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  Hair Transplant Density A presentation of various hair densities by B.L. Limmer, MD/jal

Some time ago, several individuals suggested a representative cross section of what someone could expect with specific numbers of grafts per square cm. Since we have been doing exclusively follicular unit transplantation since 1988, our experience with every possible number of grafts producing every possible final hair density is extensive.

To demonstrate these varying densities over time and the results a patient can expect, I have gathered together a number of cases shown below dating from 1991 through to 2002. I have tried to cover the full range of potential graft densities.

During the early years of follicular unit hair transplantation, when the technology required to perform follicular unit transplantation was being developed, it was not uncommon to transplant densities of only eight to ten grafts per square cm.

PR 8 grafts/ square cm
RC 10 grafts/ square cm

With time the need for more grafts per square centimeter to accomplish cosmetic density became obvious. By 1991 20 grafts per square cm were typical for the average case.

RW 20-25 grafts/ square cm
OM 30 grafts/ square cm

Then by 1994 graft densities of 40 grafts per square cm were not uncommon.

TF 40 grafts/ square cm

I am quite certain that the first case to exceed 40 grafts per square cm was planted by our staff in 1994, transplanting the majority of the frontal hairline at a graft density of 40 to 45 grafts per square cm.

Today the majority of follicular unit hair transplants are done with graft densities ranging from 20 to 40 grafts per square cm in order that significant zones may be covered. Obviously, the availability of donor hair, the goals of each individual patient, and patient finances determine the graft densities transplanted.

In addition, it takes a great deal of experience for clinics to be able to transplant significant numbers of grafts within reasonable timeframes at these high densities.

There are many other variables, which determine the final cosmetic result such as hair shaft diameter, curl, hair/skin color match, etc. Therefore no absolute statements can be made regarding any one individualís results.

However, the above photos are representative of follicular unit transplantation cases in our practice in San Antonio, Texas.

B.L. Limmer, MD/jal


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