Hair Transplants and Hair Plugs – Knowing the Difference

Looking our best boosts our self-confidence and changes how we are viewed by others. Our appearance impacts our lives socially and professionally. When thinning hair is an issue, choosing between hair transplants and hair plugs involves the consideration of things like cost, length of the procedure and the benefits gained. You also need to think about the capabilities of each procedure and if these fit your particular lifestyle. Many people, both men and women, are turning to hair transplants and hair plugs to achieve the look they desire. Both procedures give similar results, but vary in cost, procedure and time.


One of the first considerations is the size of the area of scalp that is affected. Hair transplants are usually most effective in the treatment of hair loss in larger areas as a result of accident or burns. Hair plugs, or micro-grafts, are more commonly used for smaller areas of hair thinning or loss.


While both hair transplants and hair plugs give exceptional results, there are a few minor differences.

  • Micro-grafting, or hair plugs, is an intensely precise procedure that involves moving healthy hair follicles from the back or side of the head to the balding area. It is widely favored among many clinics. The individual follicles are placed using a technique remarkably similar to sewing additional thread into an item of clothing.
  • Hair transplants are performed by moving one or more narrow sections of skin with groups of healthy hair follicles from a donor site on the body to the area of baldness. It is the most effective treatment for widespread areas of hair loss.


The costs associated with each procedure are very similar. Typically, each hair follicle costs between three and six dollars, and the overall cost for the procedure ranges from $1200 to $20,000. The physician may recommend performing the process all at once or in a series of sessions. The cost of each individual hair follicle is much easier to calculate with the micro-grafting procedure, but groupings may provide a lower cost overall.

Results of Hair Transplants and Hair Plugs

The results and performance of the completed procedure is perhaps the most important consideration. Both procedures are cosmetic surgeries and achieving a complete and appealing appearance is essential. You can expect the follicles to take hold within about ten hours, while complete growth occurs over four to six months.

It is extremely rare that hair follicles fail to take hold. Follicles are tested for density and health by the physician. For continued hair growth, the donor hair follicles must be free of the hair loss gene. Hair follicles can be used from other donors, as well as grafts from your own body. The ability of the scalp to receive and nourish the transplanted hair is another crucial factor.

Generally, hair transplants and hair plugs are the two procedures used for most patients. Deciding which the right procedure is for you depends on cost and the ability of the procedure to meet your individual needs.