Is 16 Too Young For Hair Transplant Surgery – YES
30th April 2010
I’ve been talking about this for a while, but I was reminded about it yesterday when we received a call from a mother enquiring about hair transplant surgery for her 16-year-old son!
Over the past few years I have noticed a steady increase in the number of younger men requesting surgery; however this is the first time I have been approached by a parent of someone so young – far too young to be considering hair transplantation.
Hair loss can be quite unpredictable in its early stages, with the full extent of loss very difficult to determine in men under the age of 25. Men under this age should consider taking preventative drugs such as propecia, in an effort to slow down or stop their hair loss.
Surgery may improve the hairline of very young men in the short term; however, if further hair loss occurs they could find themselves with inconsistent coverage, giving them a ‘patchy’ look.
A boy of 16 is most definitely not a suitable candidate for surgery; and whilst the impetuousness of youth may make him think otherwise, I was surprised to see that his mother did not recognize this.
More worryingly though, is the fact that they had already been offered surgery from another clinic, which they had approached prior to our conversation. Sadly, there will always be someone taking advantage of young, vulnerable patients by agreeing to perform surgery and not advising them of the potential long-term results.
No matter what the circumstances, I would never consider performing surgery on someone so young and I implore other surgeons to take a similar stand. It is unethical to allow someone of this age to opt for surgery and, as professionals, it is our responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen.