When shopping around for a hair loss treatment, hair transplant is often considered the last resort. Albeit an effective procedure, not everyone suffering from the condition would jump at the chance of surgical intervention. There are several reasons that might hold them back from going under the knife or from being a good candidate. However, a common factor that would drive most to reconsider is the cost.
While it is true that hair transplant has far improved over the years, most people think it is a solution that is only for the rich to enjoy. The treatment really does come at a dear price, but it doesn’t mean it is exclusive. To better understand the cost and how you can add into your own list of options, let’s look at the finer details. Don’t just wave it off simply because it is expensive, rather let’s try to go a little deeper. Let’s dissect the factors that contribute to its cost, the usual cost among hair transplant clinics in Australia, and what can be done to afford this procedure.
This is the first step in every surgical process and something that every potential patient must take seriously. Consultation comes at a fee and it is usually pegged at $150 in Australia. Most clinics would also refund this amount if you proceed with the surgery.
You might have also come across clinics who gives free consultations. These are also helpful avenues to be informed, however the caveat is that you may only be talking to a clinic’s hair transplant specialists, and not the doctor/surgeon themselves. There is no guarantee of an in-depth assessment but they will advise you accordingly.
Aside from research or the word of mouth, a personal consultation is your way of really sizing up a surgeon. You would want someone who understands you aesthetics and goals if you have to shell a good amount of money, right? You just don’t give someone the authority of working on your hair – which is a very limited resource – but with very little skill.
The size of the area that requires treatment is also a significant factor in the price of your procedure. Some would have more hairless areas than others, which means they need more work, hence a bigger cost. Meanwhile, for those who are still in the early stages which is evidenced by a receding hairline, they may not be advised by doctors to undergo surgery right away. Most surgeons advise them with less invasive alternatives to see if it will work, before they can finally consider surgical intervention.
There are two techniques in hair transplant, the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). These two have different levels of risks, level of difficulty, expertise, and time allocation. These will all factor into the varying costs of each technique.
FUT, also known as the strip method, is considered the traditional technique. It is more invasive since it involves a long incision across the back of your head to remove a piece of your scalp which contains the donor hairs. The cost per graft is around $7, usually for the first 500 grafts. The price decreases to up to $5.50 per graft the more coverage is needed.
FUE, on the other hand, is a relatively new approach which is less invasive. The donor grafts are removed directly from its original location using a special tool that acts like a punch. This results in a better aesthetic because you don’t have to worry about a long scar at the back of your head. This means the healing process is much faster and earlier for you. However, this also comes at a more expensive cost because it requires more skill to perform it successfully. In Australia, this would be around $12 to $18 per graft.
Eyebrow Hair Transplant
If you have sparse brows, you can fill them up through a hair transplant. This involves taking hair from another part of the body to the brow area to create the desired brow shape. The cost for this procedure is around $4,000 – $6,000. Partial eyebrow repairs may also be done, but the cost is usually advised during consultation because this will depend on the amount the surgeon decides is necessary.
Scalp Hair Restoration
There are some clinics who provide scalp hair restoration procedure, also known as a scalp reduction or alopecia reduction. Done under local anaesthetics, the bald area of the scalp at the top or crown area of the head is remove and the edges of the hair-bearing skin from both sides are sewn together. This procedure usually costs around $2,000 – $3,000. Although it is considered a hair restoration option, this procedure has several risks and some find it barbaric or disfiguring.
If you are not from Australia, you must know that a price for certain goods and services is usually topped up with GST or Goods and Services Tax. This is a broad-based tax of 10% applied on most foods, services, and other items that are sold or consumed in the country. You can see this in most Australian businesses and hair transplants are no exception.
When you inquire a clinic about the price, it is wise to ask if this is before or after GST. In this way, you don’t get surprised by your final cost, and also to prepare you budget.
How Can I Afford It?
Unfortunately, hair transplant is not covered by insurance companies. However, not all hope is lost because financing is another option. It can help you afford the surgery without having to be burdened by the one-time payment.
It works like a personal loan where you first have to know your rate before you can apply. You also have to pass the eligibility criteria set by these finance companies. There are several companies today that offer flexible loans which makes it possible for the cost of a hair transplant to be gentler on your pocket.