I am 29 years old right now & I started to lose my hair when i was 21 years old. Should I get a hair transplant? (photo)
Doctor Answers 8
You need to make your own decisions, not ask if you should have surgery.
You can't say this with much certainty without an exam.
If you are considering surgery, see a doctor.
You first start out with an examination by seeing a doctor in person. You need to have goals and set expectations. You need to understand possible risks and consequences of surgery such as shock hair loss (looking worse). If you understand all this, you may not even want surgery.
Hair transplant candidate
Stopping hair loss and thinning existing hair without a hair transplant is an option for you to consider
Presently, there are two drugs that are used for hair loss: finasteride and minoxidil. Finasteride is a pill taken daily. It inhibits an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase which is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It’s been shown that specific men have hair follicles sensitive to the effects of dihydrotestosterone. When finasteride was introduced, a lot of men benefited. Unfortunately, there is concern about long-term sexual side effects of finasteride. In our practice, it is more typical for men in their 20s and 30s to refuse or consider taking finasteride. Minoxidil is a topical treatment that helps prolong the presence of hair that’s thinning. It is something that is applied once at night.
Traditionally, the only other alternative to these medical options is a hair transplant. Unfortunately, the reality with lot of younger men who have rapid progression of hair loss is after one transplant, they need another transplant. To make matters worse, the donor area which is the area at the back of the scalp is very limited, and cannot cover the space once covered with tens of thousands of hairs with only a few thousand hairs.
In our practice, we developed a treatment called Hair Regeneration using a material called extracellular matrix by ACell combined with platelet-rich plasma. The single application treatment is injected under the skin of the scalp has effectively stopped the progression of hair loss, reverse the thinning process and thickens thinning hair. We have approximately 3-5 years of data and close to a 100% response rate with male pattern hair loss. We’re developing more protocols and procedures for more advanced hair loss in later stages. This material that was originally used for wound healing is derived from pig bladder to help heal by duplication of cells. It’s not by duplicating hair follicles but restoring the cells and signals necessary for the hair growth process.
Consider this treatment called Hair Regeneration which is very successful as a single treatment. We follow our patients very closely by seeing them at one month, 3 months, 6 months and all the way to 18 months to the present time to see improvement. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your question.
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However, since you are still at a relatively young age, it may be necessary to wait some time for an actual surgery. You may still be losing hair at a rather high rate. And after your procedure, this can continue (beyond the regions of the inserted grafts) to form bald spots. The only way to correct this would be through another surgery.
Your physician may therefore recommend that you wait until your rate of hair loss has reached a stable plateau.
In the meantime, he or she may recommend the use of Rogaine or Propecia to help prevent more serious manifestations of hair loss.
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Want not Need
Should I get a hair transplant?
Nowadays, hair transplants (when done properly) look natural.
Meet with several hair transplant surgeons to get opinions on how you wish to proceed.
In general, when I look at photo of a 29 yr old male with your pattern of hair loss there are a few "should"s that I would definitely want him to know:
1. He "should" be made aware that further hair loss is going to occur over the next 30 years. That's guaranteed. There is a chance all the hair on the front and top will be gone.
2. He "should" be made aware that medical options are critically important to consider. These include finasteride, minoxidil (both FDA approved), low level laser and platelet rich plasma. These can help stop or slow hair loss. No young man in his 20s should have a hair transplant without first understanding these treatments and whether he wants to use them. Not all men want to use these treatments but it's absolutely essential to know about them.
3. He "should" be made aware that transplanting the top of the scalp (the crown) before age 35 is usually not a good idea. Hair loss can expand rapidly in this area leaving an unnatural island of hair in the center and no hair on the perimeter.
With careful discussion you might indeed find you want to add some better definition to the front 1/2 of your scalp with particular attention to the hairline.
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.