Joe Buck’s Hair Transplant

Joe Buck is a man who is more often heard than seen. Having called the NFL and MLB for FOX for more than 20 years, he is considered a staple in the world of sports broadcasting. But again, even though it’s the almost laid-back voice of his that he’s known for, he’s made quite a few headlines about his hair as well.

The announcer has been pretty vocal about getting a hair transplant, going into a lot of the details in his memoir. But what might surprise many people (it definitely surprised us) is the sheer number of hair transplants he’s had. The curious thing is that hair transplants are supposed to be permanent, so why would Joe need this surgery so many times?

In this blog, we’ll do a deep dive into Joe Buck’s hair transplant and let you know what might have made it possible for him to have this surgery multiple times (because it’s not always the case). But before that, we believe a brief introduction is in order.

Who Is Joe Buck?

Born on 25th April in 1969, Joseph “Joe” Francis Buck, is the son of one of America’s most beloved and legendary broadcasters, Jack Buck – the only father-son duo to both have called the Super Bowl.

While he became more widely known after his NFL debut in 1994, he actually started following in his father’s footsteps back in 1989 while still studying English and Telecommunications at Indiana University.

Joe started his career as a play-by-play announcer for an affiliate of the Cardinals, his father himself was considered the “Voice of the Cardinals.”

However, after he joined FOX for the 1994-1995 season, he remained with the network for 20 whole years. Both he and Troy Aikman are the “longest-tenured broadcast crew” in the entire history of the NFL, as reported by AP.

But besides football, he’s also called baseball and golf U.S. Opens. Like his father, he was also inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2022. Having closed his chapter with FOX, he’s since become a play-by-play announcer for Monday Night Football on ESPN.

When Did Joe Buck Have A Hair Transplant?

According to Joe himself, he had his first hair transplant in 1993 when he was just 24 years old. After that, however, it’s hard to keep track of the eight other hair transplants that he had.

Joe probably started losing his hair as a result of androgenetic alopecia or pattern baldness. It happens due to a combination of genetics (Joe’s father was also bald at the top and front) and hormones.

Specifically, it’s a byproduct of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone that results in the miniaturisation (shrinking) of hair follicles, resulting in thinning and balding.

Testosterone to DHT

Starting in 1989, when he was just 20, Joe’s temples had already started to look a bit receded. Buck himself said, “Broadcasting is a brutal, often unfair business, where looks are valued more than skill,” so he might’ve felt pressured into getting this surgery.

As of 1994, his hair had some fullness (transplants can take one year to show full results), but the results didn’t last long. By 1995, he’d started to thin again.

Things remained much the same for a few years until around the year 2000, there was some visible “plugginess” to his front hair – a telltale sign of transplant back then because the old techniques weren’t so refined as today. His hairline also looks a bit unnaturally drawn.

By the next year, however, his hair had again thinned out quite significantly. And then it again made a comeback by 2004, but it had, unfortunately, thinned again by 2006. So, a 3rd hair transplant might’ve happened sometime before.

Joe Buck's hair in 2006
Joe Buck’s hair in 2006/MonowiJoe BuckCC BY-SA 3.0

Not surprisingly, Joe’s hair had again come back in 2007 and this time, his hairline looked much better drawn out and the hair also seemed to have more volume to it. And that might’ve been his fourth hair transplant.

Around the time his show “Joe Buck Live” came out in 2009, hair loss struggles seemed to have plagued him yet again, which might’ve led him to get his fifth or even sixth hair transplant. It’s not exactly clear from his photos.

Joe Bucks hair in 2009
Joe Buck’s hairline in 2009/The Official White House PhotostreamBuck McCarver Obama All-Star Game 2009, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

Most probably, he had another one as well because, by 2011, he had his 8th surgery, a number he mentioned in his memoir. And it was also the same surgery during which a general anaesthesia complication damaged his vocal cord.

Here, it should be noted that a hair transplant should be done under local anaesthesia because you have to change positions during surgery. Local is also safer. It’s not recommended for the patients to have general anaesthesia for a 6-8-hour surgery.

More recently, just in 2022, Joe had his 9th hair transplant, and it should be noted that it was all revealed by Joe himself – first in his own memoir, then interviews and Instagram. He has called himself a “hair-plug addict.”

Joe Buck hair transplant
Source: joebuck/Instagram

But we can only speculate on the timing of these procedures. According to Joe, he timed it whenever “he had a break in his schedule,” and that would be “the end of the NFL season and the start of baseball.”

How Many Hair Transplants Did Joe Buck Have?

As of 2022, Joe Buck’s had nine hair transplants in total. It’s not usual for people to be able to have this surgery 9 times, and the main reason behind it is that a hair transplant uses your own hair at the back and the sides.

It’s called the donor area, and the hair is extracted from there and transplanted into the bald spots. Once a hair graft is extracted, a new one doesn’t grow in its place.

Hair grafts

According to a study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 6,000 grafts can be extracted from the donor area. But this number can be bigger if you have denser hair.

Joe might’ve been lucky in having denser hair at the back. Because the donor area can be exhausted after 9 surgeries. With no new hair to replace the old one, you can end up with bald patches at the back if too many grafts are harvested.

It’s also possible that Joe’s surgeon took grafts from other parts of the body. For instance, beard is a popular donor area but body hair transplants have their problems. His surgeons might’ve also recommended Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) over Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE Hair Transplant) at times because it might’ve ensured a better graft yield.

As to why Joe needed 9 surgeries, he might’ve been getting smaller sessions of hair transplants for every area that was balding or even thinning. He said, “I would tell myself I needed to look younger, I needed to have thicker hair, I don’t want to look older than I am.”

Old techniques were also not that great when it came to results, which might’ve made him want to have more and more procedures. Also, if Joe Buck had a hair transplant using body hair as a donor area, that might’ve also led him to have poor results because the success rate of a body hair transplant can be low.

How Many Hair Grafts Did Joe Buck Need?

While we can’t exactly calculate the number of hair grafts that Joe Buck needed, it has to be somewhere in the thousands. In many of his photos, it almost looked like he was on Stage 4-5 on the Norwood Scale, so he might’ve needed up to 5,000 grafts or even more to improve the density.

Norwood scale

Keep in mind though that the number of grafts needed varies between patients as it depends on the size of the balding area, hair type, strength of your donor area, and even your desired results.

Joe Buck Hair Transplant Before After

Here’s a before and after of Joe Buck’s hair transplant.

Joe Buck hair
(L) Joe Buck 2017, Source: joebuck/Instagram & (R) FOX Sports, Joe Buck 2018 PIT (cropped)CC BY 3.0


Joe Buck’s hair transplant journey is quite interesting, to say the least. You’ll very rarely hear someone tell you that they’ve had not one or two but nine hair transplants. And he started getting these procedures in the 90s while still in his early 20s.

Needless to say, it can be prohibitively expensive to get these many surgeries. Joe was having them in New York, where celebrity clinics might charge $20,000 or even more.

Thankfully, the newer techniques can give you very natural-looking results, provided you find the right surgeon. You can also get a hair transplant in Turkey to save costs, as the average price of a transplant there is about $2,000.

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