Since hair transplant costs are often priced by grafts, it is no wonder that those who consider a hair transplant would like to know how many grafts they will need. The amount of grafts needed will depend on a variety of different factors, including the degree of hair loss and how much density or coverage is desired.
The number of grafts needed also depends on what will make the client feel satisfied. An older man who has been bald for a long time might be pleased with a small amount of coverage, while a younger man, who clearly remembers what his full head of hair looked like, might demand more hair. In this case, the older man would need a smaller number of grafts, while the younger man would need a larger amount.
The many other factors that will influence the number of grafts needed include where the client wants the hair, how much density and coverage is desired, and the quality of the hair. A client with thick hair of good quality may not need as many grafts as someone with thin, brittle hair.
While every case is unique and it is hard to give an exact number, a typical hair transplant will require anywhere from 1000-5000 grafts. It is possible to have fewer grafts, but complete coverage may not be achievable with a graft number lower than 1000. In addition, a client who desires 5000 or more grafts would need an excellent donor supply. A client may not be able to have as many grafts as he or she desires, because there may not be enough hair to serve as donor supply.
Understanding the Hamilton Norwood scale can give a brief estimate of how many grafts are needed for a hair transplant. Though a doctor cannot say the exact number of grafts needed without seeing the client, the following numbers can give an overall estimate. For example, a client in stage 2 might need about 1500-2000 grafts while someone in stage 7 could need as many as 4000-5000 grafts. Those in stage 3, 4, 5 and 6 will land somewhere in the middle with approximately 2500-3500 grafts. Another way of calculating the approximate number of grafts needed is by taking the scale number and multiplying it by 1000-1500 grafts. That means someone in scale 2 would need 2000-3000 grafts.
After a thorough consultation, the hair transplant doctor will be able to recommend the number of grafts needed, not only for the first procedure, but also for potential subsequent sessions. However, a doctor should not use more grafts than what is actually needed, as enough hair should be saved for future hair transplants. In other words, even if the client has a good donor supply, not all of it should be used. With any type of hair transplant is it wise to have realistic expectations, as a having a full head of hair may not always be possible.