Like good health and youth, most of us take our locks for granted -- that is, until they're gone. For many people, a hair transplant can help bring back what looks like a full -- or at least a fuller -- head of hair.

It's a type of surgery that moves hair you already have to fill an area with thin or no hair. Doctors have been doing these transplants in the U.S. since the 1950s, but techniques have changed a lot in recent years.

Your doctor will choose one of two methods for the transplant: follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) or follicular unit extraction (FUE).

With FUSS, the surgeon removes a 6- to 10-inch strip of skin from the back of your head. They set it aside and sews the scalp closed. This area is immediately hidden by the hair around it.

Depending on the size of the transplant you’re getting, the process will take about 4 to 8 hours. You might need another procedure later on if you continue to lose hair or decide you want thicker hair.

After the surgery, your scalp may be very tender. You may need to take pain medications for several days. Your surgeon will have you wear bandages over your scalp for at least a day or two.

The price of a hair transplant will depend largely on the amount of hair you’re moving, but it generally ranges from $4,000 to $15,000. Most insurance plans don’t cover it.

Talk with your doctor about these risks and how much improvement you’re likely to get from the surgery. They can help you decide if it's a good option for you.