Hair Transplantation Market Statistics

Despite the notable advances of recent decades in the area of hair loss drug research and development, the current medicinal treatments of hereditary baldness do not give satisfactory results. The only existing option for patients wishing to achieve a fast and dramatic improvement in their hair condition is hair transplantation. The recent introduction of modern hair transplantation techniques such as follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) has improved cosmetic results and patient satisfaction. The surgical hair restoration industry has been booming over the past few years, as new hair transplant clinics mushroomed in all corners of the world. A quick look at the market statistics confirms this trend.

The latest worldwide hair restoration statistics available are only from 2006. The total number of hair restoration surgeries performed in 2006 was 226,000; that is a 34% increase over 2004 and 16% average annual growth. Though this number may seem impressive, it is only a small fraction of the actual potential. Out of the aforementioned 226,000 hair surgeries conducted worldwide, 93% were performed on the scalp. Asia registered the fastest growth, a remarkable 178% (2006/2004). The total number of patients at hair restoration clinics worldwide (surgical and non-surgical patients) was estimated at 645,000, a 79% increase over 2004, which happens to be 34% annual growth. Male patients represent more than 86% of total hair-restoration patients. Follicular unit transplantation accounts for 91% of all procedures, with less than 8% accounted for by the follicular unit extraction technique. Old techniques, such as scalp reduction and flap surgery, still account for almost 2% of procedures. Should a similar growth rate be sustained (estimated 15% p.a.) in 2007 and 2008 (2007 statistics are not available yet) we could, for the first time in history, see the total worldwide revenues from hair transplant surgeries exceed euro 2bn (US$ 3bn).

The US market accounts for 45% of all hair transplant surgeries, with Asia being second with 25% market share and Europe third with only 13%. In the US, almost every second patient of a hair restoration clinic took surgery versus every third in Europe and every fourth in Asia. Almost every single hair restoration clinic in the world prescribes finasteride to their male patients. Minoxidil is the second most frequently recommended medicine, prescribed by 61% of doctors. Other than that some hair restoration clinics also recommend special shampoos, such as Nizoral, vitamins and low-level laser therapy. The average number of surgical therapies needed to achieve the desired results is 1.8x.

Although some of these numbers may sound impressive, especially the growth rates, the hair restoration industry is still accessing only a tiny fraction of the world population that suffers from hair loss. Asia and Europe are trailing far behind North America but are expected to become the engines of further growth. New surgical technologies, such as hair multiplication and the generation of new hair follicles from wounds, though still years away, should help the hair restoration industry expand further, improve its services and make them more affordable to the population.

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