Any type of hair loss can be an upsetting experience, even if the loss is only temporary. Fortunately for some people, hair restoration surgery can bring back the hair they’ve lost and restore their confidence. While an effective treatment in the right cases, hair transplants aren’t for everyone. Your surgeon will evaluate your hair loss and let you know if the surgery is appropriate for you.
Type of Hair Loss
What matters most when determining if you are an ideal candidate for a hair transplant is the type of hair loss you have. Certain causes of hair loss, such as telogen effluvium, aren’t effectively treated with hair restoration. When you have telogen effluvium, you lose your hair due to stress or shock to the body. After shedding the hair, it typically grows back.
The types of hair loss that respond well to surgery include male or female pattern baldness and hair loss related to trauma. For example, if you lost hair in a car accident or after a severe burn, the surgery can transplant hair from one area of your head to the other.
In some cases, the surgery can be performed to fill in areas that have few hairs naturally. For example, if you are a man who wants a full beard but have patchy growth, hair transplant surgery can provide you with the beard you want. The same is true for people who have thin or sparse eyebrows and want a thicker brow.
Location of Hair Loss
To be an ideal candidate for a hair transplant, you need to have ample hair growing in the right areas. During the surgery, the hair is taken from either the back or the sides of your head. When you suffer from male or female pattern baldness, you don’t lose hair in those areas. You can’t transplant hair from another person’s head, as there is a risk of your body rejecting the transplant.
That means if you have limited hair on the sides or back of the head or have experienced loss in those areas, you will need to find another solution to your hair loss. During your consultation, the surgeon will typically evaluate how much hair you have in the donor area and let you know if it’s sufficient for surgery.
Progression of Hair Loss
Where you are in the hair loss process also determines whether or not surgery is appropriate for you. Some people want to get a jump on things and have the surgery performed before their hair loss is very noticeable. While the newly transplanted hair is there to stay, the procedure doesn’t stop the progression of hair loss.
That means that if you have hair restoration surgery performed when you’ve only just begun to lose your hair due to male or female pattern baldness, you may need additional surgeries in the future to continue to conceal the hair loss. It’s often recommended that you wait for the hair loss to progress a bit before surgery. Formen, that means waiting about five years or until you’ve reached the class III on the Norwood scale.
If you aren’t quite ready for a hair transplant or if your hair loss is due to a condition that isn’t effectively treated with hair restoration, you have a few other options for treatment. One option is to use medication such as minoxidil to help encourage regrowth of hair. The medication is often recommended for younger patients, under the age of 40. Unlike hair restoration, it’s not a permanent fix, as the newly regrown hair typically falls out again after a few months.
Hair loss related to an external factor, such as stress or fluctuating hormone levels, will often resolve itself after the cause is removed. If your hair loss is connected to a medication you are taking, such as hormonal birth control, your doctor might recommend other options that don’t lead to hair loss.
A hair transplant is the only way to permanently restore lost hair. If you are an ideal candidate for the surgery, it can help restore your confidence, as well as your youthful appearance.
The best way to find out if the surgery is right for you is to schedule an appointment with a hair restoration specialist. Dr. Kyle Choe, at the Choe Center for Hair Restoration in Virginia Beach, can diagnose the cause of your hair loss and recommend the best course of treatment. Call (757) 389-5850 for a consultation with Dr. Choe today.