When some men start losing their hair, their first reaction might be to do whatever they can to keep it, slow down the loss or help their hair regrow. While the desire to maintain a full head of hair is understandable, in some cases, it’s possible to do too much too soon. Just as there’s no one right age for any other type of plastic surgery, there is no one right age for a hair transplant. But, in some cases, it might be worthwhile to wait a bit before the surgery, so that the results are as ideal as possible.
Average Age for Hair Loss
Although it’s different for every man, the average person who loses his hair starts to see some noticeable signs of hair loss in his mid- to late-twenties. It is possible for hair loss to begin much earlier, in some cases when a man is still in his teens. Some men don’t start losing their hair until later. About half of all men in their 50s or older have some amount of male pattern baldness. About two thirds of all men over age 60 have some baldness or hair loss due to genetics.
Too Young for Transplant?
Men who start to go bald in their 20s might not yet be the best candidate for hair restoration surgery, for several reasons. Although a young man might feel that everyone can tell that he’s losing his hair, at that stage, the impact of the hair loss is often very subtle. A surgeon can transplant hair from one part of the scalp to the area where it is falling out. But, that surgery won’t stop hair loss on other parts of the head.
The transplanted hair will be permanent. That means that if hair loss continues, the pattern that develops might look a little strange. If a man has hair transplanted to the very front of his head at a young age, then continues to lose hair from the top of his scalp, the pattern can look very unnatural, until he decides to have an additional procedure and the hair is able to grow back from that procedure.
Men who are still on the young side, such as in their early 30s or 20s, might benefit from another treatment option, until a hair transplant becomes a more viable option. For example, minoxidil, a topical treatment, might be able to keep the hair loss from becoming too visible or might be able to stimulate hair growth. If the pattern of loss continues, then a man and his surgeon might decide to discontinue the minoxidil and try surgery.
Looking at the Pattern
Of course, age is really just a number. A 25-year-old might have a full head of hair, a tiny bald spot or might be almost completely bald. One way to get an idea of how much hair you can expect to lose is to take a look at the other men in your family. Unless everyone’s had a hair transplant, you can usually look at the male relative with the most hair loss to get an idea of the worst case scenario.
If your hair resembles the hair of the man with the most hair loss, than now might be a perfect time to see a surgeon at a hair restoration procedure. Odds are your hair loss won’t get much worse.
Look at the Donor Hair
More than age, the amount of donor hair you have is what really matters when it comes to deciding if it’s the right time to have a hair transplant. Usually, only the hair on top of your head is affected by male pattern baldness. The hairs on the sides or back of the scalp are usually permanent and often serve as the donor hair. But, the surgeon will need to determine which hairs are actually immune to the effects of DHT and are permanent. That can be harder to do when you’re younger or when hair loss isn’t very dramatic yet.
Whether you’ve just started to notice thinning hair or have a lot less hair than you did a few years ago, talking to a hair restoration specialist such as Dr. Kyle Choe can help you determine the best course of action to take. It might be that a hair transplant is in your very near future, or it could be that you’ll be better off waiting several years. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Choe and to learn more about your options, call (757) 389-5850 today.