There are so many hair treatment options to choose from that deciding on the right one can be a challenge. Do you go with a less expensive option like a hair serum, even though it requires repetitive use? Do you choose a high-quality wig, even though you can’t change the style without buying a new wig?
What about hair transplants? How invasive a surgery are you willing to undergo? What’s the difference between FUT and FUE hair transplants? Is one safer than the other?
To help you weigh your options and make the best choice for you, let’s compare the pros and cons of common hair loss treatment options.
Hair Loss Serums and Pills
Rogaine, Propecia and similar medications can be taken, either in serum or pill form, to encourage hair regrowth.
Pros: These medications tend to be fairly inexpensive, with a month’s supply usually costing under $80. They are also noninvasive, which means you don’t have to undergo any sort of surgery to use them.
Cons: The downside is that you need to continue to take the serum or pills in order for the hair loss treatment to keep working. Unlike many other solutions, these medications don't offer a one-and-done treatment. If you run out of product or choose to stop the treatment, your hard-won hair-growth progress can disappear. Because these items are consumable, over time, you can end up spending as much on these treatments as you might on a more expensive but permanent treatment.
Hairpieces and Wigs
Pros: A hairpiece, like hair loss medication, is less expensive than hair transplantation and does not involve surgery. You can get high-quality wigs made of human hair, which will give you a look that isn’t noticeably artificial. Wigs also come in many different colors and styles, so you can choose from a variety of looks.
Cons: Hairpieces are not a consumable, but there are still upkeep costs. Wigs need to be washed, styled and repaired. If you want to change your style, you have to buy another wig. It's also possible to be allergic to the materials. Cheap wigs can be made of plastics and artificial materials, and mid-range options may use animal hair — both of which have the potential to cause allergic reactions.
FUT or HUE Hair Transplants
FUT (follicle unit transplant) and HUE (high-yield unit extraction) transplant hair follicles from a donor section of the scalp to an area of your scalp that requires more coverage.
Pros: Because hair transplantation allows you to regrow your own hair, these processes give you a natural look and have a much higher chance of being a one-and-done permanent procedure. Unlike serums, no reapplication or continuous treatment is needed.
Cons: Both FUT and HUE depend on removing large strips of donor scalp to harvest hair follicles. No matter how skilled the surgeon is, cutting the scalp (especially while using FUT, also known as "strip harvesting”) poses a risk of linear scarring.
Both FUT and HUE hair transplant methods are considered invasive surgery and include all the associated medical risks involved with minor surgery. Before choosing this option, be sure you understand your risks of scarring and communicate any history of allergic reactions to the sedatives and anesthetics your doctor plans to use.
NeoGraft FUE Hair Transplant
The NeoGraft hair transplant method is an automated type of FUE (follicular unit extraction) hair transplant that extracts hair follicles, one at a time, from the donor area of the scalp rather than cutting away large sections of scalp.
Pros: The fact that the NeoGraft technique uses gentle pneumatic pressure instead of an invasive scalpel means that patients do not have to undergo sedation and aren’t at risk of developing large linear scars from the procedure.
NeoGraft FUE costs about the same as a traditional FUT or HUE hair transplant surgery — usually the mid- to high-four-figure range depending on the number of transplanted follicles. However, the gentler method of extraction makes it safer and more effective than those other hair transplant methods. At least 95% of hair follicles extracted with NeoGraft are undamaged, meaning they are more likely to grow once transplanted. Because the method doesn’t depend on having large areas of harvestable donor hair, it’s also easier for your doctor to use irregularly shaped or even multiple donor sites.
Cons: Although very safe with a quick recovery period, NeoGraft is a surgical procedure, which is a concern for some patients. It must also fit into the patient's budget because although the long-term costs may be similar, NeoGraft involves a more expensive one-time cost compared to the ongoing maintenance costs of serums and wigs.
If you have questions about whether NeoGraft hair transplant could be the right hair loss treatment option for you, schedule your hair transplant consultation with our knowledgable staff. We’ll assess your current hair loss situation and help you understand your options.