WHEN LOOKING FOR A SOLUTION TO YOUR HAIR LOSS, YOU WILL NEED TO CONSIDER A VARIETY OF FACTORS, INCLUDING HOW MUCH MONEY YOU ARE WILLING TO SPEND.
Although cost isn’t the only factor when choosing a hair loss treatment, you must keep your budget in mind. While some hair loss solutions are very affordable, others can be extremely expensive. Let’s take a look at some of the more common hair loss treatments and compare the costs.
Hair loss medications
If your hair loss is minimal, you should consider starting out with hair loss medications as your initial means of treatment. Rogaine (minoxidil, generic) is available over the counter. This topical treatment is applied to the scalp and can be used by both men and woman. Approximately half of people who use Rogaine see results. You can find a one-month supply of Rogaine online or at your local drugstore, often on sale for under $20. Propecia (finasteride, generic) is an oral medication that is prescribed only to men. It is most effective for those under the age of 40. For some men it actually regrows some hair, while for others the hair loss merely stops advancing. A 30-day supply of Propecia varies in price depending on your pharmacy; however, you can expect to pay $50 to $60. Naturally, the generic versions of both of these medications are less expensive.
Hair systems are non-surgical hair loss solutions that are becoming more and more popular in recent years. These aren’t tacky, obvious wigs or toupees, but rather semipermanent hair systems that are applied to the scalp and only removed by the provider for maintenance and replenishing.
“For hair systems, the best way to look at the cost is on a monthly basis,” says Dave McKenna, senior image consultant for National Hair Centers of Phoenix. “If you are going to wear a hair replacement, you will need to be on a program and look at it as an investment that must be maintained. Generally, the cost for a hair system would be in the range of $150 to $350 per month. Your initial investment is probably $1,000 to $2,000.”
For those with temporary hair loss, a wig may be the perfect solution. Wigs are relatively inexpensive, require little maintenance and can be taken off each night.
“Depending on whether they are made of synthetic or human hair, or if they are completely hand-tied or machine-made, wigs can vary in price from $200 to upward of $3,000,” explains Gini Gramaglia, owner of Gini G’s Salon and Day Spa in Southampton, Pa. “When you’re choosing a wig, it should be personally matched to the color and style of your own hair.”
Hair extensions are certainly not for everyone. You must have plenty of healthy hair remaining, and you certainly shouldn’t use hair extensions if you are in the middle of progressive hair loss — some attachment methods (chemicals, adhesives and heat) can do further damage to your hair.
“Hair extensions normally range from $500 to $3,000,” says McKenna. “However, for most people with hair loss, hair extensions are not a good option.”
Hair loss concealers
Hair loss concealers come in a variety of forms — aerosols, granular powders or sprinkles, lotions, solids and more. Although these concealers are not a reasonable option for someone with significant hair loss, for those with minimal issues, they may be worth consideration. These products generally range in price from $5 to $50.
Laser hair therapy
For those with minimal hair loss, laser hair therapy is a viable solution; but if your expect dramatic results, it might not be for you.
“Clients who want to see an incredible before-and-after transformation aren’t the right candidates for laser hair therapy,” explains McKenna.
Laser hair therapy is one of the latest techniques in hair loss treatment. Clients can purchase a laser unit to use from the home or can come into a professional clinic or salon for treatment, or a combination of both. You must have laser hair therapy treatment at regular intervals, normally a couple of times a week, in order to stimulate any hair growth.
“You can’t get the same results from a home unit as from a medical-grade or salon-quality unit,” says McKenna. “And oftentimes, buying a laser to use at home is sort of like buying gym equipment — you don’t really use it once you have it at home. You need to be really honest and true with yourself whether you are going actually utilize it.
“Even if you do home laser therapy, the ideal situation would be to use it every other day at home and then once a week or once every other week come in for professional treatment. The cost is generally $75 to a couple hundred dollars monthly, with a total investment of $1,000 to $4,000.”
Hair transplant surgery
“The cost of hair transplant surgery varies from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the clinic and the number of grafts,” says Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, board-certified dermatologist, hair transplant surgeon and founder of Bernstein Medical — Center for Hair Restoration in New York City
Bernstein emphasizes the importance of a thorough consultation and research before you decide to undergo hair transplant surgery.
“At your initial consultation, make sure you see an actual doctor, rather than a salesperson or consultant,” says Bernstein. “The doctor should take his or her time to make a diagnosis — rather than just rushing the client to surgery — and should discuss the history of your hair loss, measure the hair density, discuss the pattern and talk about medication. A good doctor will really spend time with the patient on the diagnosis and develop a long-term plan.”
At the end of the day, while personal preferences will play a role, the hair loss treatments you decide among will depend on what you can afford now and in the future. Thus, understanding the approximate costs of each type of a treatment will get you off on the right foot when making your decision.