Am I Too Young For a Hair Transplant?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no, though some have made it that simple, sadly. Admittedly, this topic is very controversial. The point of my answer here is to help you make up your own mind over this one while still presenting all the issues. My opinion is also shared based on my experience. Let the facts guide you rather than emotion.
Education is the key to everything. The more you know, the more you can make an informed decision. It’s vital and even critical that you know as much as you can about what you are getting yourself into, regardless of whether it’s hair transplantation or another topic altogether. It is important that you understand what this process is like and all the risks that go along with it.
Let’s list some of the key reasons why getting a hair transplant at a young age is risky:
- Hair loss is unpredictable. Those who just start losing their hair typically aren’t good candidates for a hair transplant (no matter what their age)
- The earlier you start losing your hair, the more hair you MAY lose. This is not a definite thing, but the risk factor certainly goes up. It’s a sad truth that we must be aware of.
- Donor supply is limited. Planning conservatively therefore is extremely important for people with minimal hair loss. The fact is, one MAY need additional hair transplantation surgeries to stay looking natural and therefore want to have good reserves to tap into in case this happens. The good news is, if more hair is not lost, one can always go back later to lower the hairline, or fill in areas to add density.
- The financial commitment may not be feasible. Many people think that one hair transplant surgery will be enough for them, and truthfully it might depending on your situation. But those who are just starting to lose their hairâ€¦hair transplantation might NOT be the answer immediately, especially if you need follow up procedures to try to keep up with your hair loss. And let’s face itâ€¦young people typically have less money. If you only just have enough money for one procedure and don’t know when you’ll have enough for another one, it may not be a good idea to get an HT.
But if these are all serious risks to be considered, why do ethical hair transplant doctors sometimes do hair transplantation on younger patients? Haven’t we decided that it’s too risky for a younger candidate to jump in the chair?
As I said above, each case has to be taken individually. A simple “yes” or “no” is not sufficient to answer the posed question above.
Below are a list of conditions that, if met, I feel it MAY be appropriate for a younger person to have an HT:
- The patient is educated about hair transplantation and aware of all the surgical risks associated with having an HT.
- The patient is on finasteride for at least 1 year before having an HT
- The doctor has gone over all of the risks with the patient
- The patient knows that follow up HTs MAY be necessary to cover future loss with the option LATER lower the hairline if desired in the event that there is NO or LITTLE FUTURE HAIR LOSS
- The hair loss doctor creates a very conservative hairline (that of course flatters the face of the patient).
- If hairloss is minimal, a conservative number of grafts are used keeping a large reservation of grafts for the POTENTIAL future need.
Hair Transplant Ethics:
Many will try to keep up with their hair loss and go to doctors who will give the patient what they want. You know the motto “the customer is always right”? This should not be the motto for the medical profession. In my opinion, doctors who try to satisfy the immediate desires of the patient without considering the future are highly unethical. These doctors are more concerned about the money in their pockets from getting someone into surgery than they are about how this patient may look 10 years down the line. Dense packing a hairline with 3000 grafts on a 20 year old when they only just started losing their hair is EXTREMELY risky. Even if this particular hair transplant patient has 7000 available donor grafts, this means they only have 4000 available grafts to for the rest of the head in the event of additional hair loss. What if the patient becomes a Norwood 6? This patient will ultimately be stuck with a low hairline and very thin hair behind it, leaving an unnatural look. Planning conservatively therefore, is extremely important for those of a younger age, especially those of a younger age with minimal hair loss.
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