Founded by L. Lee Bosley in 1974, Bosley claims to be a leading hair loss solution and medical hair restoration provider that has performed more than a quarter million procedures over the past 40 years. In fact, using their state-of-the-art clinical care, Bosley claims to be “The world’s most experienced hair restoration expert” that can provide the natural results you’re looking for.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, thinning or balding hair can have a big impact on your life. After all, who doesn’t want to look their best? But before you choose Bosley, consider the following:
Bosley’s Hair Loss Treatments & Procedures
Overall, Bosley patients can choose between 6 different procedures and treatment options to address their hair loss:
As Bosley’s “premier” procedure (and the one they’re known for pioneering), hair transplantation is an outpatient procedure that takes about a day to complete, but that can provide permanent results that last a lifetime.
Here, your Bosley physician, who will have at least 10 years of experience within the hair restoration industry, will transplant DHT-resistant, healthy hair follicles from the sides and back of the head to the areas where additional hair is needed, such as the front and top of the scalp.
Then, Bosley will use their signature Micrograft process to create “a seamless transition as soft and silky as the original hairline, and results that look completely natural and undetectable” based on age, facial structure, existing hairline, quality of hair, and long-term goals.
According to the Bosley website, each hair transplant can involve anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand grafts, depending on their needs, although most patients will require at least 2 procedures in order to achieve the desired result.
However, Bosley cautions that special considerations may need to be made for individuals with diabetes or lupus, those pending a kidney transplant, and those taking Coumadin.
Bosley Eyebrow Restoration
Bosley’s eyebrow restoration works very similar to their hair transplantation procedure, but the graft is applied to the eyebrows instead of the scalp.
Here, your physician can provide full restoration, enhancement, or just a touch up, although all procedures are permanent and feature the same level of artistry in order to find a shape and thickness that looks natural and complements your facial features.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Similar to Hair Club, Bosley also offers FUE services, which is a minimally invasive technique where individual hair follicles are removed from a donor area (generally the sides of the scalp) and then individually transplanted to the thinning or balding area.
Although not as comprehensive as the hair transplantation procedure, FUE is minimally invasive, requires no stitches, and involves faster recovery times. In fact, Bosley claims that their FUE patients might even be able to return to work the next day.
Prescription Finasteride (Propecia)
Manufactured by Merck, Propecia is a prescription-only medication that inhibits the formation of DHT. However, Propecia cannot be used by women and must be taken continuously to maintain results.
Minoxidil (the active ingredient in hair loss shampoos such as Rogaine and Scalp Med) is a topical treatment that may help address hair loss.
Unlike Propecia though, minoxidil does not address DHT production. Instead, it stimulates hair growth and prolongs the growth phase of hair follicle, resulting in increased hair thickness.
However, minoxidil does not help address balding in the frontal area of the scalp, which is generally the biggest area of concern for men. In addition, according to the Bosley website, “approximately 8-10% of users achieve cosmetically effective growth and another 20% get vellus (or peach fuzz) growth.”
Low Level Laser Therapy
Bosley also offers treatments using the LaserComb Elite and Theradome Laser Helmet, which are FDA approved medical devices that emit “controlled laser energy” to promote hair regrowth. However, both of these options are generally best for individuals with early-stage hair loss.
Does Bosley’s Hair Transplantation Procedure Hurt?
According to the Bosley website:
Although patients are administered local anesthetics and other medications, the degree of pain or discomfort experienced during or after the procedure varies according to the patient. We may supply patients with medication to use after the procedure, if needed. Many of our patients find that they do not need to take any medication at all after their hair transplant procedure.
With this said, we encountered many online reviewers who claimed that the procedure was much more intensive than they were originally led to believe (more about this in a moment).
Will Bosley’s Hair Transplantation Cause Scarring?
Bosley claims that the scarring from their hair transplantation procedure will be virtually undetectable and will usually be covered by your existing hair. Again, we’ll come back around to this topic shortly.
How Long Will It Take You to See Results?
As you might imagine, the level of results you experience, and how long it takes, depends on the procedure.
With this said, it can take 12-18 months for the full effects of the hair transplant to become apparent, and 3-6 months for FUE.
Propecia patients generally begin experiencing results after 12 months of continuous use, while Minoxidil takes 4 months to begin and up to 1 year for full results.
Finally, low level laser therapy (LLLT) success rates vary wildly, although for those who experienced some level of benefits, it generally took at least 3-4 months to occur.
Customer Feedback for Bosley
Overall, Bosley appears to have a mixed online customer reputation.
Among 28 customer reviews on PissedConsumer (as of 5/22/15), the most common complaints cited dissatisfaction with results (incomplete coverage, visible scarring, etc.) and dissatisfaction with their doctors.
At the time of our research, there were also 14 Bosley reviews on Yelp, with an average rating of 3.5 stars. There, most patients appeared to be satisfied with their experience, although common complaints included high-pressure sales tactics and dissatisfaction with the results.
Finally, the non-profit website BosleyMedicalViolations.com claims that “Bosley has been the subject of numerous patient complaints, lawsuits, and violations relating to their advertising, medical procedures, and business practices,” including medical license probations and suspensions related to false and misleading advertising, poor results, and inflated costs. However, it should be noted that none of these allegations were corroborated by us at the time of our research, although the website claims that many are verified by court documents.
There, common complaints were that the hair transplantation procedure was much more intensive than advertised, as well as extensive scarring that led to scalp numbness. While we’re certainly not one for scare tactics, if you’re considering a Bosley procedure, we would highly recommend reviewing this site in advance.
Bosley Medical Based out of Beverly Hills, CA is not rated with the Better Business Bureau, although they did have 13 closed complaints as of the time of our research. Of the 3 that provided additional details, one referenced dissatisfaction with their procedure, and the remaining 2 referenced inability to obtain a refund for their room reservation fee after cancelling their appointment (more about this next).
Bosley Pricing & Guarantee
How much your Bosley procedure will cost depends on a wide variety of factors, including your hair type, level of balding, and desired results, although the company claims that hair transplantation generally ranges between $4,000 and $12,000 (note: the Medical Violations website above claims that the average cost is closer to $10K to $20K).
In addition, you will have to pay between $500 and $1,000 for a “room reservation fee” related to your procedure.
If you live more than 100 miles from a Bosley clinic, you may qualify for free additional grafts in order to offset the cost of your travel expenses. All consultations are free as well, although you can obtain a good deal of information from one of their info kits.
If you’re not able to pay for your procedure out of pocket, Bosley offers multiple financing (only available for hair transplantation) and payment plan options.
Other Bosley products are priced as follows:
- LaserComb Elite: $495
- Theradome Laser Helmet: $895
- Professional Strength for Men (shampoo, conditioner, dietary supplement, and more): $449 for a 6-month supply
- Professional Strength for Women: $399 for a 6-month supply
- Hair Thickening Fibers (similar to Caboki): $30
For these products, Bosley offers a 15-day refund policy, although this only applies to unopened and unused products.
According to the company, “Bosley cannot guarantee results, but for each surgical hair restoration procedure performed at Bosley (the "Bosley Procedure"), we will replace any hair graft that did not grow, free of charge to you.” See their Guarantee page for additional details.
In order to contact Bosley, a representative can be reached at 800-985-6405.
Can Bosley Help with Your Hair Loss?
Chopping to the point: The bottom line is that Bosley pioneered the hair transplantation procedure, and has many thousands of satisfied customers to date. However, whether or not you’ll be satisfied with their services depends on a wide variety of factors, the least of which is preference.
Ultimately, choosing the right hair loss procedure or treatment is a very personal decision, so we’d strongly recommend reading our Hair Loss Products Buyer’s Guide before making any decisions.
In addition, many consumers have complained about Bosley’s high-pressure sales tactics, so you’ll definitely want to be armed with all the information possible before meeting with a representative.