I am 21 years old and suffering badly from male pattern baldness. My hairline has receded quite a lot since the age of 18 and in the last 6 months the hair on my scalp has become really thin. I went to my doctor today and he said I should either start using Propecia (which after researching I am very scared to use due to the side effects caused) or go to a hair restoration surgeon and see what they have to say.
I’m seriously thinking of having a hair transplant done. At first I thought of just getting my hairline restored but now I want to have a full HT. I am looking for short term results (5-10 years). Thereafter I won’t be too bothered about losing my hair again. After looking at the Norwood Scale for hair loss I seem to be a 3.
From your photos, I would concur that you appear to be heading toward advanced hair loss as you age. At 21, and with this advanced degree of balding, it is my opinion that you are too young for a hair transplant procedure. The artistic creation of a natural, long term solution depends upon the surgeon’s ability to optimally utilize the limited supply side of the “lifetime supply-demand balance” as I like to call it. Although you want to restore a lower hairline, an advanced degree of loss behind that hairline would require more supply than you have available in your lifetime.
I realize you think that in a few years you “won’t care” about any short-sighted surgical plan, but believe me- you will. There is only one thing I see that is worse than the feeling patients have when they are facing thinning/loss of their hair: that is having “something” done on their heads from years ago that looks anything but normal. These patients are very distressed. Be wise, take finasteride (the side effects are very very low indeed) and give that a year to judge the results. At your age, conservative medical management is all I would recommend for you so that you and your surgeon can get a better idea of your long term prognosis.
Dr. Timothy Carman