One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is “How much do you charge per graft?” The answer is that I don’t, which usually puzzles my patients to no end (Please review our hair transplant cost page for additional information) I decided to write a blog article explaining my philosophy more in-depth.

First, what defines a graft? Is that a 1-hair graft, a 4-hair graft, or a di-follicular unit that can contain 6 hairs in that graft? Should they all be counted the same? How about if two 1-hair grafts are placed into a single site for denser packing: should that be counted as a single graft or as two grafts? What if you have several hundred more grafts than anticipated, should you be charged more money at the end of the procedure or should the grafts just be thrown away? As you can see, the answer is not easy when it comes to charging someone on a per graft basis.

In fact, I have hired people from other outfits that did silly and unethical things like split 4-hair grafts into four 1-hair grafts so that they could charge more for four grafts than one even though the result would be that the grafts would not grow as well and they would need to be spread out over more than the space that a single 4-hair graft would otherwise occupy. For these reasons, I do not charge per graft but I charge per range of hairs transplanted. I always say that you pay for a result not for a number of grafts but obviously if I do not transplant enough hairs you will not have a good result. Don’t worry I will transplant enough hairs based on the range that you have paid for.

If you read in the other blog articles on quality control, you will see that what you are truly paying me for is how I leverage my grafts effectively to create excellent work. Let me explain it in another way. You are born with about 100,000 hairs on your head. When you begin to perceive baldness you have already lost about 50,000 hairs. With each transplant (if you have enough donor hair), I can transplant between 4,500 to 5,500 hairs each time. That means I have to make approximately 5,000 transplanted hairs look like a minimum of 50,000 lost hairs. This requires significant artistry to accomplish this task. As you can see on this Web site, most of my before-and-after photographs are one-session results meaning that in most cases I can accomplish very good results after a single session of hair restoration. That being said, I always try to emphasize the need for a quality result rather than a sheer number count of grafts when pricing a procedure. And what happens to extra grafts? My team stays late to place them. We never throw out any grafts. That is only one difference in a sea of others that separates us from other transplant clinics in the world.

Samuel M. Lam, MD, FACS, a board certified hair transplant surgeon in Dallas, Texas. To learn more about Dr Lam’s hair transplant procedures, or to schedule a consultation please call 972-312-8105, or visit for more info.