Hair Transplant vs. Hair Replacement & Hair Implant (2024)

Hair Transplant vs. Hair Replacement & Hair Implant

Hair Transplant vs. Hair Replacement & Hair Implant (1)

Are you considering hair restoration? Discover why a hair transplant is a better option than hair replacement and even hair implants.

The path to hair restoration may seem like a complex puzzle, given the variety of options available. Hair transplants, hair replacements, and hair implants – each has its advantages and drawbacks. However, only a hair transplant can provide a permanent solution to hair loss. If you’re still considering other options like hair replacement or hair implants, this article will help you choose the right option for you.

Hair Transplant

Hair transplantation involves extracting hair follicles from the donor area of the patient’s scalp where hair growth is permanent (usually from the back or sides of the head) and transplanting them into the thinning or balding areas of the scalp. When done by an experienced and skilled surgeon like the Ziering Medical Team, the results are guaranteed to be natural-looking and long-lasting.

Types of Hair Transplants

There are two surgical techniques in hair transplantation with the main difference being the donor hair harvesting technique used; they are – Microscopically Dissected Elliptical Excision (MDEE), formerly known as FUT, and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).

MDEE involves 1) removing a strip of tissue from the donor area (usually the back of the head), 2) dissecting the strip of tissue into the naturally occurring follicular units using a microscope, 3) your hair transplant surgeon creating the recipient sites for these follicular units in the thinning or balding areas and 4) the surgical tech team gently places those hair grafts into the recipient sites at the proper angle and orientation. Because the surgeon removes a strip of the tissue in FUT, this technique leaves a very thin linear scar that can be easily concealed with surrounding hair.

On the other hand, FUE entails harvesting the follicular units one at a time directly from the scalp using a small punch device and transplanting them into the areas of concern. This technique requires that the patient’s back and sides of the head be shaved short, allowing the surgeon to have a clear view of the individual follicular units to be harvested. While some sources say that FUE doesn’t leave scars, FUE actually leaves tiny, pinpoint scars that are easily hidden as the hair in the donor region grows back.


With hair transplantation, the patient is both the donor and recipient. Since your own hair is being surgically moved from the back of the head to the front, hair transplants often yield the most natural results, seamlessly blending with your existing hair, as the transplanted hair slowly grows over time. Once the transplanted hair takes root, it grows like your other hair, making it a permanent solution to baldness. You’ll also save more time and money in the long run because unlike hair implants or replacements, you won’t have to keep visiting your hair transplant surgeon for upkeep. If you’re looking for a dramatic result with very low maintenance requirements and are ready to invest in your hair confidence, hair transplant surgery is the best option for you.


It’s a surgical procedure. While there is little downtime after either MDEE or FUE hair transplant procedures, there is a post-operative recovery period required to have an optimal surgical outcome; Downtime needed varies between individuals with some patients needing or wanting more and others getting back to normal routines more quickly. FUT leaves a nearly invisible linear scar, and while FUE is less invasive, there can be microscopic dot-like scars. This is why the experience of your hair transplant surgeon of choice is critical. Hair transplantation requires strategic donor hair management as well as a high level of precision and artistry to address a patient’s receding hairlines and replicate their natural hair growth pattern — avoiding complications such as graft failure or unnatural hairline restoration results. The good news is that the Ziering Medical Team is known for its experience, natural-looking results, expertise in hair loss management, and keen attention to detail and artistry when designing the overall hair transplant. This guarantees remarkably natural-looking results, making baldness a thing of the past.

Hair Transplant Cost

Hair transplants may be a more expensive option upfront. The total cost often depends on the amount of hair loss, the number of grafts harvested, the type of surgery selected, the region you’re in, and the surgeon’s expertise. Moreover, depending on the amount of hair loss and the patient’s hair goals, more than one surgery may be needed to achieve both coverage and density, especially for extensive balding patterns. Additional surgical procedures may also be recommended to address the ongoing loss of native hair in patients who have been diagnosed with genetic hair loss. However, the investment is worth it as a hair transplant is a permanent solution to hair loss.

Hair Replacement

Hair replacement includes external additions such as wigs, toupees, and sophisticated hair systems that can be semi-permanently attached. They can be made from human hair, synthetic fibers, or a blend. The base onto which hair is attached varies too, with options like lace, monofilament, or skin-like materials.


Hair replacement offers immediate results and diverse options. Unlike hair transplant surgery in which you have to wait for the transplanted hairs to grow over a 12-month period, you get an immediate change with a hair system. Hair transplant patients often prefer the gradual transformation that occurs after surgery, sharing that people can’t tell that they have had a hair transplant procedure. Whether you’re looking to cover bald spots or switch up your style, there’s likely a hair replacement option that suits your needs, and no surgery is involved.


They require consistent care and periodic replacement. Even high-quality systems may wear out or lose their natural appearance over time. There’s also the risk of the system becoming detectable if not maintained or fitted correctly. Hair replacement systems have evolved over the years. Advanced technology allows for hyper-realistic hairlines, varied densities, and even custom coloring. Keeping up with contemporary trends ensures that your hairpiece remains undetectable and stylish. But again, they are not as organic or natural as a hair transplant result.

Hair Implants

Hair implants can refer to two separate procedures: This term may be used to describe the step in the hair transplant procedure in which the surgical team is “implanting” the harvested follicular units into the recipient sites created by a hair transplant surgeon OR it may be used to distinguish hair implants involving embedding synthetic hair fibers into the scalp. The most known material is polyacrylonitrile – a synthetic fiber that has been used in this domain. Not only do synthetic hair transplants look very unnatural, but they also may cause significant inflammation in the scalp and are illegal in the US.


Immediate density addition. They’re suitable for those who want quick results without harvesting hair from donor sites or for those who might not have sufficient donor hair.


Being synthetic, they might not perfectly mimic natural hair. Risks include scalp reactions, fiber fallout, or infections if not properly maintained. Research is still ongoing to enhance the longevity and natural appearance of synthetic implants. As technology progresses, we might see even better and safer versions in the coming years.

Aftercare and Maintenance

Regardless of the method chosen, proper aftercare is essential. Transplanted hair requires gentle care initially like avoiding vigorous activities or direct sunlight. Hair systems might need professional servicing, while synthetic implants demand routine checks to ensure they remain anchored and infection-free.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Hair Restoration Method

1. Your Hair Loss Type and Stage

Different types of hair loss (e.g., alopecia areata, androgenic alopecia) and the stage of hair loss you’re at can influence the success of a particular method. For instance, those with widespread baldness might find limited donor sites for transplantation.

2. Your Lifestyle

If you lead an active lifestyle, swim regularly, or participate in contact sports, you might want a more permanent solution like a hair transplant. Hair systems or implants could get damaged or dislocated with vigorous activities.

3. Long-Term Commitment

While hair transplants provide relatively permanent results, hair systems require regular maintenance, and synthetic implants might need replacements over time. Consider how much time you’re willing to invest in maintenance.

4. Budget

While it’s essential not to make decisions solely based on cost, it’s still a practical consideration. Hair transplants might have a steeper upfront cost, while hair replacements and implants might have ongoing expenses.

5. Desired Results

Are you looking for a quick solution or something long-term? Do you want subtle density enhancement, or are you seeking a dramatic change? Your desired outcome can help you decide.

6. Potential Side Effects and Risks

Every method, surgical or non-surgical, carries its own set of risks. It’s crucial to weigh these risks against the potential benefits.

A consultation with a hair restoration specialist can provide insights tailored to your situation. They can evaluate the state of your hair, scalp health, and provide recommendations best suited for you.

Not Every Hair Transplant Surgeon Is Equal.

Hair restoration is as much a science as it is an art. This is why your hair transplant results depend a lot on your surgeon’s skill, experience, and artistry. The Ziering Medical Team, led by Dr. Craig Ziering, has produced some of the best hair transplant results in the field of hair restoration.

Call us to schedule a consultation at Ziering Medical. The Ziering Medical Team will develop a hair restoration treatment plan tailored to your needs and aesthetic goals. We serve patients all over the greater Tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as well as the greater Southern California area from Los Angeles and Beverly Hills to Newport Beach and San Diego.

Hair Transplant vs. Hair Replacement & Hair Implant (2024)
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