Hair transplants may be a long-term solution to a long-term problem, but not everyone who is losing their hair is a good candidate for hair transplant surgery. That said, the good news is that there are plenty of people who are – and even for those who surgery wouldn’t be appropriate for, there are plenty of other options available. So, what makes someone a good candidate for hair transplant surgery?
Although hair loss can start at any age – one in five men notice it before the age of 20 – it isn’t fully established until later in life. We always advise that people under the age of 25 you should explore other options first, as at such a young age, the hair loss hasn’t fully progressed and it’s difficult to say how it will look in the future. For example, if someone under 25 were to have a transplant around the hairline, there are no guarantees that the surrounding hair wouldn’t later fall out, leading to a patchy look. Plus, there’s only a finite supply of donor hair, so if it’s used up at a young age, there won’t be enough to transplant in the future if repeat surgeries are required.
The cause of the hair loss
Male and female pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss, and usually responds well to hair transplant surgery in the right candidate, especially if it has progressed, as the hair loss pattern will be more established. We can also treat hair loss that has been caused by external trauma, such as burns or complications from a previous cosmetic surgery. However, if you have a scalp condition such as alopecia areata, a hair transplant is unlikely to be an appropriate treatment. If you’re unsure about the reason behind your hair loss, visit a doctor, or book a consultation.
The density of your hair is one of the most important factors that we consider when working out your suitability for a hair transplant. A good candidate will have healthy hair around the back of the head and the sides of the scalp, so that it can be transplanted into the thinning areas. In terms of the hair itself, if your hair is lighter and there is less of a contrast between your hair and scalp, the fewer the procedures you may need to disguise the thinning, as the bald patches are less visible when the hair grows back. Thick, coarse hair also produces good results for hair transplants, as it appears denser on the scalp , but also needs a higher degree of artistry to maintain a natural feathery hairline.
If you have a consultation and find out that you aren’t a good candidate for surgery, don’t panic! A non-surgical approach may be the best solution for your hair loss – prescription medication, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy and Low-Level Laser therapy can all be highly effective for treating hair loss. To find out if hair transplant surgery could work for you, book a consultation.