I am an 18 year old male and I have been suffering from hair loss since I was 15. My quality of life has been severely impacted by hair loss. I look twice my age and I’m even considering skipping college because of it. How old do I have to be have a hair transplant? I would like to have a hair transplant asap.
Feeling sad and depressed is a normal part of the hair loss process. Statistically speaking you’re not alone. In fact, an estimated 25% of men under the age of 25 suffer from genetic hair loss. At times it can feel like you are alone and the only person suffering from this condition, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no perfect age or time to have a hair transplant. However, the vast majority of surgeons require their patients to be at least 25 before undergoing a hair transplant procedure. That said, there are exceptions to the rule and nothing is set in stone.
The primary focus should be on stopping the progression of your hair loss. Unfortunately, androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) is a progressive condition that gets progressively worse over time. Surgical hair restoration does not prevent, slow or treat hereditary hair loss, it simply moves pre-existing hair to another location. Therefore, you should try to contain your hair loss by trying Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil). Both of these medications have been approved by the FDA and have been proven to work.
Some individuals have been able to stop the progression of their hair loss through taking hair loss medications and some even regrow hair. You should wait at least 12 months after taking the medication before considering a hair transplant procedure. The results may be enough to hold off on surgery for a few years. Sadly, at the age of 18 you have just begun your hair loss journey. There are no guarantees with hair transplant surgery, but there is a guarantee that your hair loss will progress, especially at the age of 18. Therefore, it is imperative that you try to prevent further hair loss by using hair loss medications.
Additionally, younger patients tend to have unrealistic expectations because they want to restore their hair to match their peers. While it is understandable to want your adolescent hair back it isn’t a realistic expectation. That said, exceptions have been made and highly-respected hair transplant surgeons have performed surgery on patients younger than 25. However, most of these patients have been on preventive hair loss medications.
Written and published by,
Melvin- Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network and The Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians