Hair is one of the most important features of your face. It adds a touch of dimension and a touch of style. Sometimes, it communicates to others the type of person we are, the kinds of tastes we have, and it can even indicate how you want people to relate to you. As a result, hair can be significantly linked to your identity and self-esteem, and the loss of hair can have significant emotional and psychological impacts. A hair transplant surgery can be a way to remedy hair loss, but how do you know that you are ready to take that next step?
1. You’re at the Right Age: The first thing you should think about is your age. It is usually recommended that you be at least 30 years of age. At around this time, hair loss patterns begin to set in. Your hair transplant surgeon will need to make sure that the balding pattern is well-set before engaging in the transplant. Therefore, you should have experienced thinning or balding for, perhaps, some 5 years. A transplant done before a surgeon has clarity on the balding pattern can compromise final results.
2. You Have Good Hair Density: While it’s essential to be aware of your hair loss pattern—meaning you are already significantly experiencing balding or thinning—it’s also important to begin the hair transplantation procedure when you have ample hair reserves for transplant. This is called “donor hair.” This is of maximum importance in procedures like Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) in which hair follicles from other regions of your scalp or body are grafted and implanted in your scalp.
3. You Have Realistic Expectations: The results of hair transplantation take time and patience to see. If you undergo a procedure like FUE, you will notice that the hair will shed in subsequent weeks. This does not mean, however, that the surgery has failed. A newly implanted follicle will often rest in its new location and shed its hair. You can expect to see new hair 3 to 4 months after your surgery. In 5 to 6 months, your hair will be thicker, and you can expect to reach your final results 12 to 18 months after your surgery.
4. You Have Few to No Medical Conditions: If you are in good health and are not subject to an illness or medication that causes hair loss, you might be physically ready for a hair transplant. Transplant procedures like FUE rely on how well your skin accepts and integrates hair follicles from other parts of the body. Taxane and anthracycline medications used in chemotherapy target rapidly dividing cells in the body like cancer and follicle cells. It’s not uncommon for patients undergoing chemo treatments to lose their hair. Naturally, it is best to begin a hair transplantation procedure once the patient is finished with the chemo treatment and most certainly not during it. You should always disclose any medications you’re on with your surgeon to ensure that none will inhibit your recovery process.
5. You Have Self-Image Issues: f you are feeling dejected, if you think you feel younger than you look, or if you can’t stop obsessing over your hair and constantly resort to wearing hats and caps to hide your bald spots, you are ready for a hair transplant. A hair transplant has helped men recover the self-esteem that they’d lost due to hair loss. As we mentioned above, hair loss can be detrimental to your image and sense of self. Men (and women) have said that they feel vigorous and young, but a look in the mirror dissipates this feeling. Men can resort patches and hair fibers that temporarily hide bald areas and less populated regions of the scalp, however, the time they invest daily in these procedures would hinder the daily routine.
6. You Know Your Stuff: The most important indicator that tells you you’re ready for a hair transplant is the fact that you’ve done your research and know your options. You know you’re in good health. You know that you’re over 30 and have experienced significant hair loss for as much as five years. Or you know you suffer from male pattern baldness, a genetic condition that affects certain regions of the scalp while leaving others densely populated with follicles. (This is, by the way, why male pattern baldness is a perfect fit for a hair transplant surgery!) Last, you are aware of the recovery process and the patience that waiting for your final results will require of you.
If you are still not sure if you need a hair transplant, you can consult our experts at Care4Hair, who will be in the best position to help you.