when clinics hide vital information, such as who your surgeon will be, it should make prospective patients think twice about working with them.
In 2021, 96.4% of ISHRS hair transplant surgeons reported that up to a quarter of the hair transplant repairs were due to a previous black market procedure . These surgeries are performed by unlicensed surgeons who often don’t have the qualifications or experience to successfully and safely perform invasive hair transplant procedures. As a result, they often result in hair transplants going wrong.
According to the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, unlicensed technicians put patients at risk of misdiagnosis along with the performance of unnecessary or ill-advised surgery. Complications or poor results may also not be covered by malpractice insurance, so it’s essential to avoid these black market clinics at all costs .
While most black market hair transplant procedures take place abroad, where medical safety laws aren’t always followed to the letter, it’s important to be aware of the risks of unlicensed clinics and surgeons. Knowing exactly who will perform your surgery can help you choose a safe, licensed clinic where you’ll get the results you deserve.
Los Angeles is home to some of the best hair transplant surgeons in the world. When you visit a fully licensed clinic with an experienced surgeon, you’re sure to get fantastic results.
Our research shows that it’s generally far more expensive to get a hair transplant in LA than on Harley Street. Plus, most UK clinics offer a free consultation, so you can meet the team before any money changes hands. If you’re considering heading to the U.S. for your hair transplant, compare prices with hair transplant clinics here in the UK to see which hair transplant options are the most cost-effective.
Take a look at our UK hair transplant cost analysis to find out how much you can pay for a hair transplant on Harley Street and around the UK.
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