Sun 5 Aug 2007
Many people ask about hair transplantation on our hair restoration discussion forum and the best way to go about it. Before anyone can advise them, however, it’s important that they consider the answers to the following standard questions:
1. Age: How old are you? Age can be a determining factor as to whether or not you are a good candidate for a hair transplant. Typically, the younger one is, the riskier it is to jump into surgery. Hair loss is unpredictable and donor supply is limited. Young people should proceed with caution when considering a hair transplant. I recommend that the younger folks read “Am I too young for a hair transplant“.
2. Norwood Scale and Graft Calculation: What level are you on the Norwood scale of hair loss? The Norwood scale will give a person a good idea as to how many grafts they would need in the event that they are a good candidate for an HT. Take your calculated Norwood level and multiple it by 1000 (conservative) to 1500 (liberal) grafts and that will determine approximately how many grafts are needed to achieve “decent” coverage and density of your balding regions. You might want to consider using our animated graft calculator . Additional animations can be found here.
3. Hair Loss Medication: In order to keep any native hair one might have, getting on Propecia (finasteride) and/or Rogaine (minoxodil) is an important step to consider for long term hair restoration. Hair transplantation is NOT a cure for baldness. Instead, it is a surgical procedure to move hair from one area of one’s scalp to another. Again, hair loss is unpredictable. There is no way to really determine with certainly how much hair one will lose. So to lower the risk of losing more existing hair, medication might help slow down or stop hair loss. One might even re-grow some of their hair.
3. What is your family pattern of hair loss on both your mother and father’s side? Though hair loss IS unpredictable, you can at least use the overall picture as a guide of sorts in determining where you MIGHT indeed fall.
4. Pictures: If you ask these questions our discussion forum, it is a good idea to post pictures of your individual hair loss situation. Post higher resolution photos that shows hair loss in detail. This will give people a chance to evaluate your situation and give you live feedback. NOTE: Most people on our discussion forum are NOT professionals and should not be taken as medical advice. But those who have gone through this and are knowledgeable about hair transplantation should be able to give some sound advice. Always double check the advice you were given with a doctor.
5. Expectations and Goals: It is extremely important to know what you expect and want out of hair transplant surgery. Discuss your goals and expectations with your physician in order to ensure that your expectations are realistic. Keep in mind that donor supply is limited. The amount of loss verses the amount of available donor hair will determine whether or not your goals can be met.
6. Cost: Hair Transplantation is expensive. Typical costs are between $4-$5 per graft for the first 2000 grafts and about $2.50 per graft thereafter per session. Taking into consideration your norwood level, your expectations and goals, your available donor hair (based on laxity and density), the cost of hair transplantation surgery can end up being well over $10,000. Often times, patients with a LOT of hair loss, end up needing 2 sessions to achieve their goals. This will of course become a separate fee.
Once you’ve considered the above, consider consulting with one of our recommended surgeons who have a proven track record of consistent and positive results.
Research, patience, and education is the key to a successful hair transplantation surgery. Research and find a hair transplant doctor that has a proven track record and one you are personally impressed with. Do not go by one person’s results aloneâ€¦research a dozen or more real patients to see their results. I’d even take the time to follow a patient fresh out of hair restoration surgery who is a faithful monthly updater on a forum. That way you can be certain that the results are live and real, and not doctored. Ask questions and participate in forum discussions.
Please do NOT let emotions rush you into a decision. Take your time, learn, and educate yourself. An educated patient becomes a satisfied patient.
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