Hair Transplant Cost
I have worked as a patient educator since 2011, but I have been researching hair transplants since the early 90's when I started to lose my hair. I remember seeing an ad I had done for Christian Dior suits and seeing thinning in my crown. I was terrified. I was getting some work as a model but wanted to act. My appearance was my livelihood. Back then men didn't shave their head as they do now. I felt so cheated. I spent so much time working out and staying in shape. Losing my hair was devastating. Back then you would see a pluggy transplant every now and then. Going bald or receiving a pluggy transplant was not an option. I found a doctor that was doing great work, met his patients and examined his work before I paid $26.00 per graft. That was in 1996 and since then I have spent almost $30,000 on my hair and have not regretted a penny. The hair from my procedures and treatments has given me the satisfaction of knowing I was addressing an issue that bothered me and a confidence that helped in my professional and private life.
That is my story, and I am not writing this to say everyone should spend money to restore their hair. Patients ask me all the time "is it worth it?" I always respond by saying "it depends on how much it bothers you." I wish to educate men and women about hair loss to help them make an informed decision. There are enough individuals with hair loss that many of them will decide on their own to have a procedure without me trying to hard sell them. My decisions regarding my own hair loss were my answer and not right for everyone. I want every patient to decide for themselves what treatment is best whether it be surgery, ongoing treatments like minoxidil, finasteride, laser therapy or shaving their head.
In the spirit of educating patients, I want to emphasize what I have witnessed and learned in my research. There are a few variables that should be considered when researching the cost of a hair transplant procedure. First and foremost this is your hair, your head and your appearance. Think about what that is worth to you. It is permanent. If you have a great hair transplant you will have it for the rest of your life. Longer than the car you are driving and maybe longer than that significant other that's in the other room. When it comes to something permanent, I don't think it is wise to contract it out to the lowest bidder. If you are happy to shave your head, that is a great option. If you want a cheaper option, minoxidil and finasteride has gotten so cheap and has worked for many patients for many years. If those options are not for you and you have decided to have hair restoration surgery, please consider the importance of finding a physician that has experience, multiple pictures with consistent results. Usually, these doctors are not the most inexpensive, but I feel that patients who feel they are ready for a transplant - but not ready to spend the money to do it right - are not truly ready to have a procedure.
Regardless of the price per graft, you cannot put a price on the stress of being unhappy with your appearance. Over the years I have had four procedures with three different doctors. I feel that all of them did a great job. The doctor who performed my procedure in ‘96, regardless of the current technology, gave me great, natural results. The same was true with the doctors that did my surgeries in 2001, 2005 and 2011. All of these doctors had one thing in common - they were not cheap. As a someone pursuing work in the entertainment industry, I would not even consider having a cheap hair transplant. I've learned there are many doctors who can provide patients with a natural hairline and density that can make them feel good about their appearance as well as conquering their hair loss issue.
I am proud to be working for one of those doctors. Dr. Bernardino Arocha is not only a great physician who has performed more than 7,000 procedures, but he is also an artist. His office in Houston is a three-story building that was previously inhabited by the architectural firm that designed it. Dr.Arocha has filled the clinic with the art that he loves. For six years he served on the advisory board of The University of Houston Blafford Museum. For eight years he served on the board of the Houston Contemporary Art Museum. For 16 years he has served on the Houston Museum of Fine Arts Latin American subcommittee. Dr. Arocha considers each procedure as a work of art where the goal is to create results as natural as nature itself. He often refers to the patient’s head as the "canvas" and the donor area as "the paint he has to work with." All throughout history, people have commissioned artists to paint their murals, ceilings or portraits. It's only logical that the one who recreates your hairline be no less artistic than the person you would hire to paint your portrait.
My advice to anyone who is unhappy with their hair loss and considering hair restoration surgery. Choose your surgeon as you would an artist who you are hiring to create something that everyone will see for the rest of your life. This is what everyone should consider when evaluating the cost.
- Marc Bossley, Arocha Hair Restoration Consultant