I am currently an 18 year old teenager worried about his hairline. I have blonde/dirty blonde hair which has been very fair and thin/soft from birth, and I may just be paranoid but I seem to have started to notice my hair going backwards from my temples, just above my forehead. I have a grandfather from my mother’s side who was bald on his scalp by the age of 42-45 so I might be genetically predisposed.
I have a few questions I would like you to answer (see below), as you seem to be a professional, experienced and accredited site.
Thank you very much in advance,
Of course, without photos, I cannot comment on whether or not your concerns are justified. But, at the age of 18, you are most likely not yet a candidate for hair transplant surgery. The donor hair available for surgical hair restoration is indeed limited. We have a finite number of hairs in the permanent donor area that are genetically programmed to resist the effects of androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). A very young man such as you, attempting to restore a juvenile hairline, would require many subsequent procedures as your hair loss progresses. That could exhaust the donor supply early, not leaving enough grafts to address future balding.
However, it’s certainly a great idea to be proactive. If you do have the baldness gene, then starting medical hair loss treatments early will provide you with the best opportunity to save your existing hair and regrow hair that you’ve already lost.
- What is the average cost for a hair transplant?
There are two methods of hair transplantation, Follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) typically costs between $4 and $6 per graft in North America. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) normally costs between $6 and $10 per graft. It’s difficult to put an average on the number of grafts required because this depends upon the patient’s Norwood Scale classification and other factors.
- How many hair transplants can a person undergo? Is there any limit to how much hair can be transplanted or how much hair is available?
As mentioned above, there is a limit to how many grafts can be harvested from any given individual. Most people have between 6,000 and 8,000 grafts available for transplantation. Sessions sizes can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand grafts. So, the question isn’t really “How many sessions can you have?” but rather “How many grafts do you have and need to meet your goals?”
- Which parts of the body is hair for hair transplants extracted from? I have heard that sometimes it is taken from the chest or the buttocks?
Most hair transplant surgery involves only scalp hair. However, some hair restoration physicians perform body hair transplantation (BHT). With BHT, donor hair can be harvested from anywhere on the body but is normally taken from the beard and chest. BHT is a specialty and can be difficult to perform.
- Are there any pills/remedies you would recommend I take until I could afford a hair transplant?
Yes! However, first you should consult with a dermatologist specializing in hair loss or an experienced and ethical hair transplant surgeon who can diagnose the cause of your thinning hair and assist you in formulating a long-term plan.
Currently, there are only two clinically proven and FDA approved drug treatments for male pattern balding: these are Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (1mg finasteride). Minoxidil is available over-the-counter but you’ll need a prescription for finasteride.
Recently, generic 1mg finasteride become available in the US. But, for even greater savings, many men request a prescription for 5mg finasteride and quarter the tablet. Doing so can bring the cost of the medication down to as little as $3 per month.
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