Many people with hair loss – both men and women, are likely to be good candidates for hair transplant surgery. But before any of this can happen there are a few things you need to consider, such as:
- Your expectations
- Your age
- Hair texture
- Contrast between your hair color and skin
The biggest and most important consideration to start with is being realistic about what hair transplant surgery can achieve. If you only have a minor amount of hair loss then there is a very good chance that you will get the results you want.
On the other hand, if your hair loss is at an advanced stage then you may have insufficient donor hair to cover your bald areas. If this is the case, the surgeon will discuss alternatives.
The aim is for a flattering and natural looking hair and not one in which there are bald patches next to your donor area. Age is another factor: male pattern baldness advances over time and the older you are the greater the amount of hair lost. You will also find that the surgeon will want to assess the progression of your hair loss.
The texture of your hair is also important as thick, coarse, curly hair tends to work best. It looks more natural and covers the scalp better than fine hair. If your hair is fine then you will need several transplant sessions in order to cover your bald area.
Even people with thick, curly hair often require more than one session. But if you have thick, curly hair then your rate of coverage of your scalp will be double or even triple that of someone with thin hair. The amount of coverage will depend upon the number of follicular units placed in your recipient area (bald area) and the number of sessions.
It is usual for 2,000 to 3,000 follicular units to be placed in a single transplant session. A ‘follicular unit’ means a donor graft or strip that contains 2,000 to 3,000 hair follicles which will sprout new hair once they are implanted.
Don’t forget about the contrast in skin (scalp) color and the color of your hair. If your hair color is a good match with the color of your skin then your hair transplant will look natural. What you don’t want is a situation in which other people notice that you have undergone a hair transplant due to the marked difference between your skin and the color of your hair.
For some people this is the deciding factor between having surgery or not. The aesthetic side of things is just as important as other reasons. After all, someone’s hair is often the first thing we notice when we meet someone and you want your hair to look healthy, natural and at its best.
Something else to think about: if you have a ‘low hairline’, meaning your hairline sits low down on your forehead, then you will need more grafts than someone with a ‘high hairline’. Your genetics will play a part in the type of hairline you have. A younger person may prefer a low hairline but if you have inherited a high hairline then this is what you have to stay with. The plus side of having a high hairline is that you will need less hair transplanted than someone with a lower hairline.