I'm 19 years-old and I'm already experiencing thinning hair. Will hair transplant surgery be effective for me? (Photo)

As previously stated, I'm 19 years-old and already experiencing thinning hair. My family has a history of male pattern baldness. When I'm partaking in my normal activities, I do often find hair falling off my head and I'm getting concerned because I can notice the receding hairline. Would it be okay for me to do it at my age?

Doctor Answers 6

Hair transplant at 19

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It is not recommended to undergo a transplant procedure at age 19.  You should see a hair specialist and possibly discuss medical management of hair loss to slow the loss of your natural hair.

Irvine Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Thinning hair at 19

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Your biggest enemy is the progressive nature of balding that comes about from genetic male patterned hair loss. What will happen in the next 5 or so years is probably that you will continue losing hair in the pattern that you inherited from your parents and grandparents. Your looks show early balding now, but this is the time to meet with a good doctor who can make the correct diagnosis and start you on the drug finasteride, which is highly effective at stopping progressive balding and possibly reversing it in men of your age. Get Bulk Measurements of your hair to determine where your present balding is now, and then after you go on the medications, such measurements will tell if the treatment is working within a year or so. If you are developing a more advanced balding pattern which the Bulk Measurements will show over a one year time frame, then you and your doctor need to develop a MASTER PLAN and that Master Plan might have transplants as an option. With early balding, I would not rush to hair transplants if the drug alone will solve the problem and you will know this within a year.

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Male pattern balding starts with puberty

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A doctor usually needs to exam a patient, diagnose a problem (of why you are losing your hair), then needs to
understand the goals and expectations of a patient before giving them options or treatment plan.

If you don't have good donor hair, then surgery may not be an option. These are things you need to discuss
with a doctor in person. Body hair may be an option but that is also something you need to discuss with your
doctor in person.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

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Hair transplant candidate

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You can be a candidate but not now. You need to wait a few more years for your hair loss pattern to be established. At this point you may need to start a medical regiment routine to slow down the hairloss. 

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

A hair transplant is not advised at your age, but you can stop progressive hair loss now and thicken your hair non-surgically

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The early onset of hair loss is very often an aggressive type of hair loss. I see patients come from all over the world for our treatment and I certainly see younger and younger people. Male pattern hair loss is a genetic trait. There’s a programmed loss or thinning process that goes on.

In the past, the only options were oral medications like finasteride, a topical like minoxidil, and hair transplantation surgery. It’s certainly an option for you to try finasteride. For some younger men, it will slow down the progression but it will not stop it. Often, people who have this early onset tend to not respond to finasteride. At the current time, a lot of people are not taking finasteride because of concerns of long-term sexual side effects.

In our practice, we developed Hair Regeneration using material called extracellular matrix. Extracellular matrix is used for wound healing. We were able to create a formulation combining this with a byproduct of your own blood called platelet-rich plasma. Through this, we are able to stop the progression of hair loss in close to 100% of men who come to us for male pattern hair loss. Not only are we able to stop the progression, but we are also able to reverse the thinning. That means that hair that was thinning and almost disappearing is becoming thicker. We have hundreds and hundreds of patients who are the living proof of the benefit of this treatment.

I would suggest for you to learn more about Hair Regeneration. The minimum it can do is at least stop the progression. With 3-5 years of data, we have seen the benefit of the longevity. Unlike some doctors who are doing something similar and doing this by several injections, we do this with a single injection and we observe our patients very closely. We see people every 3 months and we do very objective observations with photography and microscope photos. We have not seen anybody regressing.

I always state that our patients tend to do better when they come in early, starting from the time of the onset of their hair loss. The time of onset of hair loss and the progression are two factors. A man who starts thinning in their 30s can still have hair well into their 30s. However, there are many younger men who start thinning in their teens and in their 20s and be bald between the age of 20 to 23, so onset and rate of progression are very important factors. The sooner someone comes in, the better off they are because we can save the hairs that are existing. Often we can’t see them with a microscope because they are in a quiescent or the telogen phase of hair growth. Hair that has been gone for a long time cannot be salvaged.

I advise you learn more about Hair Regeneration and medical treatments such as finasteride and minoxidil, and then meet with qualified, experienced professionals for a consultation. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your question.

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Young male who is losing hair

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See a specialist in hair loss/hair restoration. At your age you are likely to want a full head of hair. You might be better off with medication to slow down hair loss. Hair transplantation has to be considered quite judiciously at your young age. 

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.