Cost is a major consideration for many when it comes to choosing their hair loss solution. We compare the cost of ownership over a 5 year stretch for the principal options.
There are a huge range of options available today for anyone discovering hair loss. Almost bewildering. We are going to discount, for the purposes of this article, all those that fall loosely under the heading homeopathic… on the grounds that there is absolutely no clinical evidence to support any claim as to their efficacy.
Medication, transplants, hair systems and of course the new kid on the block, SMP. There are great websites out there offering all of them, apart from the medications it can be quite difficult to get to a price though. That usually requires you to attend a consultation. SMP, to be fair, will often be quoted on the basis of some decent photographs, or a consultation that can take place over Skype (other multimedia communications platforms are available).
There are two approved drugs on the market for hair loss. Finasteride, marketed under the names Proscar and Propecia, is a tablet – It can halt the progress of hair loss but needs to be taken forever. It also has some slightly unnerving possible side effects, including supressing the sex drive for some. It is not approved for use by women due to some potential problems associated with pregnancy.
The other approved drug is Minoxodol, marketed as Regaine. This comes in the form or a mousse that is rubbed directly into the scalp. Approved for use by men and women it can also halt the progress of hair loss for some.
The Finasteride is likely to set you back around $50 a month, or $600 a year. Minoxidil can be used in conjunction with Finasteride, and often is. This will cost you an additional $20 to $25 a month, or $200 to $300 per year. A combined cost for both treatments then would see you needing to find up to $900 per annum.
It means the cost of treating yourself with the two drugs over a 5 year period would run out at around $4,500.
As we recently saw with Wayne Rooney there is almost no limit to how much you can choose to pay for a transplant. Wayne’s two treatments were rumoured to have set him back the best part of $50K. A breathtaking sum and completely out of the question for the majority. Transplants are available far cheaper, though of course you will want to perform enormous due diligence before putting your head in the hands of a surgeon. You can still expect to have to find a five figure sum for a good FUE transplant.
All but the very best surgeons will leave you with visible harvest scars. At the time of surgery there is usually still enough hair, thick enough, to cover those scars. Over time you may have to deal with further hair loss which exposes those scars, requiring you to either start wearing a hat or to head to a reputable SMP clinic for some camouflage.
If we take $10,000 as a marker for a reasonable FUE, and that might be conservative, then at $2000 a year over 5 years it possibly represents reasonable value for some… as long as the results are good.
Like transplants it is possible to pay almost as much as you want to for a good system. The top end ones are beautifully hand-made from human hair, perfectly matched with your existing hair and then fitted and styled by an expert.
At the other end of the spectrum there are “wigs” available online for under $50.
Most considering a hair system as a permanent and full-time solution are willing to consider it an investment and will dig deep to get a good one. Unfortunately the first surprise when it comes to buying a hair system is that you need to buy two.. because you will want to still be wearing one when the other goes back for maintenance.
You will also get used to the day to day management, glueing down the hairline is a regular event. There is also the need to go back to your clinic on about a monthly basis to have your newly maintained system re-fitted.
To have a good hair system for 5 years is going to set you back. A good pair of systems will cost you, say, $7000. Add in the monthly maintenance fees, which can range from $80 to $400 (we will use a conservative $150), and you are looking at $16,000.
Even for someone at the end of the spectrum with just a thin horseshoe shaped ring connecting the ears around the back of the head, a series of SMP treatments is going to cost no more than $2500. Add in touch-ups, which should only be needed the once in the first five years, and you are looking at a total cost of around $3000. Or $600 a year.
We think that is a pretty emphatic win for SMP. Not only is it a stress free solution that truly delivers what it promises but it makes sense for your pocket too.
Of course this is only true if you find your way to a good clinic. If you need help finding one, or want to check out the clinic you are already talking to, then please write to us at email@example.com and we will be happy to help.