Hair transplant surgery has been increasing in popularity in the past few years, as methods have improved, leaving vastly reduced visible scarring and indications have expanded to include beard transplants and even eyebrow transplants.
However, effective as this surgery might be, sadly not everyone is a suitable candidate for a hair transplant, so here are a few things that might affect your suitability for treatment.
The early bird doesn’t necessarily catch the worm…
Unlike many other problems, male pattern baldness is not something that is necessarily best treated early – a hair transplant in the early stages of a receding hairline may well just result in the need for further surgery later on, and a very strange look in the meantime, as the natural hairline continues to recede behind the implanted hair.
Contrary to many people’s expectations, early treatment can be significantly more costly and stressful than waiting until the problem is about five years old, by which time you should be able to judge the speed with which your hairline is receding. Even so, it is likely that you will need further treatment in due course, as hair transplant surgery cannot “cure” male pattern baldness.
You do need some areas of thick hair
It may sound obvious, but if you want to undergo a hair transplant, you do need to have some hair to transplant. Although a scientist in the States has recently developed a device that can transplant body hair to the head, this has yet to reach the UK, so it is important that you have enough hair in your chosen donor area – usually at the back of the scalp or behind the ears – to cover up the areas where follicles have been removed. This is usually achieved by keeping hair slightly longer in these areas.
It is perfect to cover scars
Hair transplant surgery can be used to cover hair loss as a result of scarring, whether this be from burns, trauma, or even from a cosmetic procedure like a face lift. Because follicles are now transplanted individually, rather than in strips, hair transplants can be performed even on very small areas of scarring, such as on the eyebrows.
If you are not a candidate for hair transplant surgery, however, do not despair. There are many other solutions available to deal with hair loss, in men or in women. Another popular choice for men suffering from male pattern baldness is SMP, or scalp micropigmentation, where pigments are used to create the impression of a closely shaven full head of hair, and there are various medications available to treat thinning hair.
If you are worried about hair loss, it is a good idea to see your GP or a hair loss expert in the first instance.