Records indicate that almost 67% of men will start experiencing gradual hair loss at the age of 35 and it might rise to 85% once they hit 50. With such a significant percentage, it is no wonder why men continue saving up for an effective hair loss treatment as male hair transplant.
The concept of hair transplant first got formalized in 1952 when Dr. Norman Orentreich, a New Yorker, experimented with free donor grafts in patients who had male pattern baldness. Albeit receiving negative feedbacks at first because of his unnaturally-looking result, he unleashed a vital trivia that shaped hair transplantation since time immemorial. Dr. Orentreich, amid his experiment, discovered that the side and the back areas of a man’s scalp are not receptive to balding. Seven decades after, more advanced hair transplant technologies and techniques have been introduced and access to such a reliable and long-lasting hair loss solution has widened.
Besides the question of how much, the question of when is the best time for a male hair transplant is common. Apparently, the answer is not a simple one as there are a number of factors to consider before coming up to such a life-changing decision.
Factors that Identify Your Best Time for a Male Hair Transplant
- Your degree of baldness.
How bald should you be to get the best value of your hair transplant procedure? Experts use the Hamilton-Norwood scale to arrive at an answer. This method provides a visual depiction of hair loss stages and each stage comes with a level. Higher levels indicate a balder condition.
A lot of factors can serve as a culprit when it comes to hair loss, e.g. family history, health conditions, etc. However, if you noticed your hair loss stalling at a normal level, then most probably you are suffering from male pattern baldness – a hormonally triggered baldness on the scalp that usually goes with age. In which case, you are definitely qualified for a male hair transplant procedure.
- Your harvest site.
Contrary to one of the greatest misconceptions, hair transplant procedure only transplants hair follicles of the patient and not from other people. In other words, there is no such thing as a hair donor. This is why your harvest site’s robustness plays a critical role in determining how qualified you are for the procedure.
In light of Dr. Orentreich’s findings, it is safe to say that your only chance for a male hair transplant lies in how much hair is left on the back and side areas of your scalp. And aside from that, there are also a few more considerations to look into, e.g. the hair density of the donor area, the hair grafts per square inch.
If you are with a limited amount of potential donor hair for the procedure, the more you should find a reputable and trustworthy hair transplant surgeon who is able to plan and carry out the procedure carefully for an optimal result. If you are living in or around New York, then that is no longer a problem as you can easily reach Dr. Jeffrey S. Epstein, a renowned hair specialist who has, along with his seasoned team of professionals, rendered excellent hair transplant services to patients both from the national and international lands. Dr. Epstein is the man behind the foundation for hair restoration who has also gone the extra mile teaching and lecturing other doctors from all over the globe about the fundamentals of hair transplantation.
- Your age.
There is no precise age when it comes to determining the best time for a male hair transplant but definitely, men 25 years old or younger are not recommended to undergo hair transplantation because of its threat of “shock loss” and because they are still prone to hair fall.
However, while there is no “best age” declared for the procedure, it is believed that 35 is the right age to start considering going through a male hair transplant because, at this point, hair loss has already stabilized.
- Your guided expectation.
If you have been dealing with significant hair loss, you got a bright future with hair transplantation. However, you should know that it is not going to be a process you can easily and quickly go through. Your hair transplant surgeon will have you choose between two hair transplant methods, each has his own advantages and disadvantages. So, to manage your expectations, read on…
The first hair transplant method is called Follicular Unit Transplant, or popularly known as FUT. In this method, your surgeon will take a strip of your skin with hair follicles from the donor area and then he will separate the skin tissues with hair follicles and leave them on the preparation process. While this is happening, your surgeon will graft tiny, fine holes in your bald area. Once done, your surgeon will then proceed with placing the prepared skin tissue on the bald site. Although FUT has been revolutionary for giving natural-looking hair, its complexity, how it is abrasive, scar-yielding, and its long recovery period have been having patients resorting to the second method.
The second hair transplant method, and the more popular one, is Follicular Unit Transplant Extraction or FUE. The way the surgeon harvests hair follicles in this method is a lot more time consuming because the follicles have to be extracted one by one. The good news, though, is since there is no more tissue stripping, there will be minimal to zero abrasiveness and no linear scar involved. Because of its less post-surgery discomfort, the majority of patients to go through male hair transplant opted for FUE despite the procedure taking up to eight hours to finish.
The above mentioned areas play a role in having worthy and gratifying hair transplant experience. However, to be genuinely happy, it also pays to be aware of the following possibilities:
- A single male hair transplant instance may not give you fully dense hair.
- Best results might mean you have to go through the procedure a few times over unless you are in the hands of a real hair transplant expert like Dr. Jeffrey S. Epstein.
- Temporary hair loss, or also known as the shock loss, is normal a few days to weeks after the procedure.
- The best results can be seen four months from the procedure onwards.
- You do not need any medication to facilitate hair growth. Your patience is the ultimate key.