Why A Hair Transplant Doesn’t Come Cheap?
It’s normal to dread the imminent threat of baldness once you notice that you are losing your hair progressively. While there are different ways to address the problem, a hair transplant remains to be the desired route if you wish to achieve long-lasting results. However, the truth is that hair transplants come at a cost.
As a significant factor in your decision-making process, we will help you understand why each hair transplant technique costs the way it does. It should help you make an informed decision should you go for surgical intervention.
Hair Transplant Types: FUT and FUE
Surgical hair restoration has been in practice for decades. It initially produced lackluster results that went on for years, but with constant refinement, hair transplant techniques have evolved into a sophisticated process that creates a natural-looking outcome.
To achieve this feat, hair transplant surgeons used two primary techniques – the FUT and FUE. For you to understand the cost behind each session, we must look at the extent of the work that goes into each process.
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation)
Hair naturally grows in groups of 1-4 individual follicles separated by soft tissues. These groups of hairs are called follicular units. In FUT, these units are microscopically dissected to separate and prepare them for transplantation in a manner that closely resembles the patient’s natural hair distribution.
What distinguishes FUT from other methods is the process of harvesting donor grafts. FUT removes a piece of scalp taken from the central portion of the back of the head. This area is resistant or less susceptible to hair loss. The nature of this process is the reason why it is popularly called “the strip method.”
It allows the surgeon to focus on a donor area that yields viable grafts. This technique also leaves the donor area amenable to another extraction in the future, if needed.
The central attribute of this approach is the provision of natural-looking hairlines with reasonable density and low chances of resection or graft damage. However, the technique is only as effective as the skills and forethought of the surgeon.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)
Since the main drawback of FUT is its invasive nature, FUE comes in as a less invasive alternative.The strip of skin removed in FUT leaves behind a linear scar that may not sit well with some patients. Having this scar gives away the discretion most patients wish to maintain.
The FUE technique spares you from the discomfort of a linear scar because the extraction process is done directly on the donor areas of the head, one by one. The process allows the surgeon to cherry-pick the grafts.
Without the need for an excision, this means that patients can wear their hair short because scarring will be minimal and inconspicuous. Adding to that, FUE has a significantly shorter downtime.
However, the harvesting process, which is the major selling point of FUE, also makes follicular units vulnerable to resection. Specific skills and expertise are necessary for successful execution.
Regardless of which technique is in use, you are expected to pay for each implanted graft. The price will vary based on the harvesting approach and the total amount of grafts needed.
One session would often require an average of 2,000 grafts with an average price of S$5-S$10 per graft, depending on the shaving methods. If the amount needed is below 1,500 grafts, the price for each graft would increase between S$6-S$7.
As mentioned, FUE requires a certain level of skill to achieve the desired aesthetic outcome without compromising donor grafts and their surrounding hairs. Therefore, it also follows that due to the complexity of an FUE procedure, it is expectedly pricier than FUT.
In Singapore, FUE hair transplant sessions typically range between S$7,000-S$15,000, and the strip technique cost about 15% less.
Looking closely at this option, we can understand why patients hold a particular interest in FUE – and that is for its aesthetic value. As the technique evolved, other methods emerged to improve the experience and the outcome.
While it remains to be a less invasive option, one distinct feature about FUE is the requirement of a fully shaved head for the procedure. It can be an inconvenience for patients because the small circular scars will be visible during the initial stages of healing.
Two other FUE techniques have emerged to address visible scarring – the Partially Shaven and None-Shaved technique. In a partially shaved approach, only the donor area gets a cut, so that any scarring can be easily concealed by the hairs on the top and below it. The None-Shaved technique takes it even further because it doesn’t involve any shaving at all. Only the chosen donor grafts get trimmed so that there is no significant change to the area even after surgery is complete.
Among the three, the None-Shaved is a pricier option because of the level of difficulty and skill required to pull it off. Few clinics in Singapore use this technique.
Price Is Relative
Cost is always a major determining factor as to whether a patient will undergo a hair transplant or not. However, one can quickly get frustrated while scouring the web because this won’t lead you to a definitive answer – an actual quotation.
The only way to get one is through an in-person consultation. A hair transplant surgeon must first assess the extent of your hair loss and your desired outcome. Your age, sex, and amount of viable donor grafts are essential considerations. These factors can help doctors arrive at an accurate quotation based on the approach that you prefer.
Patients should also steer clear from packages that offer a fixed amount of grafts at a lower price. These arrangements provide no guarantee for the aesthetic quality you seek.
Why A Hair Transplant Doesn’t Come Cheap
Although it is minimally invasive compared to other elective procedures, a hair transplant also demands a certain level of expertise.
In Singapore, hair transplant doctors must fulfill specific criteria issued by the Singapore Aesthetic Practice Oversight Committee (APOC). These serve to safeguard the quality of hair transplant services in the country. So, when you go for a consultation, make it a point to ask if your hair doctor is APOC-approved.
Since the process is not just merely transplanting hairs and arranging them on a whim, it means that the level of expertise to achieve natural-looking results will come at a price. However, when you make an effort to prepare for it thoroughly, you can make it worth every penny!
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To know how much your hair transplant journey will cost you, book your consultation with Dr. Tyng Tan today.
About Dr Tyng Tan
Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan, MBBS completed her graduate and medical education in the United Kingdom over a span of 10 years.