Why the recommended age for a hair transplant is totally irrelevant
Being able to get treatment for hair loss is a welcome thing at any age. It allows a person to recover something that used to be a part of them on a daily basis. They get to appreciate again what they have lost. The value that a person places upon his hair would vary however and there are definitely a lot who are comfortable with whatever amount of hair they have on their scalp.
Of all the hair loss conditions affecting men today, none has been more prevalent than androgenic alopecia. It will manifest itself in up to seventy percent of males throughout their lifetimes. Male pattern baldness usually shows its initial symptoms around the late twenties to early thirties, however it can start much earlier. It is a very gradual hair loss condition that is evidenced by a receding hairline in the temporal areas of the scalp. The thinning of the frontal central area just above the forehead usually follows this. A more progressive condition will include balding in the center of the vertex region of the scalp that will slowly experience hair loss in an outward fashion. These areas will eventually result in the top of the scalp being free of hair. The only strands that will remain will be around the lower sides and back of the head that will resemble a horseshoe like pattern.
This remaining region with hair is what is classified as the donor area when it comes to hair transplants. It is where hair can still grow despite the male pattern baldness having run its course. Surgical operations such as follicular unit transplantation (FUT) harvest a strip of skin containing healthy hair follicles from this area and distribute them throughout the scalp. Follicular unit extraction (FUT) procedures also take healthy hair follicles from this area. The logic behind this is that both an FUT and an FUE operation will leave scarring after it is performed. It needs the existing hair in the donor area to cover it from exposure. Getting hair follicles that are beyond it might cause the scarring to be revealed when the male pattern baldness has progressed.
Hair loss can start earlier in some men. There are even those that experience it during their teens. For these people, the time at which the top of their scalp will be fully exposed might be shorter. It will still however, take some time before this happens and it would be wise to allow the male pattern baldness to progress to a certain degree before having a hair transplant procedure. It is recommended that the minimum age before getting either an FUT or FUE procedure is 25 years old. While this age is still quite young, it would at least allow them enough time to see how much the androgenic alopecia will affect their scalp. By this time, the surgeon would be able to make a good enough estimate of where to harvest the hair follicles and implant them unto the thinning areas.
Unfortunately, life is not as simple as that. Try telling an 18 year old who has already lost 50% of his hair, that he should wait until he is 25 before considering treatment. Equally, does a man of that age really want to start messing around with Propecia and hair systems? Of course not. Then again, any surgeon who agrees to perform hair transplant surgeon should reassess his morals, because as patronizing as it may sound, none of us know what we want at that age. We’re more prone to making emotional, rash decisions, an approach that does not mix well with any sort of cosmetic surgery, including hair transplants.
It might be better to consider other forms of treatment. Male pattern baldness in its early stages can be treated with anti hair loss shampoos and concealers. It can also be remedied by a scalp micropigmentation (SMP) procedure where the balding is most noticeable. SMP is very useful because it can work with existing hair and create an illusion of a thicker scalp. It can be applied on specific areas and can be removed as needed to better suit any balding situation. This is something that younger men might want to consider at any stage of their alopecia, because the long term implications are not as serious due to relatively easy reversal methods available.