Direct hair implantation, or DHI, is a popular hair transplant technique that involves transplanting hair from one part of the body to another. During the procedure, hair grafts are taken from a donor site — usually the back or side of your head — and implanted into a recipient area, the bald or thinning part.
Hair loss can be a sensitive subject for many of us, with around 85% of men experiencing it by the time they turn 50. A lot of the time, attempts to stop or slow it down can feel pointless. But, hair transplants are a lot more successful than they once were, with new techniques providing an easy way to turn back the clock on hair loss.
Despite this, choosing to undergo a DHI hair transplant is still a significant decision. There’s a lot to think about: Choosing the right doctor or clinic; finding a balance between price and quality; deciding whether to have treatment in the UK or abroad. These are a few of the considerations among those planning to undergo direct hair implantation.
The content has been reviewed for quality and accuracy to the best of our knowledge by Qunomedical and its Medical Board of Experts.
Diagram showing how direct hair implantation works.
Diagram showing how direct hair implantation works.
Direct Hair Implantation Quick Details
WHO IS THIS FOR
Men and women with a receding hairline.
People with traction alopecia.
People with partial baldness.
Direct hair implantation usually takes between 4–8 hours.
For DHI hair transplants abroad, plan to be away from home for a couple of days.
Redness, tenderness, and swelling should die down 2-3 weeks after treatment.
Light activities can be resumed after two days.
Return to work after three days.
Resume exercising, including swimming, one month after treatment.
Soft hats can be worn after 10 days.
Hard hats should only be worn four weeks after the treatment.
POTENTIAL RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS
How Does a DHI Hair Transplant Work?
Direct hair implantation involves the transplantation and implantation of hair. Hair follicles grow in groups of 1-4 hairs and these are commonly referred to as grafts. Your technician will take a graft from a donor site, usually the back or side of your head, and implant it into a recipient area, the bald or thinning part.
DHI differs from other hair transplant procedures in the way that the grafts are implanted. During a DHI hair transplant, a specialist tool, known as a Choi Implanter Pen, allows extracted hair grafts to be implanted more precisely and — importantly — immediately after extraction. In other transplant procedures, such as FUE, canals need to be opened before implantation, to allow for the extracted grafts to be implanted manually. By being able to implant hair grafts straightaway during DHI, the risk of the hair follicles becoming damaged is significantly reduced.
Before / After Photos
How Much Does a DHI Hair Transplant Cost?
Direct hair implantation costs can vary from case to case and the price is often dependent on many factors.
Hair transplant costs can vary depending on:
The clinic and doctor that you choose for your treatment
The number of hair grafts that you have transplanted
Whether you choose to have your DHI hair transplant in the UK or abroad
Whether you need a second transplant in the future
Below, we’ve laid out starting prices for direct hair implantation at Qunomedical-approved clinics. Bear in mind though, that these prices are not fixed or guaranteed and may vary from patient to patient depending on individual circumstances.
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Direct Hair Implantation: Step-by-Step
Each DHI hair transplant journey will vary, since there’s no ‘typical’ hair restoration patient. However, there are a few common steps involved in the procedure.
Initial consultation: Your doctor will carry out a few routine tests to help to determine the root cause of your hair loss and to ensure that you’re in good health to undergo the treatment.
Anaesthesia and extraction: Local anaesthesia will numb the area of your head that will be worked on. Your doctor will then begin by extracting the hair follicles manually.
Implantation: Extracted follicles are loaded into the Choi Implanter Pen and are directly implanted into the balding area. This specialist tool allows for more control over the angle, direction, and depth of the transplanted hair, resulting in a more natural look.
DHI Hair Transplant Results
After you’ve undergone direct hair implantation, you should begin to gradually notice new hair growth in the area that was previously bald or thinning. To help give you an understanding of what to expect when we’ve outlined a brief timeline. However, for more detailed information on this, check out our post-op hair transplant guide.
The First Couple of Weeks
Following your DHI hair transplant, your head might be a little red, sore, and tender. This should ease off fairly quickly though and is usually gone by the end of the second week after the transplant.
Two Months Post-Treatment
Between weeks 2-8 it’s likely that you’ll experience what’s known as the ‘shedding phase’, wherein most of the transplanted hair begins to fall out. If this happens, don’t panic. It’s completely normal — occurring in around 95% of hair transplant cases — and is simply a transient reaction to the treatment. Your transplanted hair will recover and begin to grow back in the following weeks and months. Some clinics may also advise undergoing platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment to improve and stimulate this recovery.
2-6 Months Post-Treatment
Hair growth may be fairly slow during this time. By the sixth month, most patients notice that around 40-50% of their transplanted hair has begun to grow.
6-12 Months Post-Treatment
Typical growth between months six and nine is around 75%. Alongside this, the transplanted hair usually begins to gain in thickness and density. Nine months after your DHI hair transplant should be the time when the remaining 25% of your transplanted hair begins to grow. However, bear in mind that it may take up to 18 months for the full and final results to appear.
Direct Hair Implantation: Abroad or at Home?
With Qunomedical, you have the opportunity to choose from high-quality DHI hair transplant clinics in the UK, and abroad. The number of patients choosing to travel overseas for treatment is increasing. But, why is this?
DHI hair transplant costs are usually much lower at clinics abroad compared to those in the UK
Some of the most experienced and qualified hair transplant specialists are based abroad
Clinics abroad are equipped with the latest technologies and facilities
Although the popularity of undergoing a DHI hair transplant abroad is increasing, there are still some common questions that patients have before booking.
1. Will Doctors and Clinic Staff Abroad Speak English?
2. How Does the Post-Op Stage Work? Can I Still Contact My Doctor if I Have Questions?
3. Which Country Should I Choose For My DHI Hair Transplant?
Popular Clinics and Doctors
Are you interested in finding out about the clinics and people involved in this treatment? Then have a look at our list of direct hair implantation clinics where you can get to know each one, compare prices, and read real reviews. At Qunomedical, we also give you the opportunity to compare specific doctor profiles. Dr. Emrah Cinik, MD, for example, is a leading figure within the hair transplant industry. Based in Turkey, Dr. Cinik has been practising since 2002 and has performed over 1,000 hair transplant surgeries.
Why Choose Qunomedical?
Qunomedical’s patient first service has been passionately built on the goal to open up affordable, high-quality healthcare to all. Regardless of your background, our team will work hard to find you the treatment that you are looking for, at a price that works for you.
✔ 100% free, non-binding assessment: Looking to gather a few quotes? Or are you ready to book? Regardless of what stage you’re at in the planning process, we offer a 100% free, non-binding assessment to every patient that approaches Qunomedical.
✔ Professionally vetted doctors and clinics: We use our proprietary scoring system, Qunoscore, to thoroughly evaluate doctors based on over 20 data points. These include factors like qualifications, experience, services offered, value for money, and reviews from past patients.
✔ All-inclusive packages: Many direct hair implantation clinics abroad offer all-inclusive treatment packages that often include things like accommodation arrangements, airport pick-ups, and clinic transfers.
✔ Price match: We’ve worked hard to find the best price in the market, with the highest-quality doctors. If you find a lower price with the same doctor and the same clinic somewhere else, let us know and we’ll match it.
✔ Money back guarantee: If you don’t feel confident to go through with your treatment — whether it be one month, one week, one day, or even one hour before your treatment — we’ll give you your money back and issue you a refund of up to €300 towards the cost of your flights.
When I initially started to research into a hair transplant, I was sceptical. Gigi from Queen medical was amazingly informative and supportive. Even when I had a cancer scare, she did not push me but waited patiently for my results. I did not imagine that the package, which was offered to me, would have been as exceptional as it was. From the airport, I was collected in a stretch limo and taken to a five star hotel. The staff at the hotel were very kind considerate and took time to know their guests and to talk about the history of their country and made my stay very enjoyable. The limo took me to the clinic, where I was met by an interpreter and a female English-speaking member of staff the doctor was kind and included me in the discussion about the procedure. He explained everything from beginning to end. The procedure was painless. The staff were courteous. The clinic was impeccable and very clean. The following day I was taken back to the clinic and was instructed on how to care for my scalp and hair and even when I had left the clinic and on the way to the airport and had questions relating to the medication I got an immediate response. I cannot praise everybody involved in this procedure enough. Thank you from the bottom of my heart .
The experience was very professional. The doctor was very closely involved and the team helped make the process very comfortable and easy.
Having lost a few relatively small areas of hair on my head( forehead receeding, thinning on top and crown totally gone) I decided to look into transplant options, I was more tempted by the DHI option, so contacted Quno medical. They swiftly found me a doctor who was very experienced in the proceedure, the cost was well within budget, so I decided to go ahead. Quno arranged all transfers between airport, hospital and hotel, with the 5 star hotel also being included in the package, all vehicles used were of a high standard, punctuality was excellent. I found the hospital had a very relaxed attitude which took any nerves away. Dr Kinyas did an initial look at the donor area and explained that he could harvest 5000 grafts, he also explained in detail how many he would implant int each desired area, so overall very professional. I am extremely happy with the new hairline created and am excited to see full results over next 3-12 months.
Fantastic experience, very friendly and professional people. Would highly recommend.