James Franco's Hair Transplant Analysis

written by Matt Dominance

James Franco's Hair Transplant - In this post you will find out:

  • How many hair transplant surgeries did James Franco have?
  • How many grafts did he get? (Estimated)
  • Was it FUE or FUT hair transplant?
  • The Norwood stage before getting his hair transplant?
  • Has he already started using Finasteride(Propecia) and Minoxidil prior to his hair transplant? Is he using it now?

James Franco's Hair Transformation Timeline

22-23 years old James Franco | NW 1

Hair Situation in his early 20´s

  • 22 – 23 years old
  • No visible signs of male pattern baldness by this time
  • Well-preserved frontal hairline with temples
  • No visible loss in hair density on the frontal hairline or temples
  • No visible beginnings of a NW 2 (Norwood Scale)

First signs of male pattern hair loss

James Franco hairline 2016
38 years old James Franco | NW 2

Hair Situation in his late 30´s

  • 38 years old
  • Ongoing NW 2 hair loss pattern 
  • Visible hairline regression compared to his hair line in the early-mid 20´s
  • Temporal hair loss doesn´t seem to be kicking in yet

Receding hairline is more obvious when the hair is short

james franco buzz cut hair loss
James Franco | NW 2 with a buzzcut
  • Hairline corners start  losing density noticeably
  • No obvious hair loss on the mid-scalp or crown 
  • Temples still preserve their original shape
  • Great candidate for a treatment (Finasteride + Minoxidil) to prevent further thinning of the hairline, corners and temples

The road to James Franco's New Hair! 2016 vs 2018

james franco hair transplant before and after hairline
Receding hairline in 2016 vs restored hairline in 2018


  • Frontal hairline has been rebuilt in a more straight shape by lowering the receding corners
  • Estimated hair density on the hairline: 50-55 grafts per square cm (graft= hair unit containing 1 or more hairs)
  • Low see-through effect
  • High level of naturalness  on the hairline
  • Forehead looks more narrow from the top and sides, because of hairline and temple reconstruction
Receding temples in 2016 vs restored hair on temples in 2018


  • Temporal regions have been reconstructed 
  •  Hair on temples has been moved forward in 1-2 cm 
  • Single grafts (hair units producing one single hair) only have been used for rebuilding the temporal regions

Natural vs Unnatural Temporal Hair Restoration

natural vs unnatural temples
Unnatural temporal region hair restoration on the left (Anonymous) vs natural temporal hair restoration on the right (James Franco)

Restoring hair on the temporal regions can be tricky. Unfortunately, there are still many hair transplant doctors out there, who can´t restore hair on the temporal regions naturally.

It´s crucial to do a proper research and go to the right hair transplant doctor who also specializes and has great experience in temporal hair restoration.

How many hairs did James Franco get transplanted?

james franco FUE Hair Transplant - Implanted Grafts
  • Estimation based on the area transplanted is 1000-1400 grafts (hair units) 
  • James Franco’s case is similar to this patient
  • Estimated hair per graft average (average number of hairs growing from each graft/hair unit) = 2 – 2.5
  • Estimated number of hairs transplanted could be at least 2000 up to 3500
  • Red marks on the photo above show the transition zone on the hairline and temporal regions which has likely been completely restored with hair.
  • White marks show the areas behind the hairline which might or might not have been completely restored as there was still some existing growing
  • The dense packing in the red zone was likely much higher compared to the white zone

Did James Franco get FUE or FUT Hair Transplant?

james Franco FUE hair transplant
James Franco with more defined hairline after his hair transplant

FUE is a more likely scenario – considering it was only a small session of  around 1400 grafts. Small FUT session can´t be completely excluded either, but it´s less likely.

Seeing James Franco with very short hair on sides and back since his hair transplant would help in a more detailed assessment, which could speak for FUE or FUT.

What are good FUE/FUT indications?

Donor area of Lebron James with FUE and FUT scars

If you have already read my Hair Transplant Analysis on Lebron James, you can already easily spot FUE or FUT hair transplant scars. 

These scars usually occur on the occipital region of the scalp and sometimes spread across the sides of the scalp as well.

Since James Franco´s hair seems thick and wavy, it is very hard to notice any scarring on his occipital region. Especially not, if his hair is longer.


From NW 2 back to NW 1 with a Hair Transplant?

james franco young vs old
James Franco in 2001 vs 2020

In patients with less aggressive hair loss – like James Franco had, it is sometimes possible to restore hair almost in the same shape as it used to be before hair loss even occurred. 

It´s only possible, however, if patients start with hair loss treatments prior to their hair transplant and continue with treating their hair loss after the hair transplant.

This is the only way to successfully maintain a low Norwood hairline and temples, which frame the face rather aggressively.


Hairline Analysis

James Franco new hairline and temples
James Franco's new hairline
  • The hair on the newly restored temples shows exceptional hair density – very close to natural density of non-balding temples
  • Hairline has nice micro irregularities in it which make it look really undetectable
  • No obvious color difference between the transplanted and non-transplanted hair
  • The APEX point (transition between transplanted hairline and transplanted temple) shows great naturalness 

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