Hair Loss FAQ: Am I a candidate for a hair transplant?

Hair Loss Treatment

A hair transplant is an elective procedure. However, before you can go through with it, you will need to meet criteria which include:

  • A diagnosis of common genetic hair loss
  • A willingness to try medical therapy (when applicable), as well as, allocated time to see whether this works
  • Sufficient hair loss that is enough to affect your appearance
  • Adequate donor hair that not only can satisfy your current needs, but also potential future needs
  • Realistic expectations on what the hair transplant procedure might accomplish

For a majority of hair transplant patients, the aforementioned guidelines can determine their candidacy for the procedure. However, when a patient is young, the guidelines vary.

Candidacy for Hair Transplants in Younger People

Young people, even as early as 20 years of age can start to lose their hair. For many of these people, they believe that a hair transplant will be the solution to the current and future balding. Unfortunately, most hair transplant specialists will advise against anyone who is younger than 25 years of age to have the procedure. The reasons for this include:

  • It is considerably difficult to determine the boundaries of the permanent zone of hair in a younger person.
  • It is difficult to determine whether or not the donor area of hair in a young person will be stable. 
  • The earlier thinning hair or hair loss begins the more likely for the baldness to become extensive. In this case, it may be too extensive for a hair transplant. 
  • The expectations, in regards to a desired density of hair, may be too high in a younger person
  • A young person may not be comfortable with the scarring that FUT hair treatment will leave

The Permanent Zone

In order to have a hair transplant, hair follicles will need to be extracted from a permanent zone. Usually, this area is on the back of the scalp, in between the ears. In younger people, it is difficult to determine where exactly the permanent zone is. For example in a patient who is in their twenties, the areas that may have appeared to be permanent could change over time. This can be especially problematic with FUE hair treatment, which is the preferred method in younger people,  in that this procedure tends to require 4-5 times more donor hair than FUT hair treatment. 

Hair Transplants for Women

Hair loss in women tends to present itself as a thinning over the entire scalp, rather than spots, or patterns as commonly seen in men. Known as diffuse hair loss, this is believed to happen when hormones are unbalanced or are changing. Due to the extensive hair loss across the scalp, as seen in many women, it may be more difficult to identify a suitable donor area. This means, fewer women than men are suitable candidates for a hair transplant. 

If you would like to know whether or not you are a candidate for a hair transplant, please call to schedule an initial consultation. 

Resources:

Wikipedia, Hair Treatment

Dr. Robin Unger, MD, Hair Loss Treatment Manhattan

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