I am 32 years old and have had hair loss for 8 years. How do I know when my balding has stopped so that I can go ahead with a hair transplant? Will the surgeon let me know the plan of action based on his review of my hair?
I think I am becoming a 5 on the Norwood Scale but have thick donor hair. Is it ideal to go totally bald and then undergo surgical hair restoration? Because what’s the point of undergoing a transplant if my natural hair continues to fall out? Is it then I undergo a 2nd or 3rd transplant? This is pretty confusing to predict future hair loss.
From the appearance of the one photo provided, it looks clear to me that a person with this pattern of hair loss through the midscalp is 99% of the time going to end up as a Norwood VI pattern later in life, which is the classic U-shaped (horseshoe shaped) zone of shiny baldness. Each man arrives there at a different speed over a different number of years. And, while Propecia (finasteride) does help slow down this hair loss schedule, eventually the intended genetic outcome will occur. I usually tell my patients that it will give you an extra 10 years of hair before that day comes.
Being in your 30’s rather than your 20’s is much more valuable in predicting where things are going to end up. With a patient in front of you in their early or mid-20’s, the surgeon might as well have blindfolds on in predicting the future. The family history is helpful but can be very unreliable as a predictor. When a male patient is in his 30’s, the one thing that I can predict more accurately than at a younger age is what the “safe” donor area is likely to end up being. That can allow me to be a little more aggressive, although I still stay out of the rear vertex/crown until after age 35.
Mike Beehner, M.D.
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit the hair loss forum and social community.