View Full Version : Am I Too Young For A Hair Transplant? | Dr. Glenn Charles Boca Raton Fl.

08-31-2009, 03:14 PM
Question submitted through americanhairloss.org (http://americanhairloss.org)

IAHRS Member, Dr. Glenn Charles (http://www.iahrs.org/DisplayProfile.asp?ID=%C0%EB&sID=%B7%97&sn=) of Boca Raton, Fl. Responds:

I keep reading that itís not a good idea to have a hair transplant if you are under 25 years old, but I have what I consider to be severe hair loss in the front of my scalp. I am 24 years old and have started talking Proscar tablets cut into quarters so I think I will stabilize my hair loss is a few months. I would like to look my age again and want to have my hair line restored. Is having a hair transplant at my age really such a big risk?
Please advise.

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Paul Straub, MD
08-31-2009, 04:24 PM
Dr. Charles has stated my opinion in different words, but I agree with his points. The decision whether or not to do a hair transplant should not be made solely based on age. It is much easier and safer to transplant an older man but with great care a younger man can be successfully transplanted.

First, if a young man has lost enough hair to need transplantation he is very likely going to be very bald at a later age. Both the surgeon and the patient must realize that and imagine the young fellow with severe hair loss, This means the hairline must not be placed too low. We cannot look at younger photos and imagine that we will reproduce these images. The hairline must be located in a fashion which will look natural 30 years later. Frequently younger men do not want to imagine their face at twice their present age. What they want is to look young now. If we can reason with the patient the patient will look much better now but not the way he looked at 18. I have successfully transplanted many young men based on these principles.

Paul Straub, MD, FACS

08-31-2009, 06:08 PM
This is a great video Dr. Charles and also a great follow-up Dr. Straub.

To me this information infers a few things that I'd be interesting in validating.

First, is it true that even in a male that does NOT have MPB, that his hairline naturally rises and recedes a little bit as he ages? I guess there are a few men out there (for example, actor Patrick Dempsey or even actor John Stamos that substantially maintian their low, full, dense hairlines as they age), but most nonbalding men seem to have hairlines that naturally rise and recede. Is this true? Otherwise it seems the concept of age-appropriate hairlines wouldn't exist.

Second, do all IAHRS doctors construct age-appropriate hairlines for their patients? Out of curioisty, what age range is the easiest to construct a hairline for? What I mean is, is there an age (or age range) of a patient for whom it is easiest to design hairlines for?

I think your comments regarding hairline are absolutely golden. It would be so unfortunate to be a man who has had a poorly, NON-age appropriate hairline surgically transplanted that he has to live with for his entire life.

Thank the heavens for the IAHRS.


Dr. Glenn Charles
09-01-2009, 02:50 PM
Designing hairlines at any age can be difficult. A good hairline is created by using an artistic approach combined with a calculation of the patients age, facial features, and expectations. Having in mind that the hair transplant still needs to look appropriate even under the worst case scenario in which the patients loses much more hair with aging. In most cases older men have dealt with there hair loss for a longer time and are satisfied with smaller changes to the hairline. The younger guys still remember the super low hairline and tend to have a hard time staying conservative. It is the doctors responsibility to convince the patient to take the safer approach. Reminding them that it is possible to lower the hairline at a later time, but trying to raise it can be very challenging.

John P. Cole, MD
09-02-2009, 10:26 PM
i would suggest that if your hair loss is minimal at age 24, consider a hair transplant.

if your hair loss involves the front and vertex significantly, at age 24 avoid a hair transplant.

if your hair loss is significant in the front or the back without involving both at age 24, exercise caution with regard to beginning a hair transplant and error on the side of doing nothing what so ever.

of course none of these generalities cover all possible scenarios. those with better donor areas have a better chance over time.

consider this. if you have more bricks to begin with, you can build a bigger house. if the quality of your bricks is better, you can build a bigger house. However, if the number or quality of your bricks is limited, don't start building a house you can never complete.

The bottom line is be smart! The chances are that your hair transplant surgeon will not have your best interest long term in mind. Remember that he is guided by his bank account and not your long term interest in mind. Let the buyer be ware!