I am 22 years old. And my hairline and temples have started to recede. Also I am experiencing thinning on top of my head. I want to fix this problem as soon as possible. But I am wondering if I am too young to undergo a hair transplant surgery.
Erlend B. T.
You will have to speak to a hair restoration specialist. He or she will be able to identify the exact cause(s) of your hair loss and recommend sound options for you to consider. However, it would help for you to understand the broader picture of what you might expect.
Younger patients like yourself should first see if FDA approved medications would help. Propecia (Finasteride) is often recommended as the first line of defense since it targets a specific chemical pathway involved in androgenic alopecia. However, this is available as a prescription. If you are not able to benefit from Propecia, then Rogaine (Minoxidil) would be the next best product to apply. Ample time (around 6-8 months) should be allowed for seeing potential results. If the outcome is minimal, then hair restoration can be a choice to consider, as the video above explains.
A transplant specialist would need to do their best to predict the progression of your hair loss. Contrary to what many people think, family history is not an adequate determinant. The doctor would need to examine the patterns and rates associated with your condition to predict whether or not you will end up as a Norwood 6-7.
If your baldness will be this severe, placing grafts around the front, near your face will be futile. Hair will continue to shed behind the region of inserted grafts. And as you can imagine, this will look awkward. Also, improper (premature) timing will exhaust the number of available donor follicles on your head. Therefore there would be fewer resources to work with if you happen to need future repair surgeries.
Of course, with body hair transplant, a large number of grafts can be derived for ideal coverage. But what matters is that you have enough hairs in regions like the beard area, chest, abdomen and back. And secondly your clinic would need to have the ability to perform these extractions.
Besides the issue of having extra donor bandwidth, your financial situation would also be an important variable to consider. You would need to ask yourself if you would have the means to afford additional surgeries if the need arises. In your early twenties, this may be somewhat of a challenge. But this is certainly an issue that deserves attention for successful planning.
Dr. Sanusi Umar is a pioneer in hair transplant surgery and is widely published and recognized in his field. Dr. Umar is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and the founder of DermHair Clinic in Los Angeles, CA.