Today I will discuss my approach to younger patients that seek out hair transplant procedures. It is very important that he hair transplant surgeon proceeds slowly and carefully in younger patients. It is not uncommon for young men in their early 20’s to approach me seeking hair transplantation. The issue is that in individuals this young it is very hard to accurately determine how severe their hair loss will ultimately be. Thus it is difficult to assess an accurate treatment plan over the long term, which is an essential component of our jobs as hair transplant surgeons. Since every individual only has a finite amount of donor follicles to donate to the areas of balding, we need to have a course of action for not only the amount of hair loss that the patient has at the moment, but the eventual end point of the patients hair loss in the future. This is so we can conserve donor hair for the future for the affected areas that will need it later. Sometimes young men in their early 20s wish to have their hairline restored to the way it was only a few years prior. This is not a good approach as is can result in an unnaturally low hairline later with not enough donor hair to fill in all the areas of baldness behind it.
I prefer to start my younger patients on Propecia and Rogaine which can help restore some hair, and in many cases greatly slow the progression of hair loss, especially in younger individuals. I have these patients follow up with me periodically so that I can assess their continuing degree of loss. In some cases I will perform a procedure in a patient as young as 25, but I will insist on a regimen of Propecia and Rogaine. Also, I create a very conservative hairline in these patients and don’t use too much donor hair, thus conserving donor hair for future procedures.
Hair loss can be psychologically debilitating for many and especially young individuals. As hair transpant surgeons it is our job to approach these patients in the proper manner, so that the right decision can be made as to when and how to proceed with the hair transplant procedure.
All the best,
Marc Dauer, M.D.