To restore hair loss, there are a variety of surgical and non-surgical methods used around the world today. There are different strategies for combatting the different types and different stages of baldness–and, consequently, there are different price points to expect within each method of treatment or management.
The first method for treating early signs of hair loss is the use of medicated treatments, which may be able to reverse or at least slow down the damage. This type of approach tends to be dramatically less expensive than alternative routes, but medication won’t work for everyone. When searching for what product is right for you, beware of fraudulent claims and contact a medical professional whenever you are in doubt.
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter drug that has been clinically proven to effectively prevent hair loss and promote hair regrowth for both men and women who suffer from androgenic alopecia, the medical term for pattern baldness. Sufferers must use the drug indefinitely to keep the existing follicles and maintain the regrown hairs. Marketed under the brand name Rogaine, the treatment can be purchased from a wide-variety of local drugstores with a three-month supply coming in at around $50 and the generic versions discounted below that.
Finasteride is a prescription medicine branded as Proscar (5 mg) and Propecia (1 mg), which can help treat male pattern baldness by minimizing hair loss and fostering favorable conditions for regrowth. Co-pays will vary by insurance, but you can expect to pay somewhere around $90 for a month’s worth of Propecia tablets and under that for a generic version. If men stop taking the drug, the benefits gained through the treatments will be lost within six to twelve months.
Corticosteroids can be used for those suffering from spot baldness, medically known as alopecia areata. Patients can receive monthly injections for a set period of time as worked out by the medical professional overseeing the situation. The shots may be partially covered by insurances or may cost around $200 per injection without.
Transplantations & Extractions
Hair transplant surgeries can benefit multiple types of clinical alopecia as well as the kind of hair loss that can come from trauma and burns. Many doctors’ offices offer a free consultation for evaluating your specific hair loss circumstances and discussing what options may be right for you. During this initial consultation, you should also seek to know all of the risks associated with the kind of procedures you’re looking into including bleeding and infection. Because these surgeries are expensive and rarely covered by insurance, you may be able to take advantage of long-term financing options provided by the medical office itself if payment is a primary concern for you.
Follicular Unit Transplantation
Follicular Unit Transplantation, also referred to as Strip Excision, is a common method for restoring hair loss. A small strip of skin and hair follicles is removed from a donor section of your head, generally from the back where hair is still thicker and fuller. The surrounding area is stitched back up and the removed strip is then separated by follicular units containing one to four follicles. These follicular units are then transplanted to the areas of your scalp in need. The cost for this kind of surgery varies from surgeon to surgeon, but many doctors charge a per-follicular-unit charge of $4 to $6. Depending on the amount of hair you want restored, you may be interested in a procedure involving anywhere from 500 to 4,000 units transplanted.
Follicular Unit Extraction
Follicular Unit Extraction differs from transplantation in that no strip of hair is excised. With extraction, individual follicular units are removed from various parts of the dense sections of your hair and then the units are implanted where needed. This type of surgery is often more time-consuming than the strip transplantation and the cost per units extracted is often higher, ranging from around $7 to $12. Unlike with strip excision which may leave scarring, unit extraction should leave no visible signs of having the procedure done.
Additional Medical Procedures
When taking hair loss medications or looking to get a hair transplant surgery, additional tools and procedures can be used to camouflage your concerns and leave your head with more natural-looking results.
Micro-Needling is a therapy treatment that can be done to help restore hair. With the use of systematically-placed needles on a roller tool, you can perform the technique right at home to help stimulate hair growth. This type of therapy can be used in conjunction with a medication like Minoxidil for best results. Prices vary, but you can pick up a Derma Roller Skin Care System for around $20.
Hairline Lowering & Scalp Reduction
Hairline Lowering and Scalp Reduction can counteract a recessed hairline by minimizing the balding areas yet preserving an authentically-natural look. As a procedure by itself or in addition to performing a hair transplant, doctors can stretch and then surgically remove portions of the hairless skin to improve the overall appearance of the head. The naturally-occurring or transplanted hair will ideally continue to grow around this new hairline and hide the visibility of any scarring.
If additional hair loss and thinning happens down the road, however, the scar may become less and less disguised. As a transplant add-on feature, the pricing of this extra service is dependent on the way your surgeon packages multiple procedures, but patients only interested in hairline lowering can expect to pay around $7,000 to 8,000 for the operation.
Because hair transplant surgeries require the use of one’s existing hair, such operations aren’t feasible for patients in the most severe stages of hair loss. These limitations and other factors have inspired scientists and medical professionals to continue in the search for better and more far-reaching alternatives.
Stem cell therapies and low-level laser therapies are two of the hair restoration methods currently being explored, but finetuning the details and providing clinical evidence of efficacy is challenging. As the research and understanding evolves, new and less expensive solutions may solve hair-related problems we presently can’t treat. If you feel discouraged by your present situation, don’t give up hope–just stay tuned.