I have been losing hair since my early 20’s, now I am in my mid-30’s. I have been considering getting a hair transplant, but I’m wondering if I should shave my head first to see if I like it.
Buzzing or shaving one’s head is an easy, safe and cheap solution to hair loss. However, this style does not suit everyone and a select few actually look better with a buzzed or shaved head. With that said, every prospective patient should try to shave their head at least once to see if they could live with their appearance. At the very least, the individual would know that hair restoration was their last resort if they were unhappy with their shaved/buzzed appearance. Additionally, many individuals underestimate the degree of their hair loss until they buzz or shave their head. Many individuals find out that they have diffused patterned alopecia (DPA). DPA signifies an aggressive balding pattern, which needs to be treated with a long-term strategy in mind.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees with surgical hair restoration, the only guarantee is that genetic hair loss will progress over time. Anyone interested in embarking on a hair transplant journey should know that once a procedure is performed there is no going back. Contrary to popular belief, hair transplant surgery is not a procedure that provides instantaneous results. Furthermore, depending on the severity of the individuals hair loss, the individual may require several surgical sessions to achieve their desired appearance. Shaving or buzzing ones head is a much cheaper alternative, but not necessarily the ideal choice for many interested in having a hair transplant.
In some cases, surgical hair restoration is not a viable option at all because the expectations do not match the individuals donor supply and hair loss. It is important to understand the limitations associated with hair transplantation prior to committing to surgery. Hair transplant surgery does not create new hair, it simply re-arranges existing hair to a new location. Moreover, hair transplantation does not slow, stop or reverse hair loss; sometimes hair loss can actually accelerate after having a procedure. This is commonly referred to as “shock loss”.
Another alternative is to have a small Follicular Unit Excision (formerly known as follicular unit extraction FUE) procedure done to restore and reinforce the hairline. Without a solid hairline, the buzzed or shaved head will make the forehead appear long and wide, this will throw off the overall facial symmetry of the individual. A small FUE procedure may be enough to achieve a desired look whilst keeping a short cropped hair style. However, FUE is not a scar-less procedure. Therefore, the individual should never expect to shave their head without seeing any visible scarring.
Written and published by,
Melvin- Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network and The Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physician