What is the best age to get hair transplant?

Technically speaking, there is no age limit for hair transplant.

For example, for a child suffering significant hair loss due to an accident or injury, hair transplant could be a medical requirement, so even a child can get a hair transplant upon parental consent.

However, an aesthetic problem not directly related to health such as male pattern hair loss, also called androgenic alopecia, might require a different approach. The minimum age limit for aesthetic procedures is 18, but we consider this age too early to get a hair transplant.

Hair transplant should involve a great deal of organization. The first phase of the organization is thinking ahead. The first question to ask before we design any hair transplant procedure should be the following: “Is patient’s hair loss an ongoing process?”

We also should determine the pattern and rate of hair loss to evaluate the treatment options. Let us explain this through various scenarios.

SCENARIO 1

The patient is aged 40. Hair loss began when the patient was in his early 20s and reached stage 4 by following a progressive course, but it slowed considerably over the last five years. In this case, we decide that the rate of hair loss has now stabilized (hair loss continues throughout life).

We consider this group of patients as the most suitable candidates for hair transplant. If their donor site yields sufficient number of grafts, one successful hair transplant will achieve the desired results without the need for another surgery for the rest of their lives. Even if the hair loss continues, the extent of thinning will be limited to acceptable levels.

SCENARIO 2

The patient is aged 25. Hair loss began three years ago and progressed rapidly to reach stage 3. We have really hard time to convince such patients that it is too early for a hair transplant.

As the hair loss is likely to continue, we ethically advice against any surgical intervention at this stage. We tell the patient that he should wait until the rate of hair loss has stabilized. We advise the patient to use some medical treatments to stabilize or delay hair loss until they reach their 30s.

This scenario usually ends in two ways: The person either follows our advice and chooses to wait 5-6 years to receive a hair transplant until his balding pattern sets in or insists on getting a hair transplant despite knowing that his hair loss will continue even after the transplant.

If they find it difficult to cope with the frustration over hair loss and haste towards hair transplant, we explain the patient that just one operation cannot solve the problem as future hair loss is highly likely to occur, and then plan the operation in such a way that we can use the hair in the donor site wisely for a second or third transplant in the future.

SCENARIO 3

The patient is aged 55. Hair loss began when he was 35, and the balding has long set in, reaching stage 4.

However, the hair in the donor site (the back of head) has lost its density and quality over the years.

In such cases, any operation requires a carefully designed plan, because the available grafts will allow only one hair transplant procedure.

The number of grafts to be extracted from the back of head should be kept to a minimum to avoid any noticeable bald patches.

Therefore, we explain the patient that it would not be possible to restore the entire hairline in the most ideal way so that the patient sets realistic expectations.

The bottom line is you should note these main points about the ideal age for hair transplant:

  • Hair transplant is generally not recommended for people under 30.
  • Hair transplant is not recommended if you still continue to lose hair.

If you have a hair transplant at a young age before your balding pattern has stabilized, any future balding can create islands of hair surrounded by bald areas, which will surely look unnatural. It means you will need corrective procedures with new costs.