Who is a Good Candidate for Hair Transplant?

I am 21 years old, and I began losing hair when i was 19. The area around my hair line is very thin now. I was wondering, is hair transplant is an option for me right now? Who should ideally consider having hair transplant done?

Doctor Answers (20)

Anyone is a good candidate for hair transplant surgery but consider other options

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The key to determining good candidates for hair restoration surgery is estimating what the patient's hair loss pattern might be. Once hair is transplanted, it will not fall out, though the native hair will continue its loss.

In a young person such as yourself, it is difficult to tell what your eventual pattern of hair loss might be and your transplant may create an unnatural appearance as you lose more hair.

You can usually get away with a small transplant to provide slightly more density in the hairline with the understanding that you will likely need additional treatment in the future as your hair loss progresses.

The other option you have is to begin either minoxidil or finasteride. If you are concerned about your hair loss, I would suggest visiting with a hair restoration surgeon who is knowledgeable in hair loss for more information and options that are specific for your concerns.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Hair Restoration Candidate

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21 years old is not too young to consider hair transplant- if male pattern baldness has been established (ie: if it is in the family line). Anyone experiencing hair loss should schedule a consultation with an expert at a reputable facility to discover what treatment (if any) would work best for them. It's an easy step that could result in great satisfaction and super results.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

21 year old with hair loss. should he get hair transplants?

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If you are a 21 year old who is loosing his hair, the first thing to know is your familial hair pattern.  Look at the male in your immediate family with the most amount of hair loss. That is the worst you can get!

If this hair loss is where you are  now, then considering hair transplantation is reasonable.

If this hair loss is much worst than where you are now, I would not consider hair transplantation. I would first stabilize the loss with medical hair loss treatments. For this, you need a trained dermatologist who handles hair loss.

After the hair loss is slowed and stabilized, see if you still want a better hairline. If you do, then consider FUE techniques of hair transplantation. Surgeons adept in FUE might use manual devices or motorized devices or the NeoGraft system or the newest robotic hair transplantation system by Artas.

Age Candidacy for Hair Transplant

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Hi there. Hair loss at any age is difficult, but it can cause significant emotional distress to younger patients. Hair loss will continue to occur after hair transplant surgery, so I recommend waiting a few more years to better understand what pattern of baldness you will develop. It may also be a good idea to talk to your general practitioner to rule out any medical conditions that might be causing your hair loss.

In general, a good candidate for a hair transplant is an adult with established hair loss who is in good health and doesn't have any medical conditions or allergies that would preclude him or her from undergoing the surgery. At my hair restoration clinic near San Diego, I evaluate a person's candidacy during his or her consultation.

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Candidates for Hair Transplantation

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A good candidate for hair transplantation should have enough donor site.Age matters but its not the primary subject if the further hair loss can be predictable for the patient.Expectation of the patient should be realistic and serious health problems should be considered. 

Ilker Apaydin, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Each Case is Unique

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In general, people under the age of 21 are too young for a hair transplant. However there are exceptions, especially when emotional factors are considered. For the average 21 year old, the treatments to consider are finesteride and Rogaine, but even these are not for everyone. When looking at hair transplantation, family history is very important and can give a good indication of where your hair loss is headed. Because your hair loss has started at such a young age, you need to look at the patterns to be expected 10-15 years from now as well as 50 years from now. Being too aggressive with hair transplantation at a young age can be a major mistake. If a transplant is done it should be done in a manner that it can stand alone as a single procedure if all of the current hair is lost and the only hair remaining on your head is the transplant. Approaching it in this way will require a lot of thought and planning and is far less likely to result in a major mistake. In addition you should be aware that a single transplant is not likely to solve your hair loss problem. You will need to add to it, probably more than once, through the coming years as you continue to lose hair. One good thing is that there are a number of non-transplant alternatives that look to be very promising regarding nonsurgical restoration of hair.

Richard Fitzpatrick, MD (in memoriam)
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

You are probably too young for a hair transplant

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Hair loss is a progressive problem in which you continue to lose hair and at your age you may lose enough hair that you will not have enough to maintain your natural result.  The best summary I can give you is in the YouTube video attached.  I hope that helps.

Samuel Lam, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Correcting hair loss at a young age

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Hair loss is a common problem among many young males and tends to get progressively worse with age.  The problem with attempting to correct this problem at a young age is that you will likely need hair transplantation down the road to cover additional balding, thinning or receding spots.  It is important for you and your doctor to assess what stage of hair loss you are likely to be at in the future.  This is based on family genetics and your current hair loss pattern.  Without preparing for the future, you will be correcting your current hair loss issue, but will run into more problems down the road.  I recommend a consultation with an experienced hair transplantation surgeon to determine a plan of action.  Since you are young, a product like Rogaine (minoxidil) might be a good option to start out with.  Rogaine can be sprayed or applied to the scalp twice daily to increase the hair follicles.  In a few years, it might make more sense to consider hair transplantation surgery.   I hope you find this information useful. 

Paul L. Leong, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Good Candidates for Hair Transplant

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There are certain qualifying factors to be a candidate for hair transplant. Being old enough (over the age of 24, generally) is one of them. This is due to the progressive nature of male pattern baldness. Restoring density to your hairline at the age of 21 would not serve you in 5 years when your hairline continues to recede beyond the new/permanent growth. This would create a cosmetic deformity deemed worse, by most, than the initial hair loss. It is advised to use temporary methods for the meanwhile, like minoxidil or finasteride, until your hair loss has progressed further. Getting a hair transplant too early will almost guarantee the need for a second surgery later on. Other qualifying factors for hair transplant include:

  • being in good general health
  • not having extremely curly or kinked follicles (which raise the transection rate)
  • having no history of blood clotting abnormalities or keloiding
  • having no allergies to anesthesia
  • having adequate donor hair

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.