I am in my mid-30s and looking to improve [the appearance] of my hair loss. I understand that my hair loss will continue even if I get a hair transplant. Does this mean that you are more likely to require multiple transplants over the years, the younger you are when you have your first surgery?
Hair loss is a progressive disease. The earlier one experiences hair loss, typically the more extensive their hair loss will develop. The earlier one starts treatment for hair loss, the better the results.
Undergoing a hair transplant is great for reversing the hair that you have lost but it does not prevent future hair loss and it does not reverse what we call miniaturization or shrinking of your residual hair.
For my patients I strongly recommend not only them undergoing hair transplantation to replace what they have already lost but also to consider undergoing low-level laser therapy and Propecia therapy in hopes of stopping or preventing any future hair loss. The less hair you lose in the future, the less we have to transplant.
Since we have a finite number of hairs available in the donor region, the more hair you lose the more hair we have to keep going back to the donor region to harvest these grafts and eventually we can easily run out of grafts. Until we are at a point in technology where we can clone hair or cell multiplication to duplicate hair, we are limited by someone’s donor region; therefore, we want to try to preserve and stop as much hair loss as possible.
Regarding how many hair transplants you will need if you start earlier, you are going to need a transplant for any area that you have lost. It does not matter if you are transplanting only the frontal region or you are transplanting the frontal and mid-scalp regions. It will still require the same number of grafts. There are pros and cons when you think of when the best time is to start transplanting due to the fact the earlier you start transplanting the more camouflage you still have available and the less likely it is going to be noticeable to others. Whereas, if you wait until you lose all the hair in an area you are going to have a much more difficult time to camouflage this from others.
— Dr. Shelly Friedman, DO
Board Certified Hair Restoration Surgeon
Arizona’s Most Trusted Hair Loss Doctor
Named Phoenix Magazine’s Top Doc – Hair Transplant Surgeon