Is a Hair Transplant Worth It?

Hmmm. This is probably top of your list of questions about having hair transplant surgery. Maybe just before or just after “how much will it hurt?” (to which the simple answer is, surprisingly, nowhere near as much you’d think).

When we think about something being ‘worth it’, especially an elective medical procedure, then we usually mean the cost and the time involved in doing it. Then maybe we think, how much will it impact on my life, what’s the recovery like, and what will the ultimate results look like? All very valid questions that you ought to be asking before committing to any procedure.

A hair transplant can be expensive, running into thousands of pounds or dollars. Plus, it’s time consuming, taking around eight hours for the procedure to be completed and up to a year for the results to fully reveal themselves. Then there’s a couple of weeks of recovery to think about, where you’d normally be advised to rest, take time off work and not do anything strenuous (which when put down in black and white, sounds heavenly!).

But having said all of that, of course, we think hair loss surgery is totally worth it. We see happy and satisfied patients all the time. However, we would only ever perform hair loss surgery on suitable candidates with a realistic chance of success. We’d always be honest; if we don’t think a hair transplant would be suitable for you, then we wouldn’t advise you to have one.

If your hair loss bothers you, zaps your self-esteem, lowers your confidence or interferes with your life in any other way, and you’re suitable for one, then a hair transplant is probably completely worth it.

Those Famous Hair Transplants

You only have to look at the sports stars and other celebrities that have had hair transplants to know how good they can look when professionally done. Perhaps the most famous hairline in the world is that of English footballer Wayne Rooney. He had a hair transplant in 2011 and took to Twitter to confirm the speculation:

Just to confirm to all my followers I have had a hair transplant. I was going bald at 25 why not. I’m delighted with the result.

And whilst we don’t think it fair that someone has to justify in public why they’ve made a decision to have a medical procedure, suddenly, and in 140 characters, he made hair transplants cool. Since then, plenty of celebs have publicly announced that they’ve had one. And it’s rumoured that British chef Gordon Ramsay, Spanish tennis legend Rafa Nadal and judge on the UK’s X Factor, Irishman Louis Walsh have all had hair surgery.

Whether they have, or they haven’t isn’t for us to say, but American model and actor Calum Best has had three hair transplants and told the UK Mail Online website that:

These procedures have completely changed my life. They have given me so much more confidence and enabled me to wear my hair just the way I like it. The fact that I still have my hair helps me to get film roles.

So whilst we might not all be top footballers, or actors auditioning for roles of hirsute men, keeping a full head of hair certainly seems to have a confidence boosting effect.

Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness is caused by an enzyme in the body, called 5-alpha reductase converting the male hormone testosterone, to another male hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. And because male baldness is linked to testosterone, it’s often joked that baldness is therefore linked to virility and ‘manliness’. This is of little comfort to men who have anxieties and low mood linked to their hair loss.

Having a hair transplant is a personal choice, and we’re here to help you make that choice. But the truth is, despite being able to answer every single other question you might have about having a hair transplant, we can’t answer the ultimate question for you – should you have one?

However, what we can do is advise you, and suggest that you think about all of the following:

  • Can you afford it – or will it get you into an unmanageable debt? We don’t all have celebrity sized pockets. A fuller hairline is one thing, but if you can’t realistically afford it, then it’s probably not a good idea. Have a hair fund instead perhaps, and put towards it each month, or if you do take out a loan or a finance agreement, make sure you can afford the monthly repayments.
  • Do your research – don’t just go for the cheapest option, go with a clinic (like ours!) with a good vibe, friendly staff and knowledgeable, experienced surgeons. You should be made to feel welcome, and that your needs and wishes are fully understood. If you choose to go abroad for a hair transplant which is often cheaper, then make sure there isn’t an unworkable language barrier.
  • Ask to see before and after photos – your chosen clinic should be willing and able to supply these so that you get a real idea of how a hair transplant could work for you. Testimonials on clinic websites can help you get a feel for the place and their procedures too.
  • Be prepared for the procedure – can you handle an eight-hour procedure during which you’re awake and feeling some level of discomfort? The best clinics will do their utmost to put you at ease and make you feel comfortable, but a hair transplant is a long process. And if you have a medical condition such as diabetes, it could be even trickier for you to deal with.
    Be prepared for the wait – consider the length of time it will take to achieve noticeable results. It could be a year before you have a result you’re fully happy with. And whilst this is an exciting time, it can feel like a long time!
  • Factor in the aftercare – you will potentially be using hair loss medications such as the daily oral tablet finasteride (Propecia) or the twice daily topical solution minoxidil (Rogaine or Regaine) to prevent the natural hair surrounding the transplanted hair from thinning and falling out. These are lifetime medications (or at least medications for as long as you want to keep your hair for). Within a few months of stopping them, your hair will begin to thin and fall out again.
  • Also factor in the possibility of further hair transplants in the future – just like with Calum Best, one hair transplant isn’t necessarily enough. You may experience a low density of hair, or your balding patch may spread (a hair transplant doesn’t stop hair loss), meaning that you may like to think about a second hair transplant.

If you’re thinking about hair loss surgery, then why not speak to the experts? Book a free online consultation or make an appointment to come and see us. A hair transplant is a personal decision and no professional hair loss clinic will try to force you into having one. But with a little help from us and by doing your research, you’ll soon know if a hair transplant is right for you.