Root Hair Institute


The average person loses between 50 and 100 strands of hair every day. While some hair fall is expected in everyone, pattern baldness (also called patterned hair loss or androgenetic alopecia) is also prevalent. In fact, more than 70 percent of men experience it in their lifetimes. It also common in women and people of all genders.

While hair loss can happen anywhere on the body, the crown of the head is one of the most common places where thinning or balding is seen.

The good news is that there are many different treatment options available, including a crown hair transplant. There are also non-surgical options.

If you think you might be a crown hair transplant candidate, keep reading. This article covers some of the pros and cons of transplants and also discusses other treatment options. This is a great first step in deciding if it may be right for you. Always consult with a doctor to discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives to determine if it could be appropriate in your individual case.

How Hair Transplants Work

Hair transplants are a procedure that involve moving hair follicles from one area to another. The hair follicles are removed from an area with thicker, denser hair that is more likely to be permanent (such as from the sides and back of the scalp). They are then moved into balding or thinning areas where increased hair density is desired.

There are two main types of hair transplant procedures. Both are widely employed and have different pros and cons.

“Follicular unit transplantation” (FUT) involves removing a strip of skin from the sides and/or back of the scalp. The area is then sutured together to minimize scarring. The strip is then dissected under the microscope into individual follicular units (grafts). This type of hair transplant leaves a linear scar on the sides/back of the scalp that is typically covered with longer hair (at least 1.5 cm) above the scar.

With “follicular unit extraction” also called “follicular unit excision” (FUE), a circular punch is used to cut around each individual follicular unit. This is less invasive than the FUT option. It leaves behind pinpoint white scars rather than a linear scar.

In both types of procedures, the individual follicular units are then placed into small holes (sites) in areas where increased hair density is desired. Both also are typically performed under local anesthesia (with no general anesthesia required) and are outpatient procedures.

Both have their individual advantages and disadvantages. These include the ability to keep the donor area (where hairs are taken from) hair longer in an FUT procedure. Another advantage of FUT is that it has been shown you can get a higher total number of grafts over someone’s lifetime by starting with FUT procedures prior to switching to FUE. The hair is also taken from a more narrow area that is more likely to be permanent. This is why this procedure is often preferred by those with aggressive hair loss who may need multiple procedures or who want to keep their hair long.

With FUE, the hair typically needs to be shaved down especially for larger cases or those with curly hair types. Advantages of FUE include that it leaves behind small pinpoint scars rather than a linear scar, has a quicker recovery, and is less invasive. The FUE procedure is often preferred by those who wear their hair short in the back (such as with a fade) where a linear scar may be noticeable. The FUE procedure is also often preferred by those who may want to shave their head in the future to avoid the linear FUT scar. Finally, some individuals prefer it for the less invasive nature and faster recovery.

You should discuss these with your surgeon during your consultation to determine which may be right for you (if any).

crown hair transplant

Pros of Hair Transplants

Regardless of which method, one of the biggest advantages of hair transplants is it is one of the most effective methods for treating crown hair loss (in certain types of hair loss) especially when there is little to no existing hair.

The transplanted hairs are usually taken from the sides and back of the scalp where hair is more resistant to patterned hair loss, so the transplanted hair is more likely to be long lasting. However, it is important to note that rarely it is possible for autoimmune hair loss or diffuse thinning to affect the transplanted hair. Again this is rare but is important to be understood.

The transplanted hair with modern techniques tends to look natural because it is your own hair. The days of obvious or pluggy looking hair transplants are thankfully over. The vast majority of clinics now use modern techniques that transplant follicular units one at a time to produce more natural results than the old way of taking larger clusters of hair.

The procedure is also generally very well tolerated with relatively short recovery compared to other cosmetic surgeries. As with any procedure there are potential risks, and it is important to discuss the risks, benefits, alternatives, post-operative care, and recovery with your surgeon to understand what this may look like for your individual case.

Reasons to Consider Other Treatment Options

Do not think of crown hair transplant so much as a “last resort” but rather the right option for certain circumstances. There may also be non-surgical options in your case. This will all depend on your type, degree, and pattern of hair loss as well as your individual goals, preferences, and medical history.

Non-surgical options that may be recommended include scalp injections, microneedling, low-level light therapy, supplements, and topical or oral medications. The exact non-surgical treatments recommended will depend on your case. There may be cases where surgery is recommended initially or it may be recommended to start with non-surgical therapy prior to moving forward with hair transplant surgery. There are cases where hair transplant surgery is not recommended.

For this reason, it is important to see a medical provider experienced with hair loss to obtain a diagnosis of the type of hair loss and to discuss all the pros and cons of different treatments including hair transplant and non-surgical options.

crown hair transplant

Discuss Crown Hair Transplant With Your Doctor

Now that you understand some of the basics of a crown hair transplant and other crown hair loss treatment options, you may be wondering if it is the right solution for you. An experienced hair transplant doctor can determine if you are a good candidate and answer any questions you might have about the procedure. They also can help you weigh the treatment against other options.

The Root Hair Institute was founded by fellowship-trained surgeons and a board-certified dermatologist. We rely on evidence-based hair restoration solutions, including hair transplant surgery, to help our patients achieve their hair goals. Reach out to us to schedule a consultation today.