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 34

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

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
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Good Candidates Have a Stable Supply of Donor Hair which can Cover Current and Future Areas of Hair Loss

A person is a good candidate for a hair transplant when they have a stable supply of donor hair which is adequate to cover the current and future areas of hair loss. Since it is very difficult to assess the long-term stability of donor hair and the extent of future hair loss when patients are very young, it is best to wait to have a hair transplant until at least the age of 25.

A densitometer is an instrument which enables the doctor to determine the permanence of the donor hair and the extent of future balding.

People that are good candidates are also realistic. A hair transplant should not be used to restore an adolescent hairline, but to restore a normal adult hairline, so that the procedure will look good long-term.

In general, people with frontal hair loss will benefit most from hair restoration surgery whereas hair loss in the crown is more amenable to medication.

Robert M. Bernstein, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Medical managment vs surgery for male pattern hair loss

Thank you for your question.  I do feel for you and your situation.  You have started to lose your hair at a young age.  You may have a family member (i.e. brother, father, etc.) that has similar hair loss pattern and history.  My first advice for you would be to stabilize your hair loss as much as possible with medical management prior to considering any surgical hair restoration procedures. Two main stays for androgenic/male pattern hair loss are topical minoxidil (Rogaine) and oral finasteride (Propecia; requires a prescription from your doctor).  These two meds are the most reliable and well-studied medications for male hair loss.  For females, finasteride is not recommended due to risk of fetal birth defects and it is not as affective as most female pattern hair loss is not androgen/testosterone related.  There are some other/newer options that are less well studied, but may be helpful (i.e. light therapy, protein rich plasma injections, etc.).  Once your hair loss is stable and predictable, then one can consider having a surgical hair restoration procedure.  Your surgeon needs to design your hair transplant procedure with your future hair loss in mind so that you get a long-lasting and appropriate/natural result for your the rest of your life.

Jason Guillot, MD
Mandeville Otolaryngologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Wait Until Hair Loss Has Slowed

Thanks for your question. It's not abnormal to see younger men experiencing hair loss, but it's still too early for you to undergo a restoration procedure. For the best results, it's best to wait until the hair loss process has slowed down or stabilized before undergoing a transplant. At this point, it's still too early in the hair loss process to predict what pattern your loss will take. By delaying your procedure, you can ensure that you get natural-looking results that will last as long as possible. 

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Good Candidate is in good health with moderate hair loss and ample donor hair at the back of the scalp

The ideal candidate for hair restoration at The Miami Institute is in good health with moderate hair loss and ample donor hair at the back of the scalp. The more donor hair available, the greater the hair density that can be restored.

Julio F. Gallo, MD
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Who can benefit from hair transplant

. Any one who has experienced permanent hair loss may be a candidate for hair restoration surgery. Once the patient is seen by a hair restoration specialist, the doctor make evaluations for the cause of hair loss and give recommendations for hair transplant surgery or any other treatment option. In most cases hair restoration can be a benefit to the following individuals:
  • Men with male pattern hair loss.
  • Women with male pattern hair loss.
  • Men and women who want to restore or change the shape of their hair line.
  • People with areas of scarring from injuries or scarring skin disease.
  • Patients who experience hair loss after a surgical procedure such as face lift.
  • People who want to thicken or restore eyebrows, eyelashes, and beards.
  • Those seeking reconstruction and correction of old methods or pluggy look. 
Hair transplantation has become very popular procedure for the past few years among both women and men. before deciding on hair transplant, it is important to find out if you are a good candidate for the surgery or you benefit more from a medical regiment.

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Who is a Good Candidate for Hair Transplant?

Thank you for your question. Surgical hair restoration transfers your own hair follicles from a donor site to a recipient site on the scalp. Characteristics of good candidates for this procedure include: being healthy, having reasonable expectations about results, understanding the limitations of the procedure, not having a family history of the most severe types of male pattern baldness. It is important to understand that hair loss is progressive. The hair transplant procedure does not prevent further loss from non-transplanted areas. If an individual is actively losing hair, he may expect that pattern of hair loss to continue. There are medical treatments available that can help minimize that loss in most men. Speak with your hair restoration surgeon about recommendations in your case.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Who is a Good Candidate for hair Transplant?

A good candidate for hair restoration surgery is someone who is generally healthy with no absolute contraindications to the treatment. They should have no family history of severe male pattern baldness and ideally have tried medication to reduce hair loss
Realistic expectations are important and an awareness of the alternative options available
The ideal age is mid thirties and hair restoration surgery is an option for both men and women alike.

Hassan Nurein, MD
London Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Who is a Good Candidate for Hair Transplant?

The absolute ideal candidate for hair transplant surgery is anyone who has more hair still remaining on the back and sides compared to the amount of loss at the front and top, and also demonstrates that the loss has stabilised and no history of anyone worse than them in the family!
Of course the above is the ideal, but doesn't mean it is not a good idea otherwise to have a hair transplant.  It is all a question of balance and being reasonable in your expectations coupled with skill, experience and wisdom from your hair transplant surgeon.
Generally the younger you are, the earlier you are in your hair loss journey and the more severe your family history is, the higher the risk you take if you undergo hair transplantation. So at your age and the circumstances I assume you are experiencing it is most likely wise to to try and stabilise the loss with Propecia, Regaine/Rogaine, low level laser therapy or any combination until the your loss stops. Once this is achieved then an ethical and experience hair transplant surgeon will be able to advise you adequately

Bessam Farjo, MBChB
Manchester Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

21 is young

You will likely continue to thin.  For now, I'd stick to Rogaine and Propeica.  Grafting now is probably premature. When your hair thins beyond the grafts you will get a bald gap.  Then, you will be forced to graft again to fill the gap.  At 21, your rate of hair loss may created these gaps every couple years.  You would be chasing your tail until loss slows.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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.