Standard, Mini- and Micro-Grafts for Hair Loss

This type of surgery involves removing thin strips of skin containing hair follicles from the back of the scalp and placing them in tiny holes in the bald or thinned area. Holes are created by a laser in order to create a natural appearance. The grafted hair falls out after the procedure but then grows back. The transplanted hair should last as long as the hair from the area in which it was taken.

Why choose standard, mini- and micro-grafts for hair loss

The procedure is recommended for:

  • Men with male-pattern baldness.
  • Some women with female-pattern (genetic) hair loss.
  • A person who has lost some but not all hair as a result of burns or other scalp injuries. 

The procedure is not recommended for:

  • Women with a diffuse, or widespread, pattern of hair loss.
  • Patients lacking sufficient donor sites.
  • People who form keloid scars.

What you need to know about standard, mini- and micro-grafts for hair loss

A combination of standard, mini- and micro-grafts can provide a more natural-looking appearance.

  • In standard grafts, grafted skin strips consist of up to 40 hairs each. Standard grafts are usually reserved for the largest balding areas, though they largely have been replaced by mini- and micro-grafts.
  • In mini-grafts, grafted skin strips consist of five to 12 hairs each. Mini-grafting is usually used on larger balding areas.
  • In micro-grafts, grafted skin strips consist of one to four hairs each. Micro-grafting is usually done along the hairline to give it a more natural appearance, with mini-grafts or standard grafts behind it.

Possible risks

As with any treatment, there are risks associated with it, though they are minimized in the hands of a qualified ASDS dermatologist. These include:

  • Bleeding
  • Scarring
  • Infection

Estimated cost

The average cost for standard, mini- and micro-graft hair loss therapy can range from a few thousand to several thousand dollars depending on the severity of the condition and desired results. Since most medical insurance companies consider hair transplants a cosmetic procedure, it is usually not covered, except in special cases.

How to prepare for the procedure

Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will review the patient’s medical history. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure.

  • Avoid smoking two weeks before surgery.
  • Prepare to have someone drive home since most procedures are outpatient.
  • Prepare to take it easy for a day or two following surgery, with assistance if necessary.
  • Local anesthesia and in some cases, sedation will be administered.

What to expect after the procedure

Following treatment, patients should expect:

  • Patients can usually return to work and normal activities within 24 hours, although strenuous exercise should be avoided for longer.
  • Itching and crusting at the treatment site, subsiding within seven to 10 days.