How Many Grafts Needed For A Good Hair Transplant?

The question of “how many grafts do I need for hair transplant” is one of the most frequently asked by patients. The most obvious answer is: the maximum number, but things are more complex than that. For example, extracting too many grafts will damage your donor area, which explains why not all patients are suitable for the operation.

As with everything in life, choices are necessary. Some of the main questions include:

  • Are you willing to let your donor area thin?
  • Should you prioritize quantity over quality? For example how much area do 2000 grafts cover?
  • Are you willing to shave your whole head for the procedure?
  • Are you willing to undergo more than one operation?
  • Do you need a second hair transplant?

5000 grafts hair transplant before and after

5000 grafts hair transplant before and after with Mcan Health

In order to navigate the uncertainties of a hair transplant, proceeding with a medical consultation with an experienced trichologist is the surest way to go.

You may benefit from our FREE online consultation services, but if you want a quick head-start, we will now get into all the inside outs of how many grafts will result in the best hair transplant.

Step by Step: What is a Graft?

Scalp landscape with graft extraction cartoon with DHI method

Graft extraction with DHI Choi pen

A graft is a single follicular unit; a group of hair follicles usually consisting of one, two, three or four hair roots. These units are collected individually from the donor areas and implanted into the balding areas.

The number of grafts is very important when it comes to the success of a hair transplant treatment. But so is the quality of the grafts, the implantation method and post-op care, including vitamin supplements, diet, hair-wash instructions, smoking habits, minoxidil/rogaine, and else.

This being clarified, we can now determine how many grafts accommodate each patient.

Measuring Degrees of Hair Loss

Norwood Hamilton hair loss stages from 2 to 6+ in cartoon drawings of a male face from the side and from the front

The famous Norwood Hamilton Scale

The number of grafts required for a transplant depends on the hair loss stage. The hair loss degree is usually measured with the famous Norwood-Hamilton scale. Patients finding themselves in Norwood 5 or above will require a big number of grafts (usually 2500+ grafts), whereas patients in Norwood 6 or beyond will require 8000+ grafts and up to 3 operations.

This solves part of the question, but WATCH OUT:

The number of transplantable grafts can greatly vary according to the surgical method!

How Many Grafts Do I Need with the Different Methods?

Doctor establishes the recipient area where grafts will be implanted

Delimiting the recipient area

There are different types of hair transplant. And each allows a certain amount of grafts to be extracted and implanted. In this blog piece, we will only focus on the latest technology techniques:

FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)

FUE Follicular unit extraction

In FUE Hair Transplantation each follicular unit is extracted one by one directly from the donor areas on the scalp (usually the back of the head between the ears).

This is the method that allows for the greatest number of grafts to be implanted. At a single sitting, the maximum number is around 5000 grafts. If more are needed, patients must undergo a second treatment 9 to 12 months after the first one. 

Sapphire Hair Transplant

Sapphire FUE blade

Sapphire Blades for an enhanced transplant

Sapphire Hair Transplantation uses the same technique as FUE with a subtle yet very significant difference: sapphire blades are used instead of steel blades. Similarly, Sapphire allows for a maximum number of grafts to be transplanted.

DHI (Direct Hair Implantation) 

DHI hair transplant procedure in 3 steps cartoon image

DHI is performed by using a special Pen, also called DHI Implanter, or CHOI Pen. There is no canal opening following this method, as extracted grafts are directly implanted into the recipient area with the use of the CHOI pen.

In a single sitting, depending on the suitability of the donor area, around 2500-3000 grafts may be implemented with DHI.

Quantity Matters: Beware of Scams

over harvested donor area

Patchy donor area due to over-harvesting for more than 5000 grafts

Most people consider “the more the merrier”, but it is not true in hair transplantation. Some hair clinics may offer you more than 5000 grafts in one sitting, but it is not realistic and is based on a false promise.

Keep This in Mind:

Trying to go over 5000 grafts may cause trauma in your donor area and you may end up losing hair in your donor area too. 

Hair Transplant Cost and Number of Grafts

At MCAN Health, we do not price patients according to the number of grafts. Why should someone who needs 4000 grafts pay more? In a way, it is like a punishment for patients with relatively big balding areas.

Secondly, this approach is open to abuse and not very transparent. We offer our patients a standard treatment cost regardless of the number of grafts. This means that our medical team extracts and implements the right number of grafts considering the severity of hair loss, the needs of the patient, and the availability of the donor area.

If you are interested in a hair transplant and want to find out the number of grafts you need, you can proceed with our free virtual hair transplant consultation and get a personalised treatment plan in less than 10 minutes!