What is the best age to get a hair transplant?
Hair loss can be a devastating condition that does not discriminate against gender or age. According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of men will experience a significant degree of hair loss by the age of 50. However, each individual (men & women) will experience hair loss differently and each person requires a personalized prognosis that addresses their specific hair loss needs. That being said, people want to know, “Is there a magic age or number to address the issue of hair loss?”
This article will examine the contributing factors in-depth and share information you need to know in order to answer the question, “When should I get a hair transplant?”
What is the average age for a hair transplant?
According to the ISHRS 2017 practice consensus (a study that gathered information from hundreds of hair restoration practitioners), the most common age for male hair transplant patients was between the ages of 30-39 (32%). It is important to note this does not mean this age range is the best time for a person to get a hair transplant. Many men start to show signs of hair loss in their early 20s while some men do not experience any hair loss before the age range of 40-50.
In addition, some people require a hair transplant during the earlier signs of hair loss while others wait until they reach the end stage of their hair loss before they try to restore their hair. These factors make the age of a hair transplant anywhere from early 20s to people in their 80s.
Can you be too young to get a hair transplant?
At one time, there was a theory that you could not get a hair transplant before the age of 24. The reason for this belief was hair transplant surgeons needed to wait until you showed your full hair loss or started to show the pattern your hair loss was heading.
Waiting for the pattern to show could have prevented aggressive hairline planning for a patient who might not have an ample supply of hair to cover a large area of baldness in the future. However, thanks to advances in technology, we do not need to wait as long as we did in the past. In fact, we are able to give a hair transplant to patients before the age of 20 (in select cases).
There are three reasons we do not have to wait very long before suggesting a hair transplant:
- We examine the family pattern of hair loss to better understand the genetic components and where it is likely for the hairline of the patient to travel.
- We perform a microscopic evaluation of both the scalp and the hair (miniaturization study) to accurately determine where the patient has active hair loss on the scalp. Plus, we do not have to wait until the patient loses scalp hair to the point that the person is showing the final pattern.
- We use effective medications to keep people from reaching the final stage of hair loss so there is no point in waiting before planning a hair transplant.
Can you be too young/old to begin other hair loss medications?
There are two main FDA-approved medications for male patterned baldness (finasteride and Propecia). One can be started at any age while the other cannot be given to adolescents as it might impact the development of the male external genitalia. For this reason, we usually start that treatment plan after the age of 18.
Is it possible to get a hair transplant too late?
There is no upper age limit for a hair transplant procedure. Thanks to the new non-invasive FUE techniques, a hair transplant could be done at any age as long the patient is otherwise healthy.
Is it Possible to Get a Hair Transplant even if it Seems too Late?
There is no upper age limit for a hair transplant procedure. Thanks to non-invasive FUE techniques, a hair transplant can be performed at any age as long the patient is healthy enough to have the procedure.
What is the Best Age to Get a Hair Transplant?
The best age to undergo a hair transplant varies by individual. We believe the best time for someone to have a hair transplant is when their hair loss is bothering them. In addition, available medical treatments should not be sufficient enough to resolve the problem.
In general, there is no age limit for hair restoration as long as the patient is properly evaluated and selected for this procedure. Psychology studies of hair loss and hair transplant show that the loss of hair at an early age can be a major source of anxiety for young adults. This early hair loss might negatively impact the social and professional lives of young men. This is one of the main reasons we consider performing a hair transplant at an early age.
What Factors Should be Considered when Determining the Best Age to Get a Hair Transplant?
We consider the family pattern of the hair loss as this often tells us how hair loss will evolve over time. We also consider treating any existing hair loss with medications early on in the hair loss process. The response of the patient determines the age where we should consider a hair transplant.
Many patients respond well to medication when it is started at an early stage of hair loss. This often means they can successfully postpone the time period where they will need to get a hair transplant. The other factors to be considered are the patient’s awareness of the problem, the impact on their social life and their career aspects. All of these factors make a difference in the age and the urgency of a hair transplant procedure.