Man: Am I eligible for hair transplantation? I'm losing my hair from the last five years. In the early days, my hair falls a lot but with passage of time, it stops. Now I'm facing diffusing hair pattern baldness. Last year, I tried Minoxidil 5% with Logihair, mouth medicine, but didn't see any considerable change. Now I'm considering hair transplant surgery and he advised that whether I am a good candidate for hair transplant as per my baldness pattern and as per my age, 24. As many people are saying that I should wait for my late 20's for hair transplant.

Dr. Prasad: Thank you for your question. Twenty four years old and you stated in your question that you've been losing hair for the past five years and that it's diffusely thinning and you've submitted some really good photos that certainly convey. The question you're asking is are a candidate for hair transplant and that whether or not to do this in your late 20's. Well, I think that you have to understand the limitations of hair transplantations and as we continue this discussion I'm going to share with you something that we do in our practice that's different from hair transplantation that maybe will be applicable to you. So let's first understand what's going on. You have male pattern hair loss. This is probably genetic, it runs in families and the medications you've been taking certainly may help someone but in United States there are two FDA approved drugs for hair loss, one is Minoxidil which is a topical and it tends to prolong the growth cycle of thinning hair so that it appears to last longer and make the scalp look like it has a little more coverage, and the other is Finasteride.

Finasteride is known as a blocker of DHT production caused by an enzyme called 5-Alpha Reductase. In a specific segment of male pattern hair loss, Finasteride can be effective in slowing down the progression. The problem is that a lot of younger people, even being on Finateride, will continue to thin. Now in terms of hair transplantation, when you are in your 20's the expectation of hair transplantation is very different than when you are in your 40's or 50's. This is just the realities, it comes from experience of 20 years of practice that the rule of decades unfortunately is not favorable. When you're in your 20's, only 20% of men have significant hair loss while 80% have lots and lots of hair. If you do a transplant your area that you need to cover is far greater and it's an absolute mismatch between the area that needs to be covered and the limitations of the donor area. To understand that truly just think of the baldest man you can think of and look at how narrow that strip of hair is. Right now a lot of people are doing folliculated extractions or FUEs and they're making openings far above and below the safe donor area, and I sometimes refer to this as being an approach where it's really a rental where the hair is being transplanted but it's not going to stay there because it's genetically programmed to thin out and disappear. Too controversial statement but you can't argue with the physiology.

And so in terms of the results of a transplant for a 20 year old or someone in their 20's, you have to think about where can the hairs be placed and usually it's limited to the frontal hairline to define the face. And in order to get a really good result you usually need more than one session in order to get density and a more natural appearance. In our practice, we have been performing a procedure which is not surgical. In fact we've literally flipped around the approach we do to hair loss and that is a method called hair regeneration. What we have developed is the use of a material for wound healing called extracellular matrix that is combined with your own blood product called platelet rich plasma. This combination of a formulation and a delivery method is something we've been working on and have developed to a level that we're actually scaling to reverse thinning hair. So instead of transplanting, what we're doing is we're taking people with thinning hair and stopping the progression and getting the hair to now thicken. Now this is a revolutionary procedure and unfortunately that's kind of a cliche but I'm enthusiastic because it makes such a difference for patients who have come to use from all over the world. So the reason why it's been quite the remarkable discovery is that the material was never intended for hair loss so it was actually intended for wound healing and it was an accidental discovery that thinning hair became thicker when this was used for an incision healing process in the donor area.


Thicken Your Existing Hair With This Revolutionary Treatment

Dr. Amiya Prasad discusses why hair transplants in younger patients will only lead them to needing more transplants in the future. He suggests that thickening hair and preventing loss in the first place is a better option.