How Many Grafts Do I Need For A Hair Transplant?

There’s no simple answer to “How many grafts do I need for a hair transplant.” Before you’re given a final estimate, there are a number of things your doctor needs to take into consideration. 

These can vary from how bald you are, how much hair you’ve left to even the type of your hair you have. Still, it’s possible to provide a general estimate of the number of grafts you need using a hair graft calculator

In this guide, however, we’ll break it down for you depending on your area of baldness and the extent of your baldness. 

Seeing as many clinics in the UK charge per graft, many patients want to know how many grafts they need for full coverage. Bigger numbers mean bigger bills. Although, some clinics also try to trick their patients with the idea of hair grafts. 

What Are Hair Grafts? 

A hair graft is a cluster of 1-5 hairs with sebaceous glands and arrector pili muscle (that makes your hair stand up). This is also known as a follicular unit.

Follicular units
Hair grafts contain single hair strands, which are also called follicles. They come together to make a unit.

Here, it’s important to understand the distinction between a hair graft and a hair. The hair graft is the unit or grouping of hair. While the individual hair strands within the hair graft are the hair. 

On average, each hair graft has about 2 strands of hair. So, when someone tells you that you need 500 grafts, it doesn’t mean that you’ll get 500 hairs as well. The number of transplanted hairs is greater than the number of grafts. 

Now, here’s the trick: some clinics might quote you the price based on the number of hairs rather than grafts. 

That’s because it’ll have a bigger number. And that’s one way clinics try to justify the inflated costs of their procedures. So, before you have a hair transplant, make sure to be clear on this. 

Additionally, you should keep in mind that getting more grafts isn’t always better. There’s only a limited supply of it (from the back and sides of your scalp) in the first place. 

If too many of them are extracted, it’ll leave permanent bald patches in your donor area. And if too many grafts are packed closer together, it can even cause scalp necrosis.

Safe Donor Area
40-50% of the grafts can be safely extracted from the donor area

Moreover, if too many incisions are made in a small area, any existing hair in it might also end up falling out. So, while it’s important to know how many grafts you need, you should also be more realistic about it. 

How Many Grafts Of Hair Do I Need Based On The Norwood Scale? 

A Norwood scale is a helpful tool for measuring the extent of hair loss in male pattern baldness.

A classification Norwood scale

Since many doctors use this tool, it can be helpful to get an estimate of the number of hair grafts you might need for your hair transplant. 

Norwood Scale Affected Area(s)Number of Grafts Needed Number of Hairs
Norwood 1None None None 
Norwood 2Temples 500-800 grafts1,000-1,600 hairs
Norwood 2aFront centre 500-800 grafts1,000-1,600 hairs
Norwood 3Front and temples 1,000-1,600 grafts2,000-3,200 hairs
Norwood 3 vertexFront, temples and crown  1,500-2,500 grafts3,000-5,000 hairs
Norwood 3a Front and temples 1,500-2,000 grafts 3,000-4,000 hairs 
Norwood 4Front, temples and crown 2,000-3,000 grafts 4,000-6,000 hairs 
Norwood 4a Front and temples 2,000-3,000 grafts4,000-6,000 hairs 
Norwood 5Front, temples and crown3,000-3,500 grafts6,000-7,000 hairs 
Norwood 5aFront, temples and crown 3,000-5,000 grafts 6,000-10,000 hairs 
Norwood 6Front, temples and crown 3,200-4,000 grafts 6,400-8,000 hairs 
Norwood 7Front, temples, top, and crown 4,000-5,500+ grafts 8,000-11,000+ hairs 

It’s very important to keep in mind that these are just estimates. The actual number of grafts you need can vary depending on your individual case. 

There are some people who may only need 500 grafts, while there are others who might need even 6,000 hair grafts. 

If it’s the latter, the surgery will be broken into two sessions, so you’ll have to come back for a second hair transplant

But only your surgeon can give you an accurate estimate of the final number of hair grafts. 

How Many Hair Grafts Do I Need Based On The Ludwig Scale? 

Ludwig scale is a tool developed for measuring the extent of hair loss in women. Using a graft calculator, this scale can also provide estimates of the number of grafts needed.

Ludwig scale
Ludwig Scale
Ludwig Scale Affected Area(s)Number of Grafts Number of Hairs
Ludwig scale 1 Top and crown 500-1,000 grafts1,000-2,000 hairs 
Ludwig scale 2Top and crown 1,200-2,500 grafts 2,400-5,000 hairs 
Ludwig scale 3 Top and crown 2,000-3,500+4,000-7,000+ hairs 

Bear in mind, however, this scale is only applicable to women who lose hair in the pattern described by it, so it might not always be accurate. 

How Many Grafts Do I Need By Hair Transplant Area? 

A hair transplant can require a different number of grafts depending on the area being transplanted.

Hair loss zones

The following are only general estimates of how many grafts you might need. 

How Many Grafts Do I Need For A Crown? 

For full coverage in the crown area, you might need 700 to 2,500 hair grafts.

Crown hair grafts
Since this crown area is small, the graft calculator estimates about 600 grafts.

But this estimate can change depending on the size of the balding crown area and the extent of hair loss. If you want more coverage, you’ll need more grafts for a crown hair transplant

How Many Grafts Do I Need For A Hairline? 

For a hairline transplant surgery, you might only need around 500-1,500 hair grafts.

Hairline grafts
Mainly the temples of this patient had receded with some thinning at the centre. Based on that, the graft calculator estimates 1000-1500 grafts.

However, of course, it can vary depending on how much your hairline has receded and if there’s any hair left. 

How Many Grafts Do I Need For Beard? 

A beard transplant may need 2,000 to 5,000 hair grafts. It mainly depends on the area you want to be covered and how much hair you already have.

Beard hair grafts

Since a beard transplant can require a significant number of grafts, you might have to trade it off for a scalp transplant (if you need one). 

That’s because there might not be enough donor area for both of them. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which area you want covered more. 

How Many Grafts Do I Need For A Moustache?

You’d only need about 500 to 700 grafts for a moustache hair transplant. It’s a small area, so it can be covered quite easily. 

How Many Grafts Do I Need For An Eyebrow? 

For an eyebrow hair transplant, you’d need 200 to 400 for each eyebrow. So, if you want to restore both your eyebrows, you might need 400 to 800 grafts.

Eyebrow hair grafts

How Many Grafts Do I Need For An Eyelash? 

If you’re getting an eyelash transplant, you might only need 45-50 grafts for each eyelid. They might be enough to give you thick, full lashes. 

What Factors Determine How Many FUE Grafts Do I Need? 

The number of hair grafts you need for your hair transplant depends on the:

  • Health of your donor area
  • Size of your balding area 
  • Desired hair density

Your hair type also matters. Say if you have thick curly hair, it will provide more coverage to your scalp than if you have thin straight hair. 

The final number of grafts will be determined by multiplying the size of your balding area by the number of grafts per cm2

Conclusion 

So, now that you know what grafts are and how they’re distributed, you might have an answer to “How do I know how many grafts I need.” And if you’re still not sure, a hair graft calculator will make things easier for you. 

Although, in any case, remember that these are just estimates. The total number of grafts you actually need will only be determined by your surgeon after they’ve examined your scalp. 

If you require a large number of grafts, you can consider choosing a clinic in which the maximum number of grafts are offered. That way, you won’t have to worry about a bigger price tag at every turn. 

With Longevita, you can get the maximum number of grafts in your treatment plan, no matter how large the size of your balding area is. 

Reviewed and Approved by Trichologist Yaprak Yazan

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