Plenty of products promise to increase volume, or help you grow more hair. But most aren’t all that effective.

The best way to add or increase hair to an area can be with a hair transplant.

But how much does a hair transplant cost? There’s not a clear cut, simple answer to this question. Both treatment and recovery come at a price, and both have multiple factors that will affect the total cost of the transplant.

The cost of a hair transplant is highly variable and typically ranges anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000. These costs are often all out of pocket. Most insurance companies consider a hair transplant a cosmetic procedure.

The cost of hair transplants is dependent on many different factors. These include:

Where you live: The relative cost of living in the area and the number of nearby surgeons offering the procedure can affect what a surgeon charges.

The type of procedure you choose: There are two different types of hair transplants: follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). Each has a different cost.

The skill of your surgeon: This is a common correlation: If your surgeon is considered to be one of the best, they may charge more. At the same time, higher rates don’t always mean superior skill, so do your research carefully.

How much hair you want transplanted: Wanting a few patches added will cost significantly less than wanting to increase hair across the entire scalp.

Travel costs: This isn’t something that your doctor will charge, but it’s still a cost you should consider. Sometimes you have to travel to find the best specialists, and you should consider these costs when deciding if you can afford the procedure.

In addition to treatment costs, there are other potential recovery costs that you should take into account.

These include:

  • pain medication during immediate recovery
  • anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling at the surgical site
  • antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection

If you experience any complications, the most common of which is infection, you’ll need to treat it. This can be a source of additional expense, including the costs for medications and doctor’s visits.

If you’re waiting for your hair transplant or are unable to afford it, there are several nonsurgical alternatives you can use in the meantime. These remedies aren’t as effective, but they can help.

Alternatives to hair transplants include:

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine), which is available for purchase without a prescription. It can be used on both men and women.
  • Finasteride (Propecia) tablets, which can provide results in treating male and female pattern baldness between three to six months of continual use.
  • Low-level laser therapy, which can treat hair loss in both genders by stimulating cellular activity. It promotes hair retention and can strengthen weak hair.

There’s no doubt about it: Hair transplants don’t come at a small cost — especially considering they may not work as well as you’d like.

If you have the funds and decide you want to invest in a hair transplant, take some time to do your research.

You can get multiple consultations to get an idea of cost and find the surgeon that’s right for you. Just remember that when it comes to cost that’s affected by the skill of the surgeon, don’t skimp out. Hiring the right surgeon, even if more expensive, can help you get the best results possible.

Also keep in mind that when it comes to initial treatment costs, many clinics may offer payment or financing plans to help make the treatment accessible to more people.