I am 22 years old and I have been noticing hair loss since I was 18. I am at the point in my life where I either want to shave my head and move on or have a hair transplant, but I need some help in deciding which is best for me.
Unfortunately, this is a tough decision to for anyone to make, because once an individual embarks on the hair restoration journey there is no going back. There is no surgery that is guaranteed and even the best hair transplant surgeons have failed at some point. This must be understood before committing to surgery. In addition, it should be understood that hair restoration does not create new hair, it simply moves pre-existing hair to another location. Therefore, it is impossible to match a persons hair loss hair for hair.
There isn’t any risk to shaving ones head besides getting some odd stares or unflattering comments, whether or not someone appears good or bad with a shaved head is subjective. Some individuals feel they look better with a shaved head while others feel they look worse, it all comes down to preference. With that said, the thought of having surgery generally shows an individuals desire to keep their hair, which may prove difficult for accepting a shaved head.
Sadly, most young individuals do not make good hair transplant candidates for a multitude of reasons. The biggest reason is their expectations generally do not match what can be expected realistically with surgery. Another reason why young individuals make poor candidates is unstable hair loss. In the beginning, hair loss can appear in the temples, but over time the hair loss can progress and spread to the midsection and crown (vertex). When a person is young it is difficult to predict how much and how quick their hair loss will spread.
Before committing to surgery, young individuals suffering from androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) should try to mitigate their hair loss by medication therapy. Currently, there are two medications that have been approved to treat genetic hair loss, the medications are Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride), both of these medications work best when combined. Some individuals experience a significant amount of hair regrowth after starting treatment, this may be enough to hold off from shaving or having a hair transplant for many years to come.
Written and published by,
Melvin- Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network and The Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians