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Dr. Karen Owen Written by Matilda H. Updated on 14 Jan 2024
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How many grafts are needed for a hair transplant?

Dr. Karen Owen

This text was written according to the highest scientific standards and reviewed by medical experts. Find out more about our quality assurance.

Written by Matilda H. Updated on 14 Jan 2024

Determining the number of grafts you need is one of the most crucial aspects of a hair transplant procedure. The quantity of grafts mainly depends upon individual requirements, needs, and other factors assessed by your doctor. Read on to learn all about hair grafts and how you can estimate the number of grafts prior to a consultation or evaluation.

What are hair grafts?

A strip or segment of skin containing hair is called a graft. Grafts are commonly extracted from donor sites on the back and sides of the head or other parts of the body such as the chin or breast areas. The number of grafts needed to perform a hair transplant depends on factors such as the density of hair and the extent of hair loss.



The main goal behind hair transplantation is to remove tissue from the healthy donor region and transplant it to the balding region. These grafts are harvested from the donor areas through different methods depending on the chosen hair transplant technique.

In the case of Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT, the graft is extracted in the form of a strip of skin from the back of the head. The strip is then dissected through special equipment into follicular units and implanted into the balding region without damaging the follicles. Each follicular unit consists of around two to three hairs. 

On the other hand, Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE, another popular transplant technique, involves the individual extraction of follicular units from the scalp. These individual units are then preserved and transplanted into the desired areas.

Donor areas and average donor capacities

The total donor capacities vary from patient to patient. However, in the following table you can find typical ranges per donor area. Please keep in mind that beard, breast and other body hair regions are not always existent and have a worse growth rate than head hair:

Donor Areas Average Donor Capacity
Back of the head 4.000 - 6.000 Grafts
Side of the head 1.000 - 2.000 Grafts
Beard 0 - 2.000 Grafts
Breast 0 - 1.000 Grafts

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How many grafts per bold area?

  • The Hairline: Some patients may seek a hair transplant due to their receding hairline or temple hair loss. Typically, your doctor might recommend anywhere from 800 to 1,500 grafts to cover the hairline region, depending on the severity of hair loss. If the temples are also included, you might need 150 grafts on each side as well. 
  • Front Third: This area consists of the central core of the head and the hairline including the tuft of hair at the front which gives a dense look to the hair. Patients looking for transplantation in the first third are typically recommended around 2,000 to 2,500 grafts.
  • Front Half: This is a larger area, almost 100 cm in size. To cover this, doctors usually recommend anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 grafts.
  • Front Two-Thirds: Bigger than the front half, the front two-thirds cover almost the entire scalp area and is around 120 cm in size. It requires 3,000 to 4,000 grafts.
  • The Crown: The top of the head or the crown can be 60 to 100 cm in size and requires around 800 to 1500 grafts. Before deciding the right graft number for the crown, doctors have to ensure that the front two-thirds of the head is covered to the client’s satisfaction. Otherwise, hair transplant results may look patchy and unprofessional.


Hair Transplant Donor Area

Other determining factors for the number of grafts

When you visit your hair doctor, they will evaluate the existing condition of your hair and recommend the number of grafts required for your unique case. 

Their recommendations may be based on the following important factors:

  • Hair Density in the Donor Region: The number of grafts that can be extracted from your scalp depends on the hair density of the donor regions. Better donor density will naturally result in a larger number of grafts that will cover a wider area. Most patients’ scalps can provide up to 6,000 hair grafts but some might yield only 4,000. Other patients with good hair density may even have 8,000 grafts. 
  • Scalp Elasticity: This factor is applicable for FUT procedures only. A more elastic or lax scalp can yield a larger number of grafts for FUT. On the other hand, a tighter scalp results in lower grafts and covers a smaller area. Patients may be recommended exercises or medication to loosen up the donor area. 
  • Quality of Hair: Patients with good quality hair that is thick and wavy may see better results than ones with fine and straight hair. 
  • The severity of Hair Loss: The number of grafts needed depends on the area of the thinning or balding region. The doctor will assess your balding pattern and severity to estimate the graft quantity. Naturally, the more severe the pattern, the more grafts you need to cover it fully.
  • Size of the Head: Head sizes vary from patient to patient. Patients with larger heads will require more grafts than ones who have smaller-sized heads. 
  • Age and Hair loss Progression: Younger patients have an increased risk of future hair loss and may need more grafts in the future to maintain their results. This risk is lower for older patients who have a well-developed balding pattern already. Unfortunately, this can be quite unpredictable, and even genetic predisposition cannot help us understand the actual progression of hair loss. Younger patients have to be prepared for future hair transplant surgery or other solutions if their hair loss continues with age.
  • Willingness to take Finasteride: Finasteride is a prescription medication that promotes hair growth and slows down the progression of hair loss. Patients who are willing to take finasteride or other medication may successfully decrease the balding region and require a lower number of grafts.
  • Pre-existing hair: Patients with less severe thinning and pre-existing hair density can be difficult to treat. The more hair they have, the harder it gets to make incisions between the follicular units. This increases the risks of transection and damage. Fortunately, experts can use high magnification loops to extract follicles from hair that has thinned to only one-fourth of its original density. Another risk factor includes the chances of ‘shock loss’ to pre-existing hair due to inflammation and trauma in the surrounding regions.
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How many Grafts on average per Norwood Type

Norwood Scale Number Of Grafts
1 0
2 700 - 1.500
2a 700 - 1.500
3 1,500 - 2,700
3a Front: 1,500 - 2,700 | Crown: 500 - 1,000
4 Front: 1,900 - 3,200 | Crown: 800 - 1,100
4a 2,700 - 3,900
5 Front: 2,400 - 3,700 | Crown: 1,000 - 1,500
5a 2,700 - 3,900
6+ Front: 3,200 - 3,900 | Crown: 1,600 - 2,400


Hair grafts are small segments of the skin that contain groups of hair. For a successful hair transplant, doctors extract grafts from the donor area, usually located in the back or sides of the scalp, and transplant them into the balding region. The extraction process depends on which hair transplant technique you choose.

The number of grafts you need depends upon factors such as the severity of hair loss, your balding pattern, age, pre-existing hair, and other factors. The scalp can yield around 4000 to 8000 grafts, depending on the hair density of the donor area. In order to get a definite estimate, you can visit your hair clinic or surgeon for a professional evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hairs does 1 graft have?

How much do 5000 hair grafts cover?

What is the maximum number of grafts per operation that is advisable?



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