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A Hair Transplant Might NOT Be For You...

Hair surgery works for many, but not for all

We've gone over different hair loss treatments: solutions, medications, and surgery for example. Of course, each case is different and people respond to treatments and their combinations differently. Today we will discuss different types of hair loss and whether they can be helped with hair transplant surgery.

What condition is most commonly treated with hair transplant surgery?

Hair transplants are typically done when a person is struggling with androgenic alopecia pattern hair loss.

Men with this sort of hair loss will notice their hair thinning and their hairline receding. For women, it includes central thinning or parting that occurs in the central area. Therefore, they typically have a band of hair in the front which stays intact while the thinning occurs from the central part.

Can a hair transplant help if the area is scarred?

People who lost hair because of burns, surgical scars, or injury scars, also opt for hair transplant surgery. Hair cannot grow in scar tissue because of the poor blood supply. After an accident or surgical treatment, a hair surgeon can help restore a patient's appearance by placing hairs in the scar area.

What if my hair is falling out because of being tied?

Another reason why hair can fall out is if it is often held in a tight hairstyle. This is called traction alopecia and happens because an area of hair is repeatedly tugged on. This can happen to people whose jobs require them to wear their hair in a tight ponytail or bun. Hair transplants can help in this case.

What is alopecia areata?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune type of hair loss. Hair loss happens because the immune system attacks the hair follicles.
 
Hair transplant surgery isn't always a possible solution for this type of hair loss. If someone's hair has already become very thin due to the condition, there might not be enough grafts to harvest. Additionally, if the condition is new or the inflammation is active, the immune system will also attack any transplanted hair. 
 
There are cases when hair transplant surgery can help. Typically, If the condition is milder, the area of hair loss is smaller, and if the condition has been stable for several years. 

What is the difference in treating thinning hair and bald spots?

If someone has thick hair in some regions of their scalp but has balding patches, hair can be harvested without the donor area appearing too thin after the procedure.
 
It’s more difficult to harvest hairs when someone’s hair is thinning throughout the scalp. Taking hair from one area and implanting it in another would just lead to an uneven result. The donor area would be left with little hair density after grafts are taken from it. These types of patients are usually advised against hair transplantation. They can consider other options such as PRP, laser light therapy, certain medications, minoxidil, or finasteride.

Is there such a thing as being too young for surgery?

There aren’t age restrictions for hair transplant surgery, but it often isn’t the right solution for young male patients.  
 
Some men seek a surgical solution for their receding hairline in their early or mid-twenties. Since a surgeon can’t predict when the hairline will stop receding, they might advise the patient against surgery. 
 
If the patient does go through with the surgery this early on in life, their surgeon will bring down the hairline giving them a more youthful look. The issue is that, as hair continues to fall out, the patient will need more surgeries to maintain it and will run out of donor hairs. 
 
A better solution would be to estimate how the hairline will look in the future. A surgeon can then give the patient a more mature, but sustainable look. 

Are hair transplants a "quick fix" for hair loss? 

Surgery might seem like a quick fix, but this isn't necessarily true. The procedure requires consultations and proper after-care to be successful. Also, the treatment might just not be the right solution for you.
 
Know that a good surgeon has what is best for you in mind when giving their professional opinion. You can always look into a recommended treatment further or seek a second opinion, but make sure you consult with a trusted specialist.

The content of this newsletter is for entertainment and educational purposes only. This content is not meant to provide any medical advice or treat any medical conditions. Patients must be evaluated by an appropriate healthcare provider on an individual basis and treatment must be tailored to meet that patient’s needs. Results and particular outcomes are not guaranteed.

Written by Aleksandra Božović | Edited by Dr. Gary Linkov
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